• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

New Zealand: Tailor Made Holidays To South Westland National Park & Glacier Country

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WSI

 

South Westland and New Zealand’s very own Glacier Country national park, is easily one of the world’s most unpretentious and yet should be iconic travel destinations. Laying between the sleepy pioneer gold rush townships of Hokitika and the world’s self professed adventure capitals of Wanaka and Queenstown, townships on New Zealand’s west coast are often only passed through by tourists eager to get to the latter two townships. However, if you’re looking for a truly once in a lifetime tailor made holiday and experience, it’s worth planning New Zealand travel itineraries around at least a few days and nights exploring what South Westland itself really has to offer.

Credit Tourism New Zealand

Credit Tourism New Zealand

Starting in places like Greymouth and Hokitika, the road down into South Westland is bordered in most places by green and yellow, typically Lord of The Rings sweeps of unspoiled mountain sides. Moreover, as one travels further south, Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain is often a prominent feature upon the horizon, as green levels of expansive agricultural land finally give way to the snow capped ever winter of glacier country.

Tailor made holidays and adventures into glacier country, will subsequently usually be made memorable by hiking tours taken onto either the Franz Josef or Fox glacier in the heart of South Westland. Terminating in subtropical rain forest, you usually won’t ever have to worry about the cold. Rather, hiking on both glaciers is almost like taking a surreal hike across an exposed blue ice and white crystalline desert. However, rather than travel onward after ticking a tour of two of the world’s most unique glaciers off your bucket list, places like Fox Glacier are also famous for being the location of the world’s most scenic sky dive.

Even better, South Westland in New Zealand is home to deserted gold rush towns, miles of hiking trails and spectacular secluded beaches complete with resident seal colonies and abundance of natural flora and fauna. In this case, if you are trying to plan truly memorable tailor made holidays to New Zealand, think about spending three or four days experiencing the country at its most naturally striking and atmospheric in South Westland.

Tales from a Waterhole 1 – by Peter Ellis

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Vicki Tester

 

The team here at Experience Holidays ask me why Africa is my favourite destination. Apart from the fact that I was born and raised in Kenya and have a life long love of wildlife, I love the fact that every time you go out in to the bush you are not sure what you will see or encounter.

I had a 3 week holiday in Namibia last November and I thought that a few tales of what we saw while travelling would help explain why I keep going back.

We arrived at a big waterhole in central Etosha National Park where we had seen a male and female lion on a baby giraffe they had just killed. The lions had gone and the remains were being squabbled over by a couple of hyena and half a dozen jackel. On the other side of the waterhole a small herd of kudu were nervously drinking. An alarm bark from one of them made them all scatter. One of the youngsters leaped forward straight in to the mud in the centre of the waterhole and sank up to its chest. The more it thrashed to get out the deeper it sank. 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 The rest of the herd left with barely a glance backwards.

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

One of the jackals saw an opportunity for fresh, uncontested meat and leapt across the water and on to the drying mud. We held our breath as it approached the rear of the kudu (images passed through my mind of a rhino we had to put down in 1962 in Kenya when it got stuck in mud in the Nairobi National Park and the hyena could reach its rear end) but thankfully the jackal started to sink in to the mud. It backed off quickly and lay down to await developments. Then a hyena walked around the waterhole and began to wade out but the water was too deep and anyway it had a belly so full it was waddling.

All the while other game came to drink and ignored the drama. The kudu kept on struggling and slowly began to break through the mud until finally with a huge effort it was free and on the bank. A huge cheer went up from the people in the 4 vehicles watching this drama.

The mud covered kudu looked lost for a moment and then tagged on to another herd of  kudu that were just leaving the waterhole. 

Keep an eye out for my next tale coming soon. 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

The Texas State Fair: A Must Experience For Autumnal Travellers to the USA

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WSI

 

Thinking about heading to Texas in autumn 2016? Whether you are planning on embarking on tailor made holidays starting in Amarillo and ending in Las Vegas or Santa Monico, if you are heading in the direction of Texas in autumn 2016, it’s more than worth experiencing the Texas State Fair.

Credit Helen Wibley

Credit Helen Wibley

Held annually every year since 1886, the Texas state fair starts on the last Friday in September in Dallas, and runs on right through for a full show stopping 24 days. Until that is, even the locals have started to get weary of eating deep fried Oreos while taking in the sights, sounds and aromatic scents of the fair, from the vantage of the fair’s own dedicated gondola ride.

Of course, stereotypical USA overindulgence isn’t something which is going to be on everyone’s holiday bucket list of potential travel itineraries. However, the Texas State Fair is the most highly anticipated of state fairs in America. Even better, the fair represents a once a year opportunity to sample almost every facet of American culture.

From professional American football, to car shows, amusement park rides, rodeo events and world class entertainment line ups, the Texas State fair allows people to experience America in all its pomp and flamboyancy, just without having to visit everywhere in America to do so.

The best part? With our self drive tailor made holidays, you will have the flexibility to visit the Texas State Fair for as little or as long as you like. Moreover, if following route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, adapting travel itineraries slightly in order to sample the State Fair can make for a truly spectacular build up to finally heading further north ready for your once in a lifetime grand canyon experience.           

Lord Howe Island: Australia’s Best Kept Secret?

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WSI

 

Ever heard of Lord Howe Island? If you’re like 99% of people who travel to Australia each year, you probably haven’t. Few mainstream travel agents and guide books after all, ever venture far from promoting Australia’s most iconic of travel and holiday destinations. However, at Experience Holidays, we’re passionate about providing the best and most bespoke tailor made holidays that our clients have ever experienced. In this case, our holiday experts always try hard to promote more off the beaten track places of interest.

Copyright Renderings

Copyright Renderings

Secreted away in the Tasman Sea approximately 500km off the golden coast lines of Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbor, Lord Howe Island is one such destination. In fact, Lord Howe Island is so different to mainland Australia, that the island itself is almost like a little known mix of Australia and the country’s southern neighbour New Zealand.

Usually visited as part of our New South Wales tailor made holidays, Lord Howe Island is a volcanic, crescent shaped destination with breathtaking mountainous topography. Why do our holiday experts recommend visiting? That’s simple. 75% of Lord Howe Island is made up of permanent park reserve. Lush tropical forest and palm studded beaches subsequently make up the main part of the island, whilst the island itself is surrounded by the pristine and spectacular beauty of the world’s southernmost true coral reef.

For nature lovers and enthusiasts, Lord Howe Island is at the same time almost just as much a floating aviary as New Zealand, with the forested dip and swim of the island being home to a spectacular variety of unique bird species. The best part? Lord Howe Island is host to everything from spectacular walking and underwater activities, to exclusive dining and lodging. In fact, when you visit Lord Howe Island, you visit an island with just 400 tourist beds, making it the place in Australia to really get away from it all.

Ready to sample Australia’s best kept secret for yourself? The best part of our tailor made holidays, is that you get to tell our travel specialists where you want to go and what you want to experience. So call or contact us and talk to us about visiting Lord Howe Island yourself and let us start putting together a truly one in a life time travel itinerary.       

New Zealand: Are You A North Island Kiwi Or A South Island Kiwi?

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WSI

 

There is a peculiar myth associated with travelling to New Zealand. This myth being that the island upon which you first arrive will be the one that you fall in love with. Of course, when you’re planning tailor made holidays to somewhere like New Zealand, you probably want to see and experience the best of all that the country has to offer. However, North Island New Zealand and South Island New Zealand are distinctly different.

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Arriving in the North Island, travellers are met by the familiar cosmopolitan city airs of either Auckland or Wellington. One a windy city and one a harbour side city of sails daringly resting atop 47 naturally capped volcanoes, both Wellington and Auckland are visually stunning and culturally iconic cities in their own right. However, arriving at either as part of package tours or tailor made holidays to New Zealand, people sample New Zealand’s social and cosmopolitan atmosphere, prior to the Land of The Long White Cloud’s unspoiled natural magnificence.

Alternatively then, when one arrives in South Island New Zealand, one is met with much smaller city sizes, where New Zealand’s awe inspiring natural ruggedness really is just a stone’s throw in any given direction. Much more laid back, new Zealand’s South Island is home to a total population equivalent to just a quarter of that of the city of Auckland. Likewise, distances between destinations are markedly increased.

Of course, people planning self drive tailor made holidays to New Zealand will fall in love immediately with South Island’s epic expanses of mountain ranges and impenetrable bush. However, while the north of the South Island is renowned for almost year round sunshine, the South Island itself is markedly different from the North in that coastal areas especially are much more rugged and in many cases only accessible by short hiking trails.

Looking to experience the best of both islands? Itineraries which focus on facilitating tailor made holidays which sample both islands are perfect for travellers with enough time on their hands. The only question is, will where you initially arrive affect your choice of favourite island?        

Tanjong Jara Resort – Malaysia

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Vicki Tester

 

We have just had news in and are delighted to share with you that Tanjong Jara Resort has been selected as one the top four hotels to stay in worldwide for the month of January in High Life, British Airways’ in-flight magazine. 

Tanjong Jara Resort is in located on the East Coast Peninsular Malaysia and a property we have used to send many clients over the years.  It has luxurious rooms which all face out over the South China Sea and tropical gardens. 

Here you can live full board in the hospitality of the resorts staff from local villages, feast on the exquisite fresh local food, enjoy the many activities and the traditional Malay life.  Or you can just laze and enjoy the surroundings. 

This is a place where you can tailor your days to suit you!

 If this has got you wanting a piece of holiday luxury then please contact us to book your bespoke, tailor made holiday on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Tanjong Jara Resort

Picture courtesy of Tanjong Jara Resort

 

Picture courtesy of Tanjong Jara Resort

Picture courtesy of Tanjong Jara Resort

Ready To Experience The Real USA?

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WSI

 

Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of the American dream. However, originally the American dream wasn’t about just economic success and prosperity. Rather, the original American dream was about pioneer spirit, braving the mystery of an as yet unexplored continent and experiencing the unique freedom of life away from the bustling hubbub of the big city. Moreover, this sense of pioneer spirit can still be experienced.

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

Taking in for example, the Rocky Mountain States and the real American heart land as part of bespoke tailor made holidays, people planning to travel to the USA can get ready to experience everything from breath taking panoramas of Yellowstone national park, to the pristine majesty of a million unspoiled acres of back-country in America’s Glacier National Parkland.

In fact, once you experience the real USA by adventuring off into the country’s interior, you will realise what a travesty it is, in regard to how most mainstream travel itineraries simply try to promote the USA’s biggest theme park destinations and urban attractions.

From dramatic mountain vistas on route from Missoula to Montana, to rolling expanses of pine forest and real cowboy country, tailor made holidays into the USA heartland are about experiencing America at its most naturally atmospheric and visually spectacular. Even better, most parts of the old wild west can be appreciated year round.

In fact, a lot of people speak to our travel specialists here at Experience Holidays, about visiting places like the Carolinas in fall specifically. This way people can experience the breathtaking natural marvel which sees the changes of Americas park lands from verdant green, to rust red and autumnal gold each year.

The only problem with experiencing the real USA? Well, America is a big country. So call or contact Experience Holidays in order for us to start working with you to craft your once in a lifetime American holiday adventure. With our itineraries and tailor made holidays, we’ll not only help you experience as much as possible of America’s interior, but make sure that you get to do so on your terms with a real sense of pioneer country spirit behind you.  

Kenya’s President announces Tourism Incentives

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Vicki Tester

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled a tourism incentive package to assist those travellers thinking of going to Kenya. These included:

  • Visa fees for children under 16 will be scrapped indefinitely from 01 Feb
  • Kenyan National Park fees have been capped at US$60 (down US$30) and do not include VAT
  • Improvements to the coastal infrastructure which will bypass some of the key pinch points
  • Expansion of both Nairobi and Mombasa airports to assist with handling greater numbers of visitors.

All these will help Kenya to once more be a key destination for tourists, particularly British travellers.

If you are thinking of a bespoke, tailor made safari to this vibrant destination, give us a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Australia: Independent Travel vs Tailor Made Holidays

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WSI

 

Australia has long been associated with epic expanses of untouched outback wilderness. This and the idea of finding oneself by going walkabout and sampling everything from turquoise blue bays, rustic red desert and the unique cosmopolitan atmosphere of cities like Sydney and Melbourne. However, is it better to sample Australia as an independent traveller who makes their plans and necessary travel and accommodation arrangements as they go? Or to book tailor made holidays with dedicated travel experts and specialists?

Credit Australia Tourism

Credit Australia Tourism

Well, for younger people especially, the former of these two options is often the most appealing. However, the truth is that Australia doesn’t really have an independent travel circuit anymore. Wait, what? How is that even possible? Well it’s simple really. Back in the glory days of the backpacker and serial adventurer, the last thing which would be on the mind of such travellers, was the suspected restriction of set travel itineraries and the advice of at home travel agent experts and specialists. It used to be simple, you’d just land in Oz, hire a car or camper and start your adventure on your terms.

However, things aren’t as simple as they used to be. Independent camper and hire car services have fast been gobbled up by singular operators with fixed places where people can pick up and return vehicles. In fact, with this being the case, almost all supposedly independent travellers to Australia follow the same set travel circuits. To make matters worse, Australia has experienced a significant cost of living increase in recent years. In this case, landing without any kind of pre-booked or pre-planned travel arrangements can be costly.

Secondly, because everyone always seems to be heading in the same direction in Australia, a lot of the country often goes unexplored, even by the most ardent of adventurers.

In a way then, Experience Holidays is one of the last remaining providers of truly bespoke Australian Holidays. What are the benefits of our tailor made holidays over independent travel down under? That’s simple. We’re as passionate about travel as you are. In this case, our travel experts listen to each of our clients and we put together individually based travel itineraries guaranteed to give you the holiday experience of a life time. Even better, because we vet each of the tour operators and transport and accommodation providers we work with, you’re always guaranteed to get the best prices and the best quality of service, wherever and however you plan your ultimate Australia get away. 

Call or contact us now to start your holiday planning

BA Introduce New Routes From London Gatwick

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Vicki Tester

 

British Airways have introduced three new flights out of London Gatwick for 2016 to make life a little easier for residents in the South East.  BA is now only the second airline to fly direct to the US from Gatwick.

The new routes include New York JFK, Lima in Peru and San Jose in Costa Rica, so if you have been thinking of travelling to any of these destinations then getting there just got easier!

 The other good news is that BA have also got their sale on right now so why not contact us to start planning your bespoke, tailor made holiday.  Please call us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

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