Category Travel Tips

Photo Friday: Whitehaven is one of the world’s best beaches

Whitehaven Beach in Queensland's Whitsunday region is one of the world's most beautiful beaches

Whitehaven Beach, located in the heart of the Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, is regularly voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Comprised of 100 percent pure white silica, the seven-kilometer beach stretches along one side of Whitsunday Island, which is the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsunday region.

At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, which is a stunning cover where the tide shifts the sand and water to create an ever changing fusion of colors.

I took this picture on a scenic helicopter flight from Hamilton Island. We swept along the full stretch of Whitehaven Beach before heading out to Heart Reef, the other iconic attraction in this part of the world.

There are several ways to access Whitehaven Beach. Many companies offer day trips (from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island) by  power boat or sailing boat. Most overnight sailing trips also stop here...

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Photo Friday: Bull elephant in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater

Elephant in Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater

 

I photographed this ancient bull elephant in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.  He looked like he’d had more than his fare share of battles over the years.

Located west of Arusha, the Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage site because it has yielded an exceptional long sequence of crucial evidence related to human evolution and human-environment dynamics and its stunning landscape combined with its spectacular concentration of wildlife is one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet. It is home to more than 25,000 animals, including the world’s highest density of lions. Maybe this old elephant has had a few run ins with those lions.

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Ngorongoro Crater

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Ngorongoro Crater -3.161752, 35.587670

 

 

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Photo Friday: Heart Reef for Valentine’s Day

Heart Reef on the Great Barrier Reef

I took this photo from a helicopter flying over Hardy Reef in the Whitsundays section of the Great Barrier Reef.  It’s a perfect image to celebrate Valentine’s Day, don’t you think? Many a wedding proposal has been made as loving couples fly over the reef but you are not allowed to snorkel or dive here because of its protected status.

Cruise Whitsundays Reefworld pontoon is not far away and you can spend the day here snorkeling and diving, feeding the giant potato cod and exploring the surrounding reef in a semi submersible. There are helicopter flights from here to see Heart Reef and, if you are so inclined, you can even sleep over on the Reefworld pontoon after the day trippers have left. It is a serenely beautiful experience.

I’d love to hear if you know of any other natural structures in the shape of hearts around the world.

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Heart Reef

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Heart Reef -19.746975, 149.207542
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Mr & Mrs Smith: The World’s Boutique Hotel Specialists

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Have you heard of Mr & Mrs Smith? No they are not Brad and Angelina but Brits James and Tamara Lohan who founded the award-winning Mr & Mrs Smith hotel website, booking service and free-to-join travel club that specializes in finding the world’s most inspiring boutique hotels.

Now with offices in London, New York and Melbourne, Mr & Mrs Smith has a detailed website and has published nine coffee-table guidebooks. Its hand-picked and anonymously reviewed collection features 900 of the world’s most stylish stays.

And what about the name, Mr & Mrs Smith? Well, they are all about great escapes with your other half — a wink to couples everywhere, especially those who fancy checking into a fabulous hotel under this classic dirty-weekend pseudonym. In a nod to the changing times, however, they have added a Smith Family range of hotels too.

There are some wonder...

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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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