Windy Welly

Everyone knows Aukland, Christchurch and Queenstown as popular holiday destinations, but if you are touring the Islands of New Zealand don’t overlook the capital, Wellington. It is worth a stopover and a little wander. The first place to investigate is Cuba street, which is central to the city and just a short walk from the harbour.
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Cuba street is renowned for it’s cool cafes and funky eating houses. And if you are looking for interesting gifts you can meander the street checking out the little shops along the way. There is plenty to keep you enthused as local entrepreneurial designers survive by mixing up their own locally produced wares with quirky eclectic products from other parts of the world.
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To get an overview of NZ’s rich culture and heritage head to Te Papa – their National museum. This is a fantastic building filled with contemporary and Maori exhibitions, artworks and displays. Start at the top viewing level for spectacular harbour scenery, then wander though the four stories of artefacts. If you love museums you will want to allow at least half a day here.
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After a nice meal, stretch and more nick knack treasures packed to take home, you will be ready to hop back into the hire car or winnerbacker and head for the big local attraction, Lord of the Rings ‘Weta Cave‘, before heading to ‘Hobbiton‘ closer to Hamilton …nothing like a road trip, right!

 

The best way to travel

The best way to travel and see a country is to use the public transport! Yes, you may sit next to weirdos or smelly people or people who want to talk a lot but it’s all part of the experience. Instead of catching a flight from one city to another consider alternative options! The train, a boat, a bus, a motorbike – possibilities are endless! Here are some ways we have traveled around the world.
Local train
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Metro
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Fast boat
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Slow boat
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Bicycle
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Cyclo
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Motorbike
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Helicopter
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Tuk tuk
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Bus
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Hawaii stopover

Hawaii is a great little stopover destination between Australia and the States. If you can make it out to the islands you won’t be disappointed. Hosting gorgeous beaches, friendly people, a relaxed attitude and lots of activities, Hawaii is the perfect destination to start or end your holiday. Made up of many different islands the main island is Oahu as it has Honolulu International airport. We recommend at least three days on this island and if you have more time skip over to some of the other islands as well. We only had a few days in our stopover but we accomplished a lot in that time. Here are some of the best things to do on Oahu.
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Stroll along Waikiki beach
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Walk up Diamond Head
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Go to Pearl Harbour/USS Arizona
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Visit the Sea Life Park
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Check out a Luau 
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Watch the sunset
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If you’re there at the right time of the year – Go to the Pro Bowl
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A weekend in San Francisco

We had only a couple of days to explore this awesome city. San Francisco is home to some interesting architecture, incredible designs, 43 hills, the most restaurants and farmer’s markets per captia in North America, galleries, the Bay area and so much more. Two days was hardly enough but what we managed to fit in are most of the highlights of this magical city. Here’s what we recommend you do:
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Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge 
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Sail around the Bay-Area at sunset
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Experience Alcatraz (book this in early as limited spots available)
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Stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf
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Watch the smelly seals on Pier 39
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Drive down Lombard St – the crookedest street in San Francisco
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Head to the old school Arcade (Musée Mécanique) on Fisherman’s Wharf
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Walk the city to take in the hills and architecture 
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Go on a Tram
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It’s all about the South…

A few years ago we went on a trip with our best friend to New Zealand’s south Island. We hired a camper van for a few days and also caught a ride on the popular hop-on, hop-off buses.Two things come to mind when you think of NZ (especially the south Island) – adventure and beauty. Here is our photo diary of one of the best trips we have had. It may be close to home but it was filled with fun and laughter the whole time!
Beauty
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are so many mountains, wineries, forests, glaciers, fiords, lakes and more. The best way to grasp the beauty is by driving around and stopping wherever you can to take in the views surrounding. Don’t rush the trip!
On the drive
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Milford Sound
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Mirror Lake
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Adventure
The south island is the place to be if you are an adrenaline junkie but not all adventure has to be fast paced. In NZ you can climb a glacier, pan for gold, climb a mountain, ski and so much more.
Hire a camper van 
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Go on the Tranzalpine<
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Heli-hike Fox Glacier
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Pan for gold
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Bungee Jump or do the world’s largest swing
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Go jet boating
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Discover a cave
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Shear a sheep
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An adventure to Mt Bromo

When you think of Indonesia people of think of a relaxing holiday in Bali. But in a country with more than 220 million people, a richly diverse cultural and geographic landscape to explore, why would you stop your journey in Denpasar? For an adventure of a lifetime get away from Bali and head to Mt Bromo on Java Island, just like our mum just did. Here is her recap.
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Fly into Mt Bromo itself or hire a car, driver and a personal guide ($300 for the lot) and get picked up from your hotel and transferred through to Mt Bromo National Park. Here, the local indigenous people of the mountain run the monopoly on entry and tours. Upon a arival, the guide and I transferred to a rustic jeep, driven by a local guide and were taken over a very bumpy and steep road up to the sunrise position. It was an amazing site to see the volcano emerge out of nowhere between 4.30 and 5.30am.
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We then ​found our local guide and travelled in the jeep down to the Bromo Plains, which is like driving across the moon! The sulphuric volcanic dust is very strong, so a face mask or scarf is essential. The path across the plain is so powdery meaning the jeeps cannot go the whole way. Once there you have to decide whether to walk (very difficult) or ride a horse (amazing) so of course I took the horse (about $150​ to reach the base of Bromo). ​After passing an amazing and very old Hindu temple I ascended the very steep and many stairs to the rim of Mt Bromo to have an internal view of the volcano, took in the spectacular view and then headed back down to our horse and jeep.
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I thought I had seen everything but the local guide then drove me to the nearby Bromo Savannah and we crossed the whispering sands (actually volcano ash so thick it depicts a sand dune).
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We transferred out of the park and back to my hire car by around noon and driven to one last stop – Madakaripura Falls. This is a fantastic short hike to see a majestic waterfall – totally worth the stop.
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I was dropped back to the hotel in Surabaya by 5pm and it was a full day of adventure! Amazing day and recommended to all.

A Winery Weekend in Stanthorpe

We had a weekend away from Brisbane to celebrate a friends birthday and it was epic. Stanthorpe, QLD is only a few hours drive from Brisbane and it is the perfect place to go to relax, have fun and drink wine! There is nothing better than heading out to the country, staying in a little hotel (or we were lucky enough to stay at our friend’s place) and unwinding over the weekend. Stanthorpe is part of the Granite Belt Wine Country but also known for it’s apples. At certain times of the year apple picking is available however wine tours are available all year round.
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We spent a full day touring from winery to winery organised with Granite Highlands Maxi-Tours. With this tour you get picked up from your base and tour five wineries, a chocolate and olive farm and a enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch overlooking the vineyards and countryside. Learn about wine and taste 10-15 wines at each stop. Our idea of heaven.
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After sleeping in go for a morning walk before pottering back home to Brisbane. On the way home stop off at any of the roadside fruit shops for some home grown veggies and make sure you don’t go past the cheese factory!
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