Category Adventures

Exploring Alaska’s Largest Wilderness: Wrangell St Elias National Park

The Bagley Ice Field is the largest non-polar icefield in North America

The 52,000 square kilometer Wrangell-St.Elias National Park is bigger than Switzerland. It has an active volcano, the largest sub-polar ice field in North America, 150 glaciers, and the tallest coastal mountains in the world with nine of the 16 highest peaks in the United States, four of which are over 4,800 meters including Mount St Elias, the biggest vertical rock face on the planet.  There are way more grizzly bears, moose, Dall sheep, bald eagles and salmon than humans. Together with Canada’s adjacent Kluane National Park, this area is the largest protected wilderness area on earth.

I have come here to explore “The Alaska factor.” Here everything is bigger, larger, greater – and tougher than it looks.

It is a spectacular five hours drive from Anchorage just to get to the park’s main entrance.

Before becoming a ...

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Photo Friday: Walking Japan’s Nakasendo Way

Japan's Nakasendo Way is the traditional samurai trail between Edo and Kyoto

I took this Photo Friday image in a bucolic section of Japan’s Nakasendo Way between the restored post towns of Tsumago and Magome. The Nakasendo or the ancient “Middle Mountain Way” wends its way across valleys and mountain passes between the old Imperial capital of Kyoto and the Shogunate stronghold of Edo, now known as Tokyo. Once a busy byway traveled by feudal lords, samurai warriors, merchants and pilgrims, the Nakasendo Way now offers a tantalizing taste of old Japan that can be well nigh impossible to find in the country’s kitch-obsessed, neon-bright cities. It was springtime and beautiful pink blossoms floated down from the cherry trees that lined our path. It couldn’t have been more beautiful.

We had just been invited in to a traditional tea house for refreshments by a fellow wearing a traditional blue jacket and conical hat. We sat on tiny stools around a low table set on a dirt floor in a room that felt like it hadn’t changed for centuries...

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Kayaking the Remote Islands of Papua New Guinea

Kayaking in the Tigak Islands of Papua New Guinea

Australian-owned No Roads Expeditions offers a terrific 50-mile kayaking trip along the coral atolls that stretch along Papua New Guinea’s province of New Ireland. It is a perfect way to explore the traditional Melanesian culture of these remote and pristine islands, where many children have never seen white people before.

The company developed its expertise as a trekking operator on the popular Kokoda Track in the New Guinea highlands, site of Australia’s most significant campaign of the Second World War, as well as kayaking and hiking trips in Indonesia. Bringing eco-sensitive, low-impact tourism to these remote communities, No Roads partnered with Papua New Guinea Tourism to provide new water tanks as well as paying each village for food and entertainment.

My hus...

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Santorini: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat

Santorini WWW

Oia is the only place to base yourself on Santorini. This is the source of all Santorini’s iconic images that grace the covers of travel magazines.

Here is everything you need to know to enjoy your stay in Oia: Where to Stay, What to do, and Where to Eat.

Where...

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Kayaking and Walking in New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park

Kayaking and walking in New Zealand's Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island

“Sweet as…” says Bruce, one of our easy going Kiwi kayaking guides who is leading us along the coastline of Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand’s smallest national park on the north of the South Island. It is a paddler’s nirvana.  What finer way could there be to explore a pristine coastline of granite headlands and tiny coves of golden sand backed by voluptuous hills cloaked in emerald green.

It is a cloudless autumn day and we are suspended on an aquamarine bubble between land and sky. Eight yellow double sea kayaks glide over a sea so translucent that a casual observer might think for a split second that no water was there at all.

Wilso...

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In the Wake of Bikini Models: 8 Adventures on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands

Aitutaki MFP

The world’s most beautiful lagoon can be found on Aitutaki, a tiny unspoiled dot in the South Pacific. Having visited recently, I can vouch for its massive WOW factor. Aitutaki is in the north of the Cook Island archipelago, which is scattered across 2.2 million square kilometers, halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii.

It is likely to get a lot better known thanks to the recently launched world’s most beautiful safety video, Air New Zealand’s Safety in Paradise.   In the video, Aitutaki starred alongside the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models who were celebrating 50 years of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. And just in case you have any doubt how the regular punters feel about ...

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Kangaroo Island Luxury Retreat: Southern Ocean Lodge

SOL lead image

The multi-award-winning Southern Ocean Lodge is the master of the wow factor and sets the Australian benchmark for luxury…and environmental sustainability. It is well worth the splurge and makes a perfect base to explore Kangaroo Island, which is often nicknamed Australia’s Galapagos for its remarkable collection of Australian animals and birds.

Designed by Kangaroo Island local and Adelaide-based architect, Max Pritchard, Southern Ocean Lodge, a member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, is an organic set of buildings with a bold, wave-shaped Grand Room as its epicentre, a spa facility perched in isolation and 21 spacious split-level suites cantilevered along the cliffs overlooking its namesake ocean that stretches all the way to Antarctica. The views of the ocean…whether it is calm and aquamarine or wild and choppy…dictate your experience at all times.

The Grand Room features a semi-circle of floor-to-ceiling windows that encourage guests to look outward and embrace the natural wor...

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11 Cool Reasons to Visit Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is the first of 11 Cool Reasons to Visit Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is the first of 11 cool reasons to visit Australia

There are so many reasons to visit Australia that it can feel overwhelming to decide what to do. I have combed the country to highlight the best places and most authentic experiences in Australia for my app Australia’s Best Places.

Here is my must-do list.

1. Dive into the Great Barrier Reef

Go snorkeling or scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, which is the world’s largest reef system and the largest natural made structure on earth. Take day and overnight trips to the Outer Reef from locations all along the mainland or stay on exquisite tropical islands like Lizard, Hayman and Wilson.

2. See all the unique animals

Nowhere else in the world are there so many unusual and bizarre animals. Think of the whole marsupial family including koalas, kangaroos and wallabies, wombats, and other lesser known gems like bilbies, bandicoots and potoroos all of which have pouches for their babies.

Then there are the mono...

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