Seeing the stars (I mean really seeing the stars) is such a rarity in today’s light-polluted world. Australia’s vast untouched landscape provide the perfect opportunity to step out into the wild, wrap a blanket around yourself and star gaze until you go dizzy.
So whether you go north to Uluru to appreciate the perfectly formed Southern Cross, or south to the famous star-gazing Outback destination of Coonabarabran – sleeping in the Australian outdoors will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a planetarium and put on a pair of 3D glasses.
Lakes so blue you’d think they’d been photoshopped if you hadn’t seen them with your own eyes, mighty ancient glaciers, rolling green hills, snow capped mountains and rugged beaches where you can spot whales and dolphins playing between the waves.
If you like a bit of breathtaking beauty thrown in with your travel experiences then this could be your little slice of heaven. Here are our favourite ways to really get the very best from your time.
Watch the whales in the ocean off Kaikoura.
Today’s blog comes from James Greenslade who, after abandoning STA Travel headquarters, has returned to his native Australia to pine for the awful summers and “friendly” locals of the UK. He still writes a bit though.
Lesser known than their Thai neighbours to the east, the Andaman Islands offer visitors destinations just as beautiful, and even quieter. Sitting in the Bay of Bengal – and actually geographically closer to Thailand than India which they are administratively attached to - only a dozen or so of the 300 islands in the archipelago are open to visitors.
But what gems they are. Think pristine beaches, jungles, clear waters and, possibly best of all, hardly any people…
Hong Kong is a crossroads. A metropolitan melting pot where east meets west, island-life meets the mainland and tradition meets modernity. Look hard enough and within the high-rise buildings you’ll find little gems of architecture including Chinese temples, colonial residences and even the odd zoo. Oh and the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator, but more on that in a minute. Then there’s Kowloon, an urban sprawl that seeps out into the New Territories before connecting to Mainland China. There are also over 200 outlying Islands that can only be accessed by boat. Despite all of its diversity many people rush through Hong Kong, spending no more than a couple of days in the city before travelling onward. Take your time, no need to rush.
Here are our top seven things to do in Hong Kong:
We all know that there are more things to do on a regular day in Sydney and New South Wales than you can shake a didgeridoo at (and if you don’t know that already, get on it!), but the state is also home to some fabulous festivals.
Read on for 5 ways to pass the time when stunning beaches, unique eco-systems, brilliant breaks and the friendliest people on earth just aren’t enough for you.
Vivid 2014 – Image Credit Andrew Smith