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Where to go on holiday in 2019 – the hotlist

Where to go on holiday in 2019 – the hotlist A total solar eclipse, two World Cups, several new flights and walking trails, and big birthday celebrations from Havana to the Grand Canyon – here are our top 40 destinations worth checking out this year Continue reading… Go to Source Author: The Guardian Tweet

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A new way to hop around Australia’s Kangaroo Island

A new way to hop around Australia’s Kangaroo Island There’s no need to lug a tent and stove around the South Australian island’s Wilderness Trail. It’s now possible to stay in a new, comfy lodge each night My guide was wearing odd socks. One was green, the other a bright shade of yellow, so as he walked, it was like being flashed by the Australian flag. With his Steve Irwin-style khaki shorts and shirt, thick grizzly beard, brown Tilley hat and aviator sunglasses, Trevor looked every bit the outback hiker. “Admit it,” he reasoned, as we walked along the coast, waves crashing and frothing beneath our feet, “it will make it difficult to forget me.” Continue reading… Go to…

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Mount Taranaki: will the New Zealand peak’s ‘living person’ status bring respect?

Mount Taranaki: will the New Zealand peak’s ‘living person’ status bring respect? The North Island mountain is to get the same rights as people and, amid environmental concerns, the Māori community hopes this will mean tourists treat it with care New Zealand must feel like the reserved sibling in a family of exhibitionists. You have big, brash Australia to one side, the dreamy, tropical South Pacific isles above and alluring, mysterious Antarctica to the south. Which could go some way to explaining why New Zealand has been left off so many maps of the world, from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum to those simple cartographic artworks by the likes of Starbucks and Ikea. Last month, Tourism NZ launched a…

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The star quality of New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island

The star quality of New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island The off-grid island 90km off the coast of Auckland is a Dark Sky Sanctuary ideal for star gazing – and the views by day are heavenly too I was glad I had such terrible jet lag. Wide awake at 3.30am with my nine-year-old daughter on our lodge balcony, I stared for hours at the most incredible night sky I’ve ever seen before the dawn slowly started to rub out the stars on the horizon and the multiple shooting stars faded away. We were going to my girlfriend’s big family reunion in Auckland, New Zealand, but when we found out that Great Barrier Island, just off the coast, had been recently…

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A local’s guide to Australia’s Gold Coast: 10 top tips

A local’s guide to Australia’s Gold Coast: 10 top tips As the Commonwealth Games get under way in this sunny Queensland city, an insider offers tips on what to see and do – and where to eat and drink – away from the sporting action Hugging Queensland’s southeast coast for a whopping 70km, the City of the Gold Coast extends far beyond the borders of Surfers Paradise, its hedonistic heart. Once renowned for its tackiness, the “Goldie” has, ahead of the Commonwealth Games, attained a level of sophistication few expected of the city that birthed gold lamé bikini-clad Meter Maids. A raft of swanky new hotels, including The Darling, opened last month, the ongoing refurbishment of Hota, the city’s…

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A local’s guide to Perth, Western Australia

A local’s guide to Perth, Western Australia As Qantas launches London-Perth, the first non-stop flights between the UK and Australia, Anna Reece of the Perth arts festival picks her favourite cultural venues, restaurants, bars and beaches in the city It’s among the most geographically isolated cities in the world, and sits on the edge of the Indian Ocean, so it’s only natural that the bright lights of Perth come from the sun and the sky. And that’s what gives Perth its sense of openness, endlessness and possibility. Drive in any direction out of the city and the diversity of the Western Australian landscape is at your fingertips. Head north to Coral Bay, Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef and it’s…

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Australia’s largest outdoor gallery: the Silo Art Trail, Victoria

Australia’s largest outdoor gallery: the Silo Art Trail, Victoria Victoria’s ‘cowboy’ country is being rediscovered through a series of towering portraits on disused silos that form a road trip with a difference Australia is a road-trip dream, with its big, bleached skies and wide, open stretches of tarmac. Until now, however, one route through rural Victoria’s wheatbelt has been a road less travelled – not so much off the beaten track as off the tourist radar entirely. Careering north from Melbourne to Mildura and the mighty Murray river, travellers have often passed the one-horse towns, parched plains and pink lakes (it’s the algae) of the Wimmera Mallee, Victoria’s wild west, without a backward glance. A shame: they’ve missed treats…

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A local’s guide to Sydney

A local’s guide to Sydney Ringed by national parks and blessed with more than 100 beaches, the best bits of Sydney are outdoors, active and (mostly) free. Here’s how to enjoy it like a local ‘The best things about Sydney are free,” resident Russell Crowe has said. It is arguably the top metropolis on the planet for soaking up the scenery, but Sydneysiders don’t take these God-given gifts for granted. When they’re not out in the surf, swimming laps in an ocean pool, or sailing around the harbour, locals are barbecuing, picnicking, or finding other ways to enjoy the subtropical setting. Continue reading… Ringed by national parks and blessed with more than 100 beaches, the best bits of Sydney…

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Passing panorama: New Zealand’s glory from a train window

Passing panorama: New Zealand’s glory from a train window Thirty years after the TranzAlpine was launched, Susan Grossman boards one of the world’s most scenic trains at Christchurch, before completing her trip on North Island’s Northern Explorer It’s 8.15am on the dot and with one mellow toot the TranzAlpine passenger train is off on its journey from Christchuch to Greymouth. As we rattle through the flat and fertile Canterbury plains we are soon climbing up steep gorges in the foothills of the Southern Alps, the backbone of South Island. Below, I can see the startling blue water of the Waimakariri river valley. Pink and blue lupins line the tracks along with rows of pines. The railway covers 223km, tracking…

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