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

The Definitive USA City Trip Guide

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WSI

 

When it comes to USA holiday adventures, the country is home to literally hundreds of natural and historic places of interest. From the Deep South to Washington DC, no country in the world is home to such an eclectic mix of histories and cultures, not to mention spectacular national park areas. However, as culturally and scenically spectacular as the outdoors is in the USA, it’s also worth experiencing some of the countries most iconic cities.

New York

Credit New York Tourism

Credit New York Tourism

Easily the most iconic of cities in the USA, the city originally founded as New Amsterdam isn’t just worth visiting in order to take a trip to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Rather, New York is the capital in the USA (and some might even say the world) for live theatrical performances. In like manner, a trip to New York isn’t just about yellow taxi cabs and the bustle of one of the world’s busiest cities. Rather, with places like Rockwell Beach, The American Museum of natural History and a plethora of contemporary art galleries, New York is the place to sample the best of the USA both culturally and historically, especially in a limited time frame.

Orlando  

For families with young children and adult thrill seekers alike, Orlando is undoubtedly the best city in the USA when it comes to fun things to do combined with some pretty spectacular natural surrounds. The city to base yourself in in mind of access to theme parks such as Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando is also just a short drive from the Florida Everglades, The Kennedy Space Center and mile long stretches of white sandy beaches in places like Daytona.

New Orleans 

Credit Helen Wibley

Credit Helen Wibley

The capital of the Deep South, New Orleans is awash with early European, Latin, African and Caribbean influences. Accumulating throughout the year in carnivals and a unique sense of celebration, these influences also lead to New Orleans being the place in the USA for mouthwatering seafood and unique music offerings. The best way to get a real sense of the city? Make sure to take a trip to the French Quarter and Preservation Hall, the unofficial home of Jazz in the city. Even better, if visiting in February, make sure to experience Mardi Gras! 

Truly Experiential Holidays In New Zealand

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WSI

 

New Zealand often feels like mother nature did her best to condense the very best of the natural world into two relatively small islands teetering on the utmost edge of the known world. In New Zealand, you can experience everything from Otago Peninsula beaches which are the day and evening resting place of lumbering sea lion colonies, to UK summertime skiing over some of the world’s most active volcanoes, but what makes a truly experiential holiday in New Zealand?

Credit Tourism New Zealand

Credit Tourism New Zealand

Whale Watching In Kaikoura

credit Helen Wibley

credit Helen Wibley

Just a short drive outside of Christchurch, Kaikoura is the place in New Zealand for year round giant sperm whale sightings. Of course, sightings aren’t ever guaranteed, however, Kaikoura itself is a magical town based on a lush green peninsula where New Zealand’s western mountains literally come to meet the sea. This being the case, the area is perfect for individual travelers and family groups who are eager to get up close and personal with New Zealand at it’s most scenic and naturally exciting.

Queenstown  

Ready to experience the ultimate adrenaline rush? Queenstown in New Zealand might only be the size of a small UK or European market town but is often classed as the world’s foremost destination for adventure travel. From jet boating down miles of dramatic rivers to bungee jumping, skiing and skydiving, Queenstown is literally host to almost every adventure activity that there is. The only question is, are you daring enough to experience all of them?

Piha Beach

A local surfing paradise, Piha is a small coastal settlement near Auckland with just 600 full-time year round residents. Unarguably, though, Piha is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand and is a must point of call for both water sports enthusiasts and natural beauty lovers.

Australia Holidays & Australia’s Most Must-See Attractions

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Because Australia is so big, one of the most common questions which people planning 3-4 week in length holidays to the area ask, is which parts of Australia are absolutely unmissable? As part of your upcoming trip to Australia, we’ve therefore selected the three most experiential places of interest in Australia, areas which we feel personify the very best of the country both climatically and culturally.

Credit Australian Tourism

Credit Australian Tourism

Cairns

Credit Australia Tourism

Credit Australia Tourism

Australia holidays are typically about sun sea sand and the unique spectacle of the Australian Outback. However, Australia holidays can be just as much about lush tropical rainforest. As well then, as being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns in Australia is the ideal place to experience not just the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory but also some of the world’s oldest natural bush and rainforest areas.

Australia Holidays In Australia’s Red Centre  

Credit New Mexico Tourism and Sedona Centre of Commerce

Credit New Mexico Tourism and Sedona Centre of Commerce

 

Of course, the red glow of the Australian Outback is just as iconic as quintessentially Australian places of interest such as the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef. This being the case, no trip to Australia is complete without venturing off into the infamous Red Center of the country. The only thing to keep in mind is the fact that in summer especially, a trip to Australia’s center will be accompanied by excessive heat high UV exposure.

Sydney

Credit Australia and NSW Tourism

Credit Australia and NSW Tourism

Lastly, Australia holidays which don’t take the time to experience one or more of Australia’s cities are definitely missing out. In this case, we’ve chosen Sydney as the best place to start or end a trip Down Under due not just to the cosmopolitan vibe of the city, but also it’s proximity to the nearby Blue Mountains. Even better, from Sydney itself, trips can be taken directly out onto the Great Barrier reef and on to a number of surrounding islands.   

The Tradition Of The USA Road Trip

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The road trip in the USA has long been associated with an expression of freedom and adventure. Starting in the 1920’s with the boom in the automobile industry, the cross country road trip quickly became synonymous with the iconic Route 66 connecting Chicago and Los Angeles. However, embarking on a road trip in the USA wasn’t always about self-discovery and adventure. Rather, in the 1930’s thousands of Americans fled westward from Chicago in the wake of the then great depression.

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

Of course, today much of Route 66 in particular has been bypassed, however, it is still possible to take the same road trip across the heartland of the USA and in doing so experience some truly spectacular scenic and cultural offerings. The only question is, which destinations along the way are truly the most experiential?

Amarillo, Texas  

Made famous by several musical numbers, Amarillo in Texas is often overlooked by international tourists to the USA. However, for those looking to experience magnificent scenery, the city is a must visit destination primarily because of the city’s proximity to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Considered one of the finest national parks in the USA, the canyon which the park encompasses is the second largest in the country complete with miles of well maintained, cycling and hiking trails.

 

Grand Canyon South Rim  

Credit Jackie Appleton

Credit Jackie Appleton

The first and foremost canyon complex in the USA, those planning a road trip west towards Los Angeles should never pass up the opportunity to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon itself. Unlike the North Rim, the South Rim park is open all year round, making the area one of the only ways for winter tourists to experience the majesty of the one of America’s most iconic natural marvels. 

 

 

Santa Monica, California

Credit Helen Wibley

Credit Helen Wibley

Getting back to the city after a road trip west, Santa Monica is the perfect place to ease back into civilization slowly. From unwinding on the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel to people watching at the beach, Santa Monica epitomizes the laid back, beach life atmosphere which the California coast is most famous for. The only problem is, after a cross country USA road trip, you will likely want to hang out in the city for a lot longer than originally planned in order to sample the very best of the city both culturally and atmospherically.

Top Tips for Namibia

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Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

  • Ensure you have a good dust proof holder for your cameras – the dust gets everywhere.
  • If your interest is in the tribes of Namibia, ensure your itinerary includes meeting with the Himba (in the NW of the country) and San (along the Kalahari Desert)
  • You will take a lot of photos. Have plenty of memory or down load your photos on to your laptop/stick at regular intervals.
  • Have patience when watching a waterhole and let your eyes wander across the whole scene. It is amazing how a big animal can just disappear in to the background. A twitch of an ear or swish of a tail on the edge of your eye could produce a lion that you had missed when you first arrived.
  • Watch the behaviour of the animals. If they are looking in one direction then check to see what is interesting them.
  • Once your fuel tank registers half empty think of filling up. Petrol stations are few and far between.
  • Sleep with the windows open. Hearing a lion roar or hyena call at night adds to the experience of Namibia.
  • Don’t just tear across the sand dunes when you go quad biking. Go with a guide that knows what lives in this harsh environment and what can be found hidden in the shifting sands.
  • Wear plenty of layers of clothes when you go out for your early morning game drive. You can peal of each layer as the sun warmth rises.
  • Check out the bakeries. The German influence on the baking is very evident and delicious.

Namibia is a wonderful country with so much to offer, contact us and let us open your eyes with a bespoke, tailor made holiday just for you – call 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Tales from the Waterhole – actually from the River Bank

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Vicki Tester

 

 

The morning had started early with a swift but fulsome breakfast and then set of from the camp on a walking safari deep in the South Luangwa National Park. There were just the two of us with guide, ranger and deputy guide. The adrenalin was high from the very beginning as we set off straight towards three lions and a lioness. The ranger and the guide had a quick chat, agreed that lion love was in the air and all would be OK. And so it proved but it had us all awake very quickly.

We had a truly exciting morning walking along the side of the river and then inland through the ebony trees. It was hot and the stop for tea in the shade was very welcome. We had a view across a fast shrinking pool in a bend in the river that was full of hippo and crocs. Hippo tempers frayed and fights kept breaking out causing disturbances across the length and breadth of the pool. Water flew and enraged bull hippo tried to bite chunks off rivals. Meanwhile crocs were feasting on a dead hippo, again sending spray in to the air as they spun to pull hunks of the carcass.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Finally, and within half a mile of our next camp, we came across a leopard at the base of the ebony tree were she had stashed her kill. She watched us watching her and even allowed photos to be taken before climbing in to the thick branches of the tree.

A shower and a light lunch later saw the two of us in safari chairs, in the shade watching the slow trickle of the river between sand banks. Birds a plenty were to be seen including skimmers and a steady stream of antelope came down to drink. The puku knew about crocs (and they were right to be wary as we could see some crocs in the shallows) but were tempted by the sparse green grass found on some of the island in the river. To minimise the risk they made huge leaps across the water and we spent many a happy minute trying to catch the leap on camera with mixed results.

What a memorable day and there was still the evening game drive to look forward to.

To find out more, or plan your bespoke, tailor-made holiday in this exiting country, please call 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Tailor Made Australia Holidays

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WSI

 

Holidays in Australia have long been associated with spectacular beaches, raw and expansive scenery and unique activities such as great barrier reef diving. However, when people plan holidays in and around Australia, they often forget one thing, namely just how big Australia is.

Credit Australia Tourism

Credit Australia Tourism

Of course, it’s Australia being so big that gives rise to there being so much of the country to explore in the first place. From the timeless beauty of Kakadu national park to holidays in Australia spent exploring the spectacular bays bordering the great barrier reef, Australia’s bigness gives rise to the most part of its beauty. The only problem is that the sheer size of Australia can be somewhat disorientating.

At Experience holidays, our specialists make sure that you can experience Australia without such disorientation. We’re travel experts. Even better, because of our experience  planning holidays in not just Australia but all around the world, we can even help you save when it comes to your holidays transport and accommodation costs.

A lot of people who travel to Australia for the first time are shocked by what can appear to be comparatively high travel and convenience prices. This is because Australia has a land mass equivocal in size to the United States but only 8% of the population and infrastructure. In this case, it’s always best to book as much of your Australian transport and accommodation as far in advance as possible. 

Tailor Made Australia Holidays For Better Peace of Mind

The good news is that we can take care of all that for you. From you landing in Australia to your later departure, we’ll take care of all your transport and accommodation arrangements. At the same time, we’ll equip you with a customized itinerary designed to make sure that your Australia Holiday is as experiential as possible. From Melbourne to the majesty of the Whitsundays, well help you experience the best of Australia’s  bigness as part of a truly once in a lifetime holiday. 

Tailor Made Holidays New Zealand

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WSI

 

From skydiving to whale watching and glacier trekking, almost all holidays in New Zealand are centred around adventure. However, as one of the world’s most pristine and unspoiled countries, holidays in New Zealand are also about experiencing some of the world’s most beautiful national parks and awe-inspiring scenery.

Credit New Zealand Tourism

Credit New Zealand Tourism

From Able Tasman national park which runs the length of some of the most pristine beaches in New Zealand to the skyscraping peaks of the protected parkland around Mt Cook, New Zealand is nothing if not naturally inspiring. The only question is, which are New Zealand’s absolutely must-see natural wonders?

Mt Cook National Park

Picture courtesy of Miles Holden

Picture courtesy of Miles Holden

Watched over by Mt Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand, holidays in the land of the long white cloud simply aren’t complete without experiencing the breathtaking expansiveness of the mountain locally called Aoraki. From nearby skiing on the Tasman Glacier to midnight star gazing, Mt Cook national park is a must for anyone who wants to experience alpine New Zealand at it’s finest.

Tongariro National Park

The oldest national park in New Zealand, Tongariro is a must for anyone interested in Maori culture and breathtaking mountain vistas. Encompassing Mt Ruapehu, one of the most active volcanoes in New Zealand, Tongariro is also the country’s winter sports capital making the area a mecca for snow seekers come June & July.

Abel Tasman National Park

For sun chasers rather than snow chasers, on the other hand, holidays in New Zealand are perhaps best complemented by visits to Able Tasman national park. Locally famous for benefiting from almost year round sunshine, the Able Tasman area covers 22,530 hectares of golden beach studded coastline and is absolutely perfect for nature lovers.

Of course, holidays in New Zealand are about much more than just inspiring national park adventures. To really experience the country, though, it’s definitely worth adding a visit to at least, one or two to your own itinerary. 

Tailor made holidays USA

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WSI

 

Are you planning a trip to the USA? From the laid back mystique and atmosphere of the deep south to the chance to follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs in Utah, America literally has something for everyone. This being the case, every trip to the USA should strive to sample the best of American culture coupled with the stunning natural beauty of some of the world’s most magnificent national park areas. However, which are the most truly unmissable travel destinations in the USA?

Credit capital Regions USA

Credit capital Regions USA

The Rockies

Credit Rocky Mountaineer

Credit Rocky Mountaineer

Stretching 3,000 miles from British Columbia in Canada down through the USA and on into Mexico, the Rockies are one if the world’s most magnificent and scenic of natural wonders. The best place to explore the Rockies? By taking a trip to Wyoming’s Yellow Stone national park, the Rockies can be experienced in all their natural glory courtesy over 3,500 square miles of canyons, alpine rivers, untouched forests and spectacular  geological phenomenon.

 

The Deep South

Photograph by kind permission of North Carolina Division of Tourism

Photograph by kind permission of North Carolina Division of Tourism

For culture junkies, on the other hand, a road trip around the Deep South in the USA is about immersing oneself in states which are awash with Caribbean, French and Spanish influences. In fact, no trip to the USA is complete without sampling the mouthwatering local cuisine in places like Louisianna and Mississippi before experiencing the unrivaled natural beauty of South Carolina.

 

Tailor Made Holidays In Alaska

Credit Pearl and Colin Frankling

Credit Pearl and Colin Frankling

Alternatively, increasing amounts of USA holiday makers are saying that no trip to the USA can be justified without experiencing the awe-inspiring raw beauty of Alaska. Entirely different from the rest of the USA, a trip to Alaska is about towering glacial ice walls, national parks like Denali where grizzly bears outnumber full-time human residents and whale watching in arctic coastal waters.

Of course, a trip to the USA can encompass everything from sightseeing around New York and Chicago to being hypnotized by the bright lights of Las Vegas. Thankfully then, at Experience Holidays, we can work with you to put together an itinerary designed around you seeing as much or as little of the USA as you want to. Just tell us where you would like to go and we’ll work hard to make your holiday as experiential as possible. 

Top tips for Thailand

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Vicki Tester

 

  • Bangkok isn’t just the gateway to Thailand, there are so many things to see and do it is worth spending a few days here. The Grand Palace and Temple of the Dawn are just a couple of examples.
  • Eat food from the street stalls. It is cheap and tasty. In a lot of places you can find delicious options on the street 24 hours a day.
  • Temples – there are so many to see from the magnificent to miniature. Don’t try to cram them all in. Narrow it down, for example Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew.
  • Visiting an open market is a must and often where you will find the best prices and best goods. Some of the best markets are Chatuchak Weekend market, the floating market and the night market in Chiang Mai.
  • Beaches – Thailand has some stunning white sand beaches. Lamai beach in Koh Samui, Freedom beach in Patong and Railey beach are some of the best beaches in Thailand.
  • Avoid the rainy season, although it’s not constant rain there are usually heavy rain downpours most afternoons/nights. The best time to travel is November to February when humidity and temperatures aren’t so high.
  • Learn to cook authentic Thai food. If you are a fan of Thai food why not learn to cook it yourself and impress your friends and family when you get home.
  • If travelling with children, Phuket has loads to keep the whole family entertained. From stunning beaches to water parks and activities like paddle boating, horseback riding and mountain bikes.

If you are interested in finding out more or putting together your own bespoke, tailor made holiday to this fascinating country then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Tourism Thailand

Picture courtesy of Tourism Thailand

 

Picture courtesy of Tourism Thailand

Picture courtesy of Tourism Thailand

 

Picture courtesy of Tourism Thailand

Picture courtesy of Tourism Thailand

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