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

Region: Rocky Mountain States

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Yvonne Dann

 

The area encompassing the beautiful US Rocky Mountain States of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and into Colorado has its own unique cultural history, combining both the heroic and tragic aspects of the opening up of the American West – from the epic movement of pioneers from east to west to the displacement of a native population. From the Black Hills of South Dakota to Hell’s Canyon in Idaho, from Montana’s breathtaking Glacier National Park to the awesome expanses of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, the area is blessed with an unspoiled and natural scenic beauty.

The Real America

The Wild West

Wild West Story

Yellowstone in Winter

Favourite Road Trips

Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks

Two Countries, Three Cities – Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.

Summary

Two Countries, Three Cities

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.  There are plenty of options to add if time allows – self drive through the Canadian Rockies, add Washington State to include Mt Rainier and the Olympic Peninsular, or through Oregon reaching Crater Lake and the fantastic coast.

Day 1: Seattle

Day 4: Victoria

Day 7: Vancouver

Day 10: Seattle

Description

Description

In this itinerary you’ll explore three great cities, using a variety of transport methods as you travel between the USA and Canada, and between mainland and Islands. These three diverse cities, are all in fantastic oceanside locations, with great scenery and activities within easy reach.

 

Day 1 Seattle: Start with your flight to Seattle today. The city is a sophisticated blend of art, nature, technology and culture.  Take a stoll or food tour around Pike Place Market. Head up the Space Needle where the Observation Deck and restaurant offer a unique 360 degree view of mountains, Puget Sound and the City. Nearby, Chihuly Garden and Glass, showcases the career of glass artist Dale Chihuly with galleries, garden and the Glasshouse.

Visit historic Pioneer Square, shop at the Westgate centre and downtown area, and take Bill Speidels Underground Tour, strolling through the passages that once were the main roadways showcasing first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle prior to the Great Fire of 1889, and the subsequent rebuilding of Seattle on top

Three nights Seattle

Day 4 Victoria: Today take the Victoria Clipper passenger only ferry between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia. It’s less than a three hour cruise through Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada and into Victoria’s Inner Harbour – the heart of the city. Arrive and pass through Canadian immigration at the ferry terminal.

Double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and tearooms show off Victoria’s apparent British history. Victoria’s Inner Harbour is at the very heart of the city, and with plenty of attractions within easy reach. Have afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel, head out on a whale watching cruise – Victoria and its surrounding waters are world renowned for the many species of whales and the wildlife tours offered. Stroll around the exhibits and collections in the Royal BC museum.  Enjoy a cycle tour of the city.

Around 30 minutes drive from the city you’ll find Butchart Gardens – a National Historic Site of Canada.

Three nights Victoria

Day 7 Vancouver: A thrilling 30 minute seaplane flight is your transport to the Canada’s mainland and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Coming into Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre, located on Canada Place, you are just a short distance from many attractions in the city.

Stroll through diverse neighbourhoods or relax on sandy beaches. Visit the aquarium, take a city tour, cycle or stroll around the seawall in Stanley Park as you follow marked trails.  Head up Vancouver’s Lookout for a birds eye view over the city. Take a mini-tugboat ferry across False Creek to Granville Island where the biggest attraction is the Public Market – perhaps take a walking tour.

Head over to the North Shore for more adventure – Grouse Mountain has plenty of outdoor adventure. Take the Skyride – an 8 minute ride from the Valley Station to the summit. Also on the North Shore, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, suspended above the river and amongst the trees. Also here are the Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure.

Three nights Vancouver

Day 10 Seattle: End your journey here with a flight out of Vancouver International Airport, or alternatively continue your travels with a train journey between Vancouver and Seattle – bus is another option. You’ll pass through US Immigration and customs as you enter Seattle. Spend one final night in the city.

One night Seattle

Day 11 Fly Home: Say goodbye to Seattle as you make your way back to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Day 12 Arrive Home

Float planes at Vancouver – Credit CTC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Floatplanes Vancouver

Credit Yvonne Dann

Totem Pole Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens – Credit Yvonne Dann

Vancouver by air – Credit Yvonne Dann

Little Gems

Little Gems

A little gem of Seattle is the famous Pike Place Market, and the perfect way to see it is on a walking tour. See behind-the-scenes and experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 100+ year old landmark.

Pike Place Market

Credit Helen Wibley

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Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 2 – Further Afield

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania 2 – by Peter Ellis

 

So having had a couple of days to explore the City of Hobart and now with your hire car in hand then consider the following destination. To ensure you have seen a Tasmanian Devil I would strongly recommend that visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where they are working hard to ensure these much maligned creatures have a future – along with many other orphaned or damaged wild animals. The Devils numbers are down by 90% due to a virus that has spread through them but the good news is that scientists have found a vaccine that is seems effective and there is also evidence that the remaining wild animals have built their own immunity.

Tasmanian Devil, Hobart, Tasmania

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kangaroo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have a chance to see most of the other indigenous Tasmanian wildlife and even feed the kangaroo who are very friendly. A short drive from here brings you to Richmond which truly has a feel of being back in the UK. The Gaol here was built in the 1820s to provide slave labour for the booming farming community. It is still almost intact and well worth a visit.

For another full day out, drive down to the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, the destination of many of the convicts from Great Britain. Built as a modern and ground breaking penal institute it became a town in its own rights. Many of the buildings are ruins while others have been restored to their former glory – particularly the homes of the officers. There is much to see and do here so plan to be there early. Also ensure you join the cruise of the Bay taking you past Point Puer Boys Prison (for convict aged below 17) and the Island of the Dead. The staff play there parts convincingly and the exhibits are well thought through and very hands on. For the brave there is ghost tour in the evening. Do NOT get left in the isolation cell – not a chink of light anywhere and pass through 4 doors to get there.

One evening when the weather is clear, drive to the top of Wellington Mountain for spectacular views over the city and harbour.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 1

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania with Peter Ellis

Having just got back from my holiday in Victoria and Tasmania, I thought that I would share some of my experiences and suggested activities while in Hobart. Coming in from the airport has you driving over an iconic bridge giving you a good glimpse of the city. We stayed in an apartment on one of the piers in the harbour, which worked very well – views of the ferry going across to the Mona Museum, plenty of restaurants on the piers and waterfront, and a well appointed flat.

We did not bother with a car for the first couple of days as Hobart is an easy walking city. The first place I would recommend is Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum, located right in the harbour. Not large (they are actual size huts) they are full of information of the Antarctic Expeditions that set sail from Hobart through the 20th. Century. Just a few yards from here is the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery which is well worth exploring and then sitting in the courtyard with an excellent cup of coffee.  We failed to go the Mona Museum, as we ran out of time but would definitely suggest catching the ferry to see what is a controversial spot in Tasmania.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of food places to tempt you – along the waterfront and Salamanca Street nearby, in fact coffee houses and restaurants abound in the city.

If you would like some more information on Hobart and what to see or do then please give s a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  You could also take a look at one of our visit Australia suggested itineraries in Tasmania, Hobart click here

More on what to do just outside of the capital next week.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Country: New Zealand

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Self Drive Holidays in New Zealand

A country of wild mountains, rugged glaciers, deserted beaches, stunning lakes, boiling mud pools and rolling farmland, New Zealand is a photographer’s dream with fantastic scenery around almost every corner. Couple this with friendly people, a laid back way of life, and a fascinating culture and you have the key ingredients to a fantastic tailor made or bespoke holiday.

Comprised of two main islands – aptly named North Island and South Island, as well as a number of smaller islands, the most famous of these being Stewart Island, New Zealand is roughly the size of Britain, but with a population of only 4.5 million – meaning plenty of space away from crowds, and plenty of unspoilt beautiful highlights.

Whether you have a keen interest in tramping, kayaking, mountain biking, wildlife, wine tasting or simply enjoy driving the open road, New Zealand has so much to offer. ‘Aotearoa’, is the traditional Maori name for New Zealand, and a vital element of any visit to the country is to learn of the Maori culture – perhaps best known for the ‘Haka’ but with so much more to learn than this alone.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Sydney and Melbourne are two cities that often feature on the wish list for a visit to Australia. Whilst the cities can be linked with a flight or rail journey, if time allows we suggest driving between the two – taking time to explore the beautiful scenery along the way.

Summary

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

Sydney and Melbourne are two cities that often feature on the wish list for a visit to Australia. Whilst the cities can be linked with a flight or rail journey, if time allows we suggest driving between the two – taking time to explore the beautiful scenery along the way.

There are two key routes to choose between – the Coastal Drive and the Heritage Drive. In description, we have suggested an itinerary for the Coastal Drive.

Description

Description

 

Day 1: Sydney

With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights Sydney

Day 4: Wollongong

Take the stunning Grand Pacific Drive down the coast today. Starting south of Sydney at the entrance of the Royal National Park, this drive passes through picturesque seaside villages, coastal rainforests and the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. With plenty of un-crowded beaches, a relaxed café culture and a plethora of activities on offer, Wollongong is a great place to stop along the way.

Two nights Wollongong 

Day 6: Jervis Bay

The Grand Pacific Drive continues south, through Shell harbour and Kiama before ending in Shoalhaven. Continue on to Jervis Bay – this is a beautiful marine park with stunning white sand beaches. Dolphin watching cruises are popular here, and you may be lucky enough to see migrating humpback and southern right whales (June/July and September to November).

Two nights Jervis Bay 

Day 8: Narooma

Continue down the coast to Narooma – from here explore Bateman’s Marine Park, or visit the Montague Island Nature Reserve and view the wildlife there – shearwaters, little penguins and fur seals.

One night Narooma

Day 9: Mallacoota

Crossing into Victoria today, for an overnight stay in the pretty coastal town of Mallacoota. Explore Croajingolong National Park and the many walking trails in the region. Gypsy Point is well worth a visit – a beautiful peninsula home to plenty of kangaroos.

One night Mallacoota 

Day 10: Lakes Entrance

Continue along the coast to Lakes Entrance. This is located on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach, where the Gippsland Lakes meets the Southern Ocean. Boating is a key activity of the area – take a cruise on the lakes, or enjoy some of the amazing fresh seafood that this region is known for. Explore the quaint seaside village of Metung and try your hand at fishing.

Two nights Lakes Entrance

Day 12: Wilsons Promontory

Drive towards Wilsons Promontory today. This park is a haven for native wildlife and has a plethora of walking trails. It’s the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria, and is home to kangaroos, wombats, echidnas and emus amongst others.

Two nights Wilsons Prom 

Day 14: Phillip Island

Drive on to Phillip Island today. Here, see the little penguins as they come ashore at dusk, or explore some of the islands many cycle and walking trails. Phillip Island is also home to fur seals at certain times of the year, as well as koalas.

One night Phillip Island

Day 15: Melbourne

Complete the drive to Melbourne today. A free tram service circles around the edge of the Central Business District, enabling easy access to many attractions. Take in a sporting event at the Telstra Dome – a sliding roof here means there are no stoppages for rain. For an interesting dinner, try The Tram Car Restaurant, which tours the suburb of St Kilda with an excellent meal (remembering to hold onto your wine glass as the tram passes over the points)! Take a tour out to Pin Oak Court, the home of Neighbours’ Ramsey Street, or enjoy an adventurous city tour by Harley Davidson motorbike. Visit the Eureka Tower, which has a viewing platform 88 floors up, as well as The Edge – a cubed glass room which projects out from the building allowing you the view straight down.

Three nights Melbourne

Day 18: Depart Melbourne

Depart Melbourne today, for the onward or homeward journey.

Sydney Opera House Credit Tourism Australia

Sydney Opera House Credit Tourism Australia

 

 Jervis Bay, NSW, Credit Jarvis Bay Kayaks - Tourism Australia

Jervis Bay, NSW, Credit Jarvis Bay Kayaks – Tourism Australia

 

Beach at Wilsons Promontory, VIC Credit Hamish Ta-me, Tourism Australia

Beach at Wilsons Promontory, VIC Credit Hamish Ta-me, Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, VIC Credit David Hannah - Tourism Australia

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, VIC Credit David Hannah – Tourism Australia

 

Koala Phillip Island, VIC Credit Ross Holmberg - Tourism Australia

Koala Phillip Island, VIC Credit Ross Holmberg – Tourism Australia

 

Wilsons Promontory; Coastlines Credit Jeff Drewitz - Tourism Australia

Wilsons Promontory; Coastlines Credit Jeff Drewitz – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillip Island Credit Tourism Australia

Phillip Island Credit Tourism Australia

 

Australia's Coastal Wilderness Credit Sorrel Wilby - Tourism Australia

Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Credit Sorrel Wilby – Tourism Australia

 

Skyline, Melbourne, VIC Credit Cameron Ernst - Tourism Australia

Skyline, Melbourne, VIC Credit Cameron Ernst – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba - Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba - Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Why not experience the exhilaration of a helicopter flight.  See Sydney’s most famous landmarks bathed in the glow of the setting sun above the glistening waters of Maroubra Beach and tracking north over the water at 500 feet for approximately  25 min.

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Good News For Locals!

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Good News – Cathay Pacific has announced that they will be launching a new service offering direct flights from Gatwick to Hong Kong four times a week. This is in addition to their longstanding routes between Heathrow and Hong Kong, and between Manchester and Hong Kong.

This new route is great news for those living in the South East wishing to visit Australia and New Zealand, as there will be connections through to key hubs in both countries from Hong Kong.

The new service is due to commence in September 2016 with Cathay Pacific’s new Airbus A350-900 with refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy Class seats.

Hong Kong makes a great stopover location, as well as a holiday destination in its own right. For more information on this, and how these flights could work well for your future holiday plans, give us a call on 01323 446550, or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Planning your holiday – It’s never too early (or late)

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Yvonne Dann

 

It’s never too early or too late to start planning your next holiday adventure.  With news from the USA that the Tioga Pass road, at Yosemite National Park, California, recently opened for the summer season following the annual closures for the winter, it is good to remember that some of the popular National and Provincial Parks in the USA and in Canada have quite a short summer season.  With more and more people looking to visit these beautiful areas, it is also wise idea to think about making your plans well in advance.  Others are of course open year round, and accommodation all round can become extremely busy during peak months.

Whether you are thinking of planning a wonderful last minute trip this year or a fantastic self drive trip for next year, we are here to help.  Stay in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, renowned for the diversity of plant and animal life.  Travel through the Grand Teton National Park and on to Yellowstone National park, with wildlife, geysers, hot springs and mudpots, and on to Glacier National Park – being sure to travel the length of the magnificent ‘Going to the Sun’ Road.  The National Parks of the Canyonlands feature towering peaks, incredible rock formations, giant lakes and deep canyons, and further west Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and then Yosemite.

Within Canada, think about visiting the famous Canadian Rocky Mountains, home to the National Parks of Jasper and Banff and further south, Waterton National Park – close to the border with the USA.  Kluane National Park in the Yukon, for somewhere a little more off the beaten path, Grasslands National Park and Prince Albert National Park are both found in Saskatchewan, and further east in Ontario is Algonquin Provincial Park where water adventures await you.  The Parc National de la Jacques Cartier is found in the province with French flare, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces bring you places such as stunning Gros Morne National park on Newfoundland, where the ancient landscape is a Unesco World Heritage site.

 These are just a few of the sights that you could visit for yourself – there is so much more to explore. 

 The same applies to the rest of the world – if you are thinking of Australia or New Zealand, Africa or South America contact us now to start planning your bespoke tailor made holiday. 

 Tel: 01323446550   email:  info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Yvonne Dann

Yvonne Dann

 

Yvonne Dann

Yvonne Dann

Book now for New England

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

New England is perhaps most famous for the wonderful colours of its fall foliage; forests of maple trees don their autumn mantle of reds and gold in the transition from summer to the snows of the winter months.  However, a visit to the New England States of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut has far more to commend it than simply experiencing Mother Nature’s awesome autumn splendour.  Well known for its variety of accommodation from the small B&B’s, to Inns and larger luxury properties, as well as the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, the more rugged scenery of the Maine coastline dotted with colourful lighthouses and the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, there is something for everyone in New England.  We can help you tailor your plans to fit the time you have available, your expectations and budget.  We pride ourselves on helping you achieve your dreams, not simply selling you a holiday.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for our itinerary ideas:- New England 

If you would like to see the amazing fall colours this year then you need to book soon or alternatively start thinking about making this part of your next years holiday.  Please contact us to help make your bespoke, tailor made holiday really special and one to remember – Tel: 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

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