Browse for “Must Do” to discover those unmissable experiences guaranteed to make your own trip a success.

Kalbarri to Cervantes – Pink Lake and The Pinnacles
Pinnacles Desert Nambung National Park WA

Kalbarri to Cervantes – Pink Lake and The Pinnacles

The road from Kalbarri to Cervantes is 378 kms (4 hrs 7 mins), but offers plenty to see on the way including two "Must Do" attractions:  Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon) and The Pinnacles.

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Sal Salis, Exmouth – Where the Outback Meets the Reef – A Definite “Must Do”!
Sal Salis WA

Sal Salis, Exmouth – Where the Outback Meets the Reef – A Definite “Must Do”!

We arrived at Sal Salis in good time for a 2pm check-in and were blown away by it.  This really is a very special  place to stay indeed.  It is a digital detox zone (no wi-fi), so forgive me, but I am going to say little more about our stay here beyond the accommodation review.  The photos can do the talking and if you want to know more, then add this place to your bucket list and come and discover it all for yourself - I promise you, you will not leave disappointed.

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Perth to Geraldton – Where to See Koala Bears in WA
Koala Bear Yanchep NP

Perth to Geraldton – Where to See Koala Bears in WA

Where to see koala bears in WA. The road from Perth to Geraldton is 414 kms - 4 and a half hours.  En route though, there is an opportunity to see koala bears, which is a "Must Do".  We took all day over the journey, allowing for two stops on the way.

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Polished Perth
Perth - a blend of old and new but young at heart

Polished Perth

Polished Perth - capital of a state ten time the size of Great Britain - is as close to the nearest big city (Adelaide) as London is to Leningrad.  Perth is a large, clean, modern city much like many others, but its balmy climate, position by the wide, blue Swan River and radiant sunlight bouncing off the skyscrapers gives it a unique charm all of its own.  It is, in every sense, very polished with a smart, high-sheen finish.

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Esperance WA’s Best Beaches
Kangaroos on Lucky Bay - Cape le Grand National Park

Esperance WA’s Best Beaches

The road from Bremer Bay to Esperance (home of Australia's best beaches) was long - very long - and straight.  There were hardly any vehicles on it except the odd road train (shortish) which gave you a start as it rushed past.  The road took us through interesting sounding places like Jerramingup, Munillinup and Nindilibillup.  Up means "place of" around here - I wonder what these places we were passing through were places of ...?  They didn't have enough interest to make us stop long enough to find out.  We were keen to press on to Esperance and explore all those beautiful beaches.  It took us around 4 hours in total to get here.

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Rottnest Island – “I will survive”
Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island – “I will survive”

We pre-booked a day trip to "Rotto" (Rottnest Island) - the family holiday playground of choice for Perth locals - with Rottnest Fast Ferries.  This car free island is an off-the-grid slice of paradise about 30kms into the sea off the coast of Perth.  The trip includes a shuttle bus collection from your hotel, which makes things really easy.

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Nashville Day 2 – Love can build a Bridge over that Old Man River …
Nashville State Capitol Building & the stage in the foreground

Nashville Day 2 – Love can build a Bridge over that Old Man River …

Nashville Day 2 - the city changed its name to Draftsville as the NFL draft got into full swing.  Broadway was completely packed out with music ringing from every bar and stage as the crowd worked themselves into a frenzy yelling "The Pick is In".

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Accommodation Review:  The Peabody Hotel, Memphis
The Peabody Hotel Memphis Lobby

Accommodation Review:  The Peabody Hotel, Memphis

Where to Stay in Memphis - Peabody Hotel It is said that the Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg…

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Two Days in Memphis Day 1
I am a Man Memorial National Museum of Civil Rights Memphis

Two Days in Memphis Day 1

Two Days in Memphis Day 1 - There is a LOT to do here and you need to be very well organised if you want to do it all!  This was how we tackled it.

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Longwood – Romance, Tragedy, Trauma, Grace … and Truth?
The unfinished dream that never came true

Longwood – Romance, Tragedy, Trauma, Grace … and Truth?

Longwood was the dream that never came true, but not for want of trying.  An entertaining story of  romance, tragedy, trauma and grace.  The magnificent octagonal house was never finished - the civil war intervened and changed the lives of its occupants - the Nutt family - irretrievably.

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Accommodation Review – Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans
The revolving Carousel Bar - a must do!

Accommodation Review – Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

Where to Stay in New Orleans - Hotel Monteleone Accommodation Review A lovely hotel - authentic and full of charm.  The Carousel Bar is amazing and the rooftop pool is…

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From Rooter to Tooter – The food here has SOUL!
Bananas Foster - Chucking in the Cinammon!

From Rooter to Tooter – The food here has SOUL!

The New Orleans School of Cooking was a great place to spend a morning here.  The cooking in the Deep South is way different from the rest of the USA.  It is Creole - a veritable melting pot of all the nationalities that coalesced in this part of the world (Portugeuse, Spanish, French, Italian) and made it what it is today.   Nothing goes to waste - it is "rooter to tooter" as the expression goes - i.e. - everything on the hog is used except it's squeak.

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New Orleans – A Ton of Fun!
New Orleans Jazz Festival

New Orleans – A Ton of Fun!

New Orleans has been throbbing 24/7 since 1718.  It is the birthplace of jazz and has always had music at its heart.  The French Quarter Jazz Festival was in full swing when we arrived - what a great week-end to visit!  New Orleans i's way more than honky tonk pianos and saxophones though.  The food is great here, the welcome is warm, the people are full of life and colour and the vibe is great.

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To Bungy or not to Bungy …
Kawarau Gorge New Zealand - Site of the First Bungy Jump

To Bungy or not to Bungy …

To bungy or not to bungy? The first bungy jump happened here and A.J.  Hackett is still in business with a big centre in town at Kawarau Gorge.  There have been 2 million successful bungy jumps since 1986.  It makes you wonder what the definition of an unsuccessful bungy jump is?!

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Experience the Sounds of Silence of Shadowland
Sounds of Silence - Doubtful Sound

Experience the Sounds of Silence of Shadowland

Yesterday, we took a short cruise with Real Journeys across Lake Manapouri then a coach trip on the remote sub-alpine route over Wilmot Pass and into Doubtful Sound where we docked overnight on the Fiordland Navigator. This is a very peaceful and beautiful place where you can experience the Sounds of Silence of Shadowland.​   The boat turned off its engines and everyone kept a complete silence for five minutes - blissful.

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Coromandel Coastal Walkway/Rapaura Water Gardens
Coromandel Walkway

Coromandel Coastal Walkway/Rapaura Water Gardens

Yesterday, we made our way down the coast from Orewa to Coromandel, visiting beautiful Rapaura Water Gardens at Tapu en route. Today we embark on a pre-booked tramp along the Coromandel Coastal Walkway with Coromandel Discovery. 

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Putting a pin in Northland’s Toe – Cape Reinga – The Meaning of Life
Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Putting a pin in Northland’s Toe – Cape Reinga – The Meaning of Life

We visited Cape Reinga lighthouse today which is as far as you can go in New Zealand without falling into the sea - Northland's Toe.  The lighthouse overlooks where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasmanian Sea, which creates a whirlpool effect - fascinating.  Maori legend has it that this is the Meaning of Life - where female sea meets male sea, creating the beginnings of life. We passed by beautiful Tapotupota Bay and the huge Te Paki sand dunes on the way.

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Family Reunited – Auckland to KeriKeri, the Bay of Islands
Waitangi Treaty Grounds - Maori Cultural Performance

Family Reunited – Auckland to KeriKeri, the Bay of Islands

A 3 and a half hour drive up Highway 1 today towards KeriKeri will end with a family reunited.  I am staying with my great aunt and cousin and their family in KeriKeri and we haven't seen each other for many years.  Spending a few days with them is one of the main attractions of this trip for me - probablyway  more fun than some of the big tourist sights!

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Storms River Mouth Dolphin Trail – Breathe it all in and unwind …
View from Chalet 26 Storms River Tsitsikamma National Park

Storms River Mouth Dolphin Trail – Breathe it all in and unwind …

From Oudtshoorn, we drove for about an hour through some beautiful scenery to drop off the off the hire car at George airport, stopping off at the impressive Fancourt Golf Club en route to satisfy Tim's curiosity. Two and a half hours later, the pre-booked transfer car had dropped us at the Storms River Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) ready to start our two day hike - The Dolphin Trail.

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Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves and Ostriches
Ostrich - up close and personal. They eat a lot of stones to aid their digestion. You can see them going down their long necks!

Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves and Ostriches

Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves and Ostriches Cango Caves Oudtshoorn is an interesting place and it is worth spending at least a day here - or better still two, if you…

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Peninsular Tour to the Penguins
African Penguin Colony Boulders Bay Cape Town

Peninsular Tour to the Penguins

We took a Peninsular Tour to the Penguins today, finishing at the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach. The coastline was pristine - miles and miles of clear blue waters, huge waves and very few people around - perfect. The penguins were a fascinating sight - quite immune to all the attention they get from the tourists. No-one was swimming in the sea. Maybe because the water is very cold here in Summer (it is warmer in Winter, oddly?) - or maybe because sharks are common in these waters. Sharks are so common they employ shark watchers to sound the alarm if they spot one.

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Cape Town – “Rise Above” – Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Admiring the Kirstenboch Botanical Gardens Cape Town

Cape Town – “Rise Above” – Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

A city bus hop on hop off 2 day pass is very good value and a great way to see all the sites. A sunset cruise and a trip round the harbour on a boat are both included.  We'll save the sunset cruise until tomorrow.  The blue route goes to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which are a must see World Heritage site.   The area is famous for its fynbos  (fine bush) and there were some stunning examples in these very well kept gardens. Thought for the day - Nelson Mandel's mantra - "Rise Above" - above apartheid, struggle, bad news, loss - whatever has gone wrong, you can overcome it so long as you have the right mindset.

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Accommodation Review:  Victoria & Alfred Hotel
Victoria & Alfred Hotel Waterfront Cape Town

Accommodation Review:  Victoria & Alfred Hotel

Where to Stay in Cape Town Victoria & Alfred Hotel - Accommodation Review The Victoria & Alfred Hotel is a fantastic hotel and our favourite of the two luxury hotels…

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On Top of the World “Rocky Mountain High Colorado” – Rocky Mountain National Park
The Continental Divide

On Top of the World “Rocky Mountain High Colorado” – Rocky Mountain National Park

We drove back towards Denver, heading for the Rocky Mountain National Park this morning. It was a long but beautiful road with dramatic scenery all the way along. We arrived at the Park Entrance in the early afternoon and drove the Trail Ridge Road up into the Park and across to Estes Park our next - and last - stop.

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Rock Springs via Jackson – Aiming for the Armpit
Elk Antler Arch Jackson

Rock Springs via Jackson – Aiming for the Armpit

We got talking to a couple of local guys in the Deadman's Bar last night - well actually, they'd started the conversation by asking us how we were enjoying our visit to the colonies. We laughed at this and the conversation went on for an hour or more by which time we had sorted out American politics, English politics, beer, whisky, resource management and - well we ran out of time for world peace. They asked us where we were headed next and when we said Rock Springs , they told us this was the armpit of Wyoming, in their opinion. Great - so we are aiming for the armpit then! We headed off towards Jackson and stopped off at the National Museum of Wildlife Art on the way. This was a fantastic museum - really worth the stop, I would go so far as to say that if you have time to visit only one museum in this area, this should be your choice.

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Old Faithful – “O Come All Ye Faithful”
Old Faithful Yellowstone NP

Old Faithful – “O Come All Ye Faithful”

Old Faithful erupts pretty reliably every hour to hour and a half - hence the name - so we decided to take a pew and just wait it out - in case we missed it later on. We got a front row pew - they were all empty because OF had obviously only just done it's thing. We waited for 45 minutes - chatting happily to a couple from Florida and a Dutch couple - always interesting to talk to other people and share travel experiences etc, It really helped to pass the time. The suspense mounted - the crowd grew and was soon three people deep all around OF ... Eventually, OF began to hiss a bit and bubble and steam and then - yes - reliably enough (a bit later than predicted - but - hey, this is a natural phenomena. - so who's counting? she blew ... and yes, the sheer power and height of it was amazing.

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Bear Encounter – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River
Artist's Point - Absolutely stunning - if you only visit one thing in the Park, this should be it!

Bear Encounter – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River

This morning, we headed out for Canyon Village. It took 2 and a quarter hours to get there from our hotel - our concept of distance has completely changed. We have to do that trip back the other way at the end of the day too, of course - but there is no alternative of you want to see all this place has to offer. We decided to do an 8 mile trail along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River . It took us about 3 hours to complete this - and it was absolutely spectacular. I will let the pictures do the talking here, but this was without doubt the highlight of the trip so far. Artist's Point is definitely a "must do".

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