sailing tagged posts

Insider tips on exploring the Komodo Islands

Three Komodo dragons up close

Three Komodo dragons sunbake at the waterhole. Each is three-meters-long with prehistoric claws, beady eyes and scaly skin, which looks like woven metal armor. It feels like I’ve done a Dr Who and dropped into a dinosaur convention. Our diminutive guide is armed with nothing but a pronged stick.

One heaves itself up and lurches towards me, so close I can hear its guttural hiss. A foot-long pink forked tongue darts in and out of its mouth. Meanwhile, saliva is drooling from the other two. Even DreamWorks couldn’t have come up with scarier looking creatures. Suddenly, my walk in the Komodo Islands National Park doesn’t feel like…well…a walk in the park anymore.

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Six Best Adventures on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast

Six Ways to Experience Kauai's Spectacular Na Pali Coast

 

Kauai is the northernmost and oldest island in the Hawaiian chain. It is draped in emerald valleys of tropical rainforests, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs often sporting dramatic waterfalls. And Kauai’s Na Pali Coast offers one of Hawaii’s most iconic landscapes, 26 kilometers of sheer fluted cliffs, some up to 1200 meters high, dropping straight into the Pacific Ocean. Na Pali, means ‘the cliffs’ in the Hawaiian language, and they are the must-do adventure when you are visiting the ‘Garden Isle’. This coastline is completely wild…there’s no development, no phone reception and no roads. The roads end at the northern and southern entrances to Na Pali so you must explore it via boat, on foot or from the air. Along the way depending on the seasons you may also see spinner dolphins, bottle-nose dolphins, whales, green turtles and even monk seals.

Last year one of my daughters and I kayaked along the coastline in what must be one of the world’s great one-day kayaking trips, often nicknamed the ‘Everest of kayaking trips’!  We also enjoyed a 13 kilometer round-trip day hike along the coast and up to the Hanakapai’ai waterfall.

There are, in fact, six different adventures you can enjoy along the Na Pali coast. Here is the lowdown on how to do it.

Sailing

The best sailing experience...

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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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