My Favourite Sunsets And Where To Find Them

Not being a morning person my favourite time of the day is dusk and I love to plan how I’ll view the last light of the day.

My most memorable moments from my year in Sydney were watching the colours change from my favourite spot in the Sydney Harbour, since I’ve learned to appreciate the moment a little more and enjoy with a sundowner, great company or a good book!

Here are some of my favourite pictures over the last couple of years!
Pictured above is the rolling green hills in Cairns while I was on a sunset water tour. Australia, Cairns. Queensland.

 

Just look at this beauty I caught the last moments of last month (November) on my walk home from work. UK

 

wp-1481582528130.jpgThis is from one of my most recent trips, After arriving on the ferry we climbed the short walk to the look out point to arrive in the nick of time! Gili Trawangan, Indonesia.

 

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This was a picture perfect moment I captured while I was spending time in Fiji, You must expect a view like this nightly! Naviti Island, Fiji.

 

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I caught this while we were bumping around in our safari jeep headed out to see what animals we could come across as the day turned to night. Addo National Park, South Africa.

 

IMG_1044My final sunset memory is the unforgettable experience of watching the sunset from Uluru, Australia. This is a once in a lifetime kind of thing and to experience the colours of the rock and sky change together is incredible!

 

 

Follow me over on Instagram for the most up to date photos and blog posts here.

 

The Best Islands In Fiji For Families

When you think of Fiji tropical islands, crystal clear waters and white beaches come to mind… The next thought? How expensive it must be. As Fiji becomes more available to every budget I wanted to share my top tips for families looking to head over.

As the Yasawa’s are the heart of Fiji and is the most recommended place to visit, I wanted to help those avoid the party islands for the backpackers and find something suitable to families of all ages.

 

Paradise Cove

Winning the 2016 Trip advisor traveller’s choice award Paradise cove is located 3 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island. This  little beauty of an island is the perfect location for those with young children who may become bored quickly on the ‘big yellow boat’. With rooms right on the beach they have room sizes that can suit even a large family as a 2 bedroom villa can accommodate up to 6 people.

Meal plans are compulsory and are an additional cost of £65 per adult and £35 per child, Which will include full board meals, Lunch when you arrive to the island, your evening meal and full cooked breakfast. With a changing menu you need not worry about getting bored and as they are able to cater for even the most difficult children or allergy you can be rest assured you will desperate for the next meal!

Paradise cove offer full kids club facilities from ages 3 and upwards. With programmes including indoor and outdoor activities, including things like face painting and crab hunting and for the older children and those which can swim will include things like cooking lessons and snorkelling tours.

Baby sitting services can also be arranged while staying in Paradise cove for an additional fee for those looking to be able to enjoy a dinner alone.

Book online here or through Awesome Adventures here.

 

Blue Lagoon Beach Resort

Suituated within it’s name sake (1980’s movie) the Blue Lagoon Beahc Resort is located 4.5 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island. The resort is reasonably new to the game and is suitiable to all guests as they do offer rooms from dorm style to luxury suites. The rooms are still as large, with types to fit up to 2 adults and 4 children or 5 adults sharing.

Meal plans are again an additional compulsory payment on arrival at the resort, at a costing of £45 per adult and £30 per child (5-12yrs) which will include lunch, dinner and breakfast daily while staying at the resort. Mixing things up slightly if staying during the summer season you are treated to a Fijian BBQ or keeping things traditional every Friday evening you are treated to a Lovo meal…. I’ll leave what that is until you arrive. Catering almost all dietary and dietary requirements please just ensure you mention at the time of booking.

The activities and entertainment on offer at the Blue Lagoon Resort made the island as special as it is to me. With choices of movies under the stars, Fijian culture shows, crab racing and band boys made the evenings something special every night (minus Sunday) With plenty happening during the day I felt I never stopped…. Although when I wasn’t running around on various activities you tend to find me in the hammock!

Blue Lagoon offer full kids club for children aged 3 upwards, although those younger are invited to join in on activities when accompanied by a guardian. With similar programmes to that of Paradise Cove (well the are owned by the same company) you are assure the children are well looked after while you top up your tan or enjoy some of the free activities on offer on the island.

With the added offer of children under 5 stay and dine free of charge this little gem works out very well for a budget conscious family.

Book online here or though Awesome Adventures here.

 

Octopus Resort

On the lush green island of Waya the Octopus resort is located only 2.5 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island, making this a firm favourite for families with younger children. With some of the largest room types in the Yasawa’s you can sleep up to 8 in one two bedroom family villa.

With lots of activities on offer, Including the popular movies under the stars Octopus Resort have something for everyone. Trying to keep to it’s traditional roots the island has locals living alongside the resort and often host village and school visits , and the woman of the villages coming to the resort to teach basket weaving and jewellery making. The resort hosts it’s own children’s club and runs daily all year round free of charge for children over the age of 3yrs.

Daily activities are in place and run the same days of the week, with the Octopus Olympics, Kava nights, and discos under the stars parents are able to hire the services of the onsite babysitters and enjoy a childless evening.

Meal plans are payable locally in addition to the room costing, £40 per adult and £25 per child (5-12yrs)

Book online here, Or with Awesome Adventures here.

Nabaua Lodge

Located 4.5 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island the Nabua Lodge is located within the Blue Lagoon close the to the Blue Lagoon Resort.

This no frills, Family run accommodation is a favourite for those looking for something a little more remote and traditional Fijian. Without the full facilities like the other resorts on this list, the Nabua lodge is more suited to those with older children unsuitable for the children’s clubs who are happier with adult company. With activities on offer like Kayaking, snorkelling and trekking this suits families who are more active and are happy to provide their own entertainment in the evening.

Although basic the staff are anything but, You can still expect the Fiji sparkle and the can do attitude. As meals are included within the room rate you can ensure a strict budget can be stuck to and still be able to enjoy the tropical Fijian islands.

 

You are more than welcome to take your own snacks to the islands and are not obilgied to purchase addtional snacks or drinks outside of your full board plan. I purchased snacks and bottled water from the supermarket at the port before I boarded the flyer boat.

Garden Route Game Lodge. A Review, South Africa

Located only 3 1/2 hours from Cape Town and 1 hour from George this little slice of wonder is nestled amongst the Langeberg Mountain range and is accessible from the most southern major entry ports of South Africa and as the name gives away it is located on the entry onto the famous garden route!

I was lucky enough to have a two night stay while on my travels last month and thought I would share my thoughts on the hotel and game.

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The appeal of a family owned and operated lodge enticed me to try  them out. I think having the owners around can make a massive difference in the experience and service you receive!

As it is a private game lodge the experience will be different to that if you were staying within the national parks, As the lodge owns 3000 hectares of land it can be easier to spot the wildlife although they have less animals as they haven’t the space the national parks have. They do have Rhinos, Lions, Elephants, Hippo, Buffalo, Cheetahs and Leopards (although these are wild and pass through the park as they like) you have a high chance of spotting the big 5.

These sights work towards rehabilitation and conservation, As animal poaching in South Africa is the worst in the continent the owners have come together to get some security in place for these animals and now each Rhino has it’s own personal security guard… Drastic times call for drastic measures. Until poachers are no longer a threat to these timid creatures this is what has to be done. Learn more about the projects in place here.

 

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The open Land Rover game drives (which are included within the room rate, twice a day) depart on sunrise and sunset rides everyday and can last between 2-3 hours… Although if like us you have a lion blocking the road this can quickly become 4-5 hours! The rangers are employed for their expertise on the local wildlife and fauna, Some of the random facts we learnt will stay with me for quite some time.

On top of the game reserve the hotel is home to a reptile centre and skull garden for encounters with the animals. The hotel is geared towards families with young children (6-12 years) as the hotel can offer babysitting/child minding programmes and activities for the younger ones and families will receive their own game drive to ensure plenty of time can be spent as they chose while in the game reserve.

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The hotel is separated by room types with standard rooms located closest to the main facilities and the private chalets located overlooking the valley and watering hole.I stayed in the standard rooms and there was nothing standard about it. With a huge floor space and beds we had our own en-suite which came with bath and shower. Each room comes with its own mini bar/fridge and deck area for valley views while drinking sun downers.

 

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The hotel serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests in the Serengeti’s restaurant in the main building and as the hotel comes as half board as standard it does mean you are subject for your own lunch but luckily the menu is very reasonably prices with prices from 80 RND (£4) for a burger or open sandwich,

As for the meals that are included they do come as buffet style and are sublime with interactive experiences. In the evenings the chefs cook the meat to your taste on a BBQ while you fill your plate with the side dishes, With options of chicken, Impala and Ostrich there is always something different to try. As I mentioned all is cooked to your taste and if it’s all new to you, you can ask for the chefs recommendations!

Now a safari in South Africa would not be complete without a boma or in other words an African BBQ. As I as travelling during the winter season they couldn’t host an evening Boma but we were treated to an indoor breakfast buffet in the Boma located next to the pool area. The breakfast was amazing with eggs cooked to choice and pancakes. Cheese boards and cold cuts with a choice of juices, teas and coffee we really were spoilt for choice.

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In case you are only passing by and haven’t the time to stay at the lodges you are in luck as they do offer game drive safaris for day guests! Have a check on-line for availability and prices.

http://grgamelodge.co.za/

This is a 3* lodge hotel where prices start from £90 (per room) per night based on two people sharing on a half board basis including 2 game drives per night paid.

South Africa Rand was 20 to £1 at the time of writing (June 2016)

Kuzuko Lodge, A Review. South Africa

If you are looking for a little luxury on your trip in South Africa then look no further than Kuzuko Lodge. Located less than 2 hours away from Port Elizabeth’s airport Kuzuko makes a great beginning or end to your trip along the ever popular Garden Route, Somewhere to rest up before or after the long flight.

A private game lodge with over 15,000 hectares of ground located within the Greater Addo Elephant National Park there is lots of chance to spot the big 5 and lots of other firm favourites. As the lodges has its own private grounds please remember this is going to be a different style of safari than those only travelling within the National Parks, There will be a limited number of animals which they own and breed themselves and will have less of the authentic experience. For those who like to tick boxes then I do recommend a hotel which has it’s own grounds as you are very likely to find at least 4 of the big 5 (That elusive Leopard can not be kept by by fencing they can build.) But for me still not having spotted the Leopard means I have yet another reason to return!

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With 24 luxury chalets the hotel does not feel over crowed and allows guests to feel spoilt when they arrive as the staff to guest ratio is very high and without strict timings on meals it means people can dine when they chose.

The chalets themselves were beautiful with a small sitting area and large bathroom with separate shower to bath, However I do believe the main feature of the room is the oversized patio area overlooking the grounds and the mountainous backdrop. Even with the winter chill it was beautiful to sit out and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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The game drives and rangers are second to none, They are full of knowledge and certainly go the extra mile to ensure you have the best experience. With sundowners provided mid safari, you are taken to some of the highest points of the range to enjoy a beverage out of vehicle.

My best memory from my time in South Africa will be from our Cosmic safari in the Boma at Kuzuko Lodge.With hot drinks and desert we were taken down into the Boma (Picture a hidden garden behind the bamboo) where a fire pit had been lit and chairs set out for us all. Our ranger joined us and turned out the surrounding lights and it was like someone has turned a TV on above us, The sky came to life with hundreds of stars visible without the light pollution of any near by towns. We spent the 90 minutes being show our star signs, and learning facts about the nights sky from South Africa. Being a bit of an astrology freak I could listen to stories about the stars for days, but this truly was special and such a lovely experience to be included at the lodge. A warn crumble, a hot tea and the milky way… what more do you need? After the safari finished we continued to spend the evening on our private balcony with a bottle of wine to continue star gazing.

With other activities on offer at an additional fee including Big 5 Nature walks, Nature hikes to the bush man paintings, Cheetah experiences and children clubs there is plenty to fill your days.

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Kuzuko Lodge is a full board accommodation with standard breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. With every 1 night stay booked you are entitled to 2 game drives, One sunset after check in and sunrise before checkout. If staying more than 1 night you are free to spend the day at your choosing and can use the facilities at the Lodge including the swimming pool and spa or you can book onto additional activities provided by Kuzuko at an additional cost. 

Kuzoko has 3 wheelchair accessible rooms available to book online through their website below! The game vehicles have access with ramp to door access. 

http://www.kuzuko.com/

My Favourite Sights In Prague

Having just returned from a wonderful four days in the city of Prague I thought I might share my top sights not to miss… Other than Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock.

Located in the capital of Czech Republic in the kingdom of Bohemia lies the beautiful historic town of Prague. Unfortunately famous for its stag weekend reputation it pleasantly surprised me on my arrival to have only seen the one group on what might of been the busiest weekend of the year, Easter Weekend.

Any illusions you might have of a weekend in Prague I’d like to help change, as this has quickly become one of my favourite cities!

Prague Castle

This world recording holding residence to past King’s of Bohemia is recognised as the largest ancient castle in the world. It is easily the biggest tourism draw to the city. Personally I am not one for a castle tour but we happily followed the masses on a tour. The views from Starbucks roof terrace is easily one of the best you will find and provides panoramic views out over Prague below.

If you time your visit right you will be able to see the changing of the guard, that’s right just like at Buckingham Palace this is quite a big deal. Crowds will gather to watch the guards leave their post, and if you are there for 12pm (lunchtime) you will be provided with entertainment from the fanfare ceremony that happens daily.

Once you have had your fill take a slow walk back to Lesser Town down the hill. A long road lined with shops, restaurants and cafes there is plenty to see and places to stop.

Nerudova Street

One of my favourite history facts is before street numbers and road names existed there was another way people recognised addresses, With house signs which happened to be pictures displayed on a plaque above the door. If you were looking for the bakers house, all you’d have to do is look the loaf of bread picture! I love this and think it would be amazing if this of been continued even to this day… I think my house would have an aeroplane plaque! 😉 The signs have been restored on some of the houses on this street located just below Prague Castle. Take a walk back to Lesser Town passing through and see if you can spot the house of two suns.

John Lennon Wall

Located just below the castle in Lesser Town, this monument to peace, love, art and John Lennon was created back in the 1980’s after his murder. Used as a way for young Czechs to show expression through the means of Art in anger to the communism. Western music was banned in the country and repenting against this they would write lyrics from the Beatles onto the wall.

What started as a portrait of John himself has now been lost underneath the layers of paint that have been covering the walls for many years. After trying to cover the wall with whitewash and rid the graffiti it has become impossible to cover it quicker than the artists arrive. Now left to be decorated as seen fit this massive tourist attraction will be ever changing with messages that still reflect the hopes from those in the 80’s, messages of peace and love.

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The Old Jewish Cemetery

Located within close distance of the old town this old Jewish Ghetto is home to one of the most beautiful, sobering graveyards I have visited. It is believed to be the largest recognised Jewish cemetery in Europe, where thousands of gravestones are lain in the small courtyard at the Pinkas Synagogue. The synagogue after communist regime was closed and the 77,927 inscribed names of the holocaust victims were erased, but these later were restored and now they cover the entire interior of the building.

Rooftop Drinking

With such a beautiful square it would seem a shame not to see it from above in all its glory! We decided to skip the queues to climb the clock tower, after all it’s what we came to see but we still wanted the vantage point it offered. I’d heard there were some rooftop bars in the Old Town and decided to check out the terrace at Terasa U Prince Hotel. With reasonably priced cocktails we treated ourselves to a sundowner and watched the sunset from the warmth of the heat lamps wrapped in blankets.

My tip is to give the food a miss and make this a pre dinner drink.

Petrin Hill

Located close to Prague castle this proud hill sits atop the terracotta roofs and golden spires of the city below and is popular for those looking for a walk away from the crowds or a perfect picnic spot. Easily accessible from the city using the the funicular railway (also known as a cliff railway or a cable attached tram for almost vertical climbs) for those not looking for something as energetic or a short but steep walk up the 327 meters. Passing through some manicured gardens, and through the memorial to the vitims of communism there is plently of opportunities to stop along the way and once you arrive at the top there are cafe’s and coffee shops. Trust me the view will be worth it!

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Petrin Look Out Tower

Don’t think the that’s the end of the fun once you’ve made the climb! You are able to get even higher! This mini replica of the Eiffel Tower sits atop of Petrin Hill adds another 60m onto your height for some clearer views of the city below. For less than £10 per person you are able to purchase a ticket for the climb up the 299 stairs to the observation deck at the top. There is an elevator which operates at an extra cost (free to pensioners and disabled guests) for those unable to make the climb after a trek up Petrin Hill.

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 Powder Tower

Dating back to the 11th century this Gothic tower is one of the remaining castle gate entries. Used as a decorative entry to the castle grounds rather than defensive means, it was used to store shotgun powder in the 17th century hence the name “Powder Tower.” A great example of the classic Gothic architecture of Eastern Europe this tower stands proud at the entry to Old Town Square and separates the new from the old. It is possible to climb to the lookout 44 meters above Old Town Square for a small fee.

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Cadburys World, Birmingham, England

I have fond childhood memories of visiting Cadbury World on school trips and family day trips alike… My clearest memory was just how much free chocolate you received! I have to admit I was a little disappointed to see this is no longer the case!

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After spotting a tweet from @Cadburysworld for an afternoon tea and entry deal I had to take them up on the offer. For £19.95 per person you were given entry to the factory tour and an afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches and cakes with tea and scones.

Read more about the offer here on their website

Rallying up a couple of friends to join me wasn’t difficult, especially after I showed them the sample menu online.

Part of the conditions on the offer is your tour must start after 12:30 and you must complete both the tour and start your afternoon tea before 3pm. It wasnt a problem for us as it meant we could have a slow start to the day and have time to pop into the Bullring for a spot of shopping.

Raring to go I had my carrier bag at the ready once we got into the queue for entry on the tour and was super excited when I counted three bars being added to the goodie bag and started drooling at those still to come.

If I’m completely honest, nothing has changed in the factory since my visits 20 odd years ago. Wandering about brought back great memories of visiting all those years ago and wanting to play on all of the interactive games set up to entertain you along your walk through.

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Telling the story of how the Cadbury family set up their business and built the town of Bournville really is interesting, however knowing know that cadburys has been taken over by Kraft Foods I found this to be a little sad knowing this no longer is the case and the Cadburys family no longer have any ties to the business. What was once a great British product has now been replaced by something that could never compare to the original standards.

Alas we completed the tour within an hour of entering and was disappointed to discover one of my favourite parts of the tour; watching the chocolatiers go about their day and watching the big robot arms moving the finally wrapped produce has now been removed. Rather than being able to watch the magic happen you now are separated by a non appealing metal wall where they have a few facts about Cadburys dotted about for you to read.

I was however glad to discover they hadn’t got rid of my favourite treat of the tour, a pot of melted chocolate! 😉

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Being able to rush through the tour due to the lack of it meant we were out in plenty of time to have our afternoon tea, which if I’m honest we’d been drooling over since reading the menu!

We were pleased to see they could cater for vegetarians with no fish (Only when pre booking and advising online) sitting down in an area dedicated to those booked with afternoon tea we were eagerly awaiting our lunch. Two large stands were delivered to the table and we were overwhelmed with how much there was. With 4 different sandwich fillings, scones jam and cream, and a choice of cakes and sweet treats they certainly offer you your monies worth!

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The Best Dining Spots In Prague

I have to admit I ate some of the best meals and snacks I’ve ever had while I was in Prague so I thought I’d share my recommendations from my dinning experiences! There certainly was a lot!

*Indian Jewel 

http://www.indianjewel.cz/

After spotting an advertisement for a lunch time special we decided to give it a try. For 109 CZK you could try their 2 course menu. With a different curry on offer each day with the deal it does mean you cant be fussy, but for £3 each you can’t complain! They mix up the days with a vegetarian then meat option the next. We dinned and had the Sag Chicken which was very tasty and within the deal you receive a portion of rice and a desert of Kheer; Saffron flavoured Indian Rice Pudding.

Both were very tasty, and for only £3 it is a bargain! This worked out as our cheapest meal/snack while we were travelling in Prague and considering it’s Old Town Square location it is a great lunch stop off!

(They also offer a 3 course dinner menu for only 399 CZK, £11 each. However this is an all meat dinner, And when I asked about vegetarian alternatives there didnt seem to be another option)

 

* Joy Burger

http://joyburgerbar.cz/

Oh my good God! This place is amazing! We had walked pasted twice before I gave in and we tried to get a table, with the choice of an hour and a half wait or perch on the end of someones larger my rumbling stomach got the better of me and we crashed crashed a group of young girls meal out.

The restaurant is casual dinning and perfect for a quick meal, lunch or dinner. But be warned there isn’t many seats and does fill up quickly so book ahead where you can.

Burgers were good value between 205 – 285 ck although they don’t come with Fries on the side and are purchased separately, we ordered a portion between the two of us and it was plenty with the massive burger each. Admittedly we spent more on the selection of dips to go with them than the actual Fries with Chipotle and refried beans….

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Located a moments walk from the old town square.

* Giovanis

http://www.giovanni-praha.cz/

We stubbled across this cutesy little place while wandering down all the little cobbled streets around the Old Town Square and was so glad we chose to dine here.

The menu is a selection of Italian dishes, although personally I don’t think I could of been tempted away from the pizzas after seeing them delivered to others tables and went straight to that section of the menu!

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Located right next to the astronomical clock in the old town square.

 

* Las Adelitas 

http://www.lasadelitas.cz/

After a day wandering we happened upon Las Adelitas after noticing a sign leading into a building, Hidden within an alley way in the basement this place can be easily missed. Having only just eaten we chose to eat here the following night and booked a table, Which we were lucky to have done as this seems to be the in place and was heaving, Which just added to the atmosphere! We devoured the menu and settled on Burritos and Flautas which were served as something similar to an enchilada. After a small issue with the arrival of mine (which the staff fixed flawlessly and professionally) we enjoyed what might of been my favourite Mexican, and thanks to the staff we were offered the chance to have a pudding free of charge.

I have to add a special mention as I thought the décor and atmosphere here really makes the restaurant something special, Having travelled through Mexico I really think they have grasped the Mexican vibes and was thoroughly impressed! Even if you are only after a tasty cocktail after dinner elsewhere this place is sure to please!

 

*Trdelnik – “tr-del-nik”

Okay so I had so many of these sweet treats I lost my mind a little, I think I tried one very time we walked past a stall! They are very moreish!

So you are probably wondering what I am on about right now… These sweet treats, Sometimes referred to as a chimney cake are hollow sweet pastry/bread rolls. They are made by rolling out thin strips of dough and are rolled around a wooden stick and then are cooked on coal fires then are lathered in butter, sugar, chocolate and often Almonds or Walnuts and served piping hot… Don’t trick yourself into thinking they are anything less than 600 kcals for something as little as these!

They are the perfect street snack as they rip apart in the spiral it is cooked and be torn into  bite-sized pieces. We found them in various different ways from Nutella in the middle to ice cream! All forms are mega tasty so don’t miss out on these!

 

Bruny Island. Hobart, Tasmania

Another Island located off the south coast of Tasmania this little eco-haven is a holiday favourite for visiting sea lions, whales and dolphins! Only an hour and a half from Hobart this fantastic day trip is a great way to see a different side of Tasmania and experience the wonderful wildlife the island has.

After some thorough research into my trip to Hobart I came across  Bruny Island Cruises, who offer day trips from Hobart including your bus and ferry over to Bruny.

Arriving at the office on the morning of my tour was not difficult to find, Located just up from the Mona ferry on the harbour we had to check in from 07:45 for a 8am bus to head towards Kettering to catch the ferry.

The bus journey was fairly quiet with most people dozing and with plenty of opportunity for day dreaming and watching the scenery go by. We arrived at the ferry by 9:30am and our final destination at 10:30am. We had time for a mid morning tea and cake before our briefing on the day ahead. Included within the price is a 3 hour cruise around the south of the two islands that make up Bruny.

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We were given waterproof ponchos to protect us from the sea spray and bad weather (which we were so lucky and had beautiful sunshine all day) and headed out.

The tour has live commentary with three guides aboard who are more than happy to share their knowledge of the Islands. The sailing was at a leisurely pace and full of photo opportunities, they took us all the way over to the home of the sea lions which was my favourite part! Being one of my favourite water animals I couldn’t believe how many of them called the Island home there few thousands of them, sunning on the rocks or playing in the water below they gave us plenty of time to watch them from a safe distance (for their sake, although it was for our noses as well I suspect)

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Heading back to Adventure bay for lunch I couldn’t believe how quickly the day passed. Another part of the package was a two course lunch at the beach side cafe, and was a pumpkin soup with a bread roll and a ham and salad sandwich, although they do cater for a vegetarian or gluten free menu also.

Heading back home I was so pleased with my experience it certainly for me was the best $225 dollars I’d spent in Tasmania!

DisneyLand, Hong Kong

On my first visit to Australia we flew with Cathay Pacific whom’s home base is in Hong Kong, Being a savy saver I had researched online that with a British passport we were able to leave the airport should we have a long transit*. Booking our flights to arrive at 6am and then not to depart earlier than 10pm it gave us the right amount of time for a visit to the city.

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Already knowing about the Disneyland in Hong Kong it was my mission to convenience my mum and sister this was how we should spend our day! Luckily for me the Disneyland resort and Hong Kong airport are located on the same island of Lantau it means it would only take 25 minutes to arrive. On the morning we arrived we caught a taxi from the airport to the park, Which had I of done more research on we could of travelled by MTR (train) directly from the airport on the Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay Station which travels from early morning until late night for a fraction of the price! Timetables of the train can be found here online

We arrived at the park way before entry was admitted into the park, With little other choice we decided to use the free transportation to the Disneyland Hotel where we booked onto a breakfast with the characters. I hadn’t done that even as a child (even though I visited Disney Orlando more than 7 times while under 16) because the price is always expensive, However we decided to spoil ourselves and £30 spent later we had access to the Enchanted Garden Restaurants all you can eat buffet and I finally got to try the Mickey shaped pancakes and waffles I have lusted over… And Mickey even came over while I was eating to point them out!

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Now finally getting onto the park! This is possibly one of the smaller of the Disney parks, and was more along the lines of Disneyland Paris before they opened the Walt Disney Studios Park. However I had read online they offer a transit ticket, which as long as you have your boarding pass as evidence of you departing within 72 hours they would take 40% off the day price for you reducing the price from 539HKD (£47) to 250HKD (£25) and as I mentioned before we were only in the country for 16 hours we received this discount which I felt made the park much better value!

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Personally I feel like the smaller the park is the more it reminds me of being a child again! I mean it’s not often in my adult life I am as excited about riding the carousel than when I’m at Disney! There are still a few big rides, Like the Runaway Mine Train, Space Mountain and the RC Racer, but ultimately this park is filled with the classics, “It’s a small world”, Dumbo the flying elephant and Mad Hatters tea cups.

 

HK

What the park might lack in big thrills the park is filled to the brim with interactive attractions and shows, Which were great to get away from the humidity in Hong Kong… And apparently a snooze for all, As most shows we went into watch people were taking advantage of a quick 40 winks before heading back out in the parks! With a Lion King and Beauty and the Beast show happening while I was there we had sneak peeks into the Broadway style shows.There is also heaps of opportunity to meet your favourite characters with loads of appearances throughout the day in the different lands of the park.

Plan your trip using Disneyland’s fantastic online interactive website here.

* This should always be double checked with your airline / travel agent before arranging any land based activities, and can depend on your nationally to ensure no visa is required!

Whale Watching In Australia

I love the sea more than anything else and the life below I have always found fascinating, so while I was travelling in Australia I took every opportunity to get out on the water and try and and spot these majestic creatures in the wild.

Here are my tops spots for your best chances to see them for yourselves!

Hervey Bay

Hervey bay located in Queensland is well known as the gateway to Fraser Island, Located 160 miles north of Brisbane. This is the whale watching capital of the country and has the highest chances of spotting the whales during the winter season, from mid July until November.

We travelled out with Spirit Of Hervey Bay whom have a choice of durations according to your time and budget. We went for a half day trip as we didn’t have long and we spotted whales within an hour of being out on the water. It truly was a magical experience, the guides on-board follow the strict guidelines in place for animal welfare turning the engines off and allowing the whales to go about their own business, and get as close as they choose… They are inquisitive by nature and will approach the boat by choice. The most amazing part of the experience was them putting the microphone in the water to hear them ‘talking’ to one other… Truly unforgettable.

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Sydney

Sailing right from Darling Harbour this trip is certainly scenic! You’ll pass the famous Eastern beaches of Bondi and Coogee to the deeper waters to find the Whales. With a season lasting longer than the northern Hervey Bay from May to November I travelled just coming out of season and we still manged to catch a glimpse. I travelled with Fantasea Cruises whom were fantastic, the captain on board spent longer than normal on the waters to find some whales before he gave in… And we manged to spend 10 minutes watching them jump out of the water meters from the boat.

I found the waters to be rougher here than further north so those whom suffer with travel sickness might need to drop a couple of ginger tablets before hand to help settle any tummies!

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