I have been fortunate to visit Canada, the home of the Rocky Mountains, on two occasions. Once in spring and once in the midst of winter. It is difficult to say which time of year is prettier, with the verdant greenery of the pine forests contrasting against azure blue lakes; or the pure white snow and crystalline ice covering the terrain with evergreen foliage of the flora peeking through in patches.
Was it because it was my birthday, or was it my visit to the Sanctuary of Truth or was it because of the fun vibe that this place exuded? I discovered that Pattaya in Thailand was overflowing with wonderful surprises.
Made up of over 17,000 volcanic islands, Indonesia has something unique to offer everyone. Blessed with rich jungles, imposing volcanoes, and hundreds of kilometres of gorgeous beachfront there is plenty to do and see. But for most of us we have only heard of Bali as a holiday destination.
The largely volcanic nature of the islands has created towering mountains swathed in the green of rice terraces or rainforest, dropping to white sandy beaches and vivid blue seas, the backdrop for Southeast Asia’s biggest wilderness areas and wildlife sanctuaries.
After a 20 minute tender transfer from the cruise ship we were swamped by small boys selling postcards and other cheap souvenirs, Tuk Tuk drivers and tour operators trying to get us on a tour at a “very cheap price for you”! We had arrived at the port of Sihanoukville on the south west coast of Cambodia.
What do you do when your two adult children are in the same place at the same time and are both free for a half day outing? A big rarity in our family! In what was a lightbulb moment I suggested we take a trip out to the newest Gold Coast natural attraction.
It is true that sometimes what is right in our backyard we are completely oblivious to. For example I never knew that this fabulous local natural attraction called Killarney Glen even existed until a few months ago.
Our second port of call in Vietnam brought us to the port of Phu My (pronounced Foo Me), which was advertised as being the stop for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). After doing our homework we found out that it was around two hours drive so we decided to head to the Vietnam War soldier’s R&R destination, Vung Tau.
As it turned out Vung Tau was only about a 40 minute drive from the port which gave us more time to explore this peaceful town in the Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province, on the southern peninsula of Vietnam.
A friend of mine said recently that “becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother, the next you are all-wise and prehistoric”.
For years my mum was my ‘go to person’ for all sorts of advice, from how to cook a certain meal, how to get a stain out of a shirt, how to dress, how to get my hair styled, how to deal with boyfriend issues and how to nurse a cold. She was always there – she was my rock and confidante. The one person I could rely on and reveal my inner most thoughts.
Only a short drive out along the Gibb River Road 58 Kms from Wyndham in the Kimberley region of Far North West Australia, is the El Questro Wilderness Park. I think you would agree that the name El Questro conjurs up images of a western town from an old Western movie, with the rugged Cockburn Mountain Ranges forming the backdrop. All that is missing are the Cowboys and Indians and the Cacti!
Once regarded as a sleepy little seaside village, Yeppoon is the gateway to the Capricorn Coast and is located 38km north-east of Rockhampton on the central coast of Queensland.
With a backdrop of the offshore Keppel Islands, sparkling azure seas, a picturesque esplanade, a wide array of boutiques, surf stores and trendy cafes, is it any wonder that tourists flock to this area.
Exmouth is part of Western Australia’s underwater playground, situated on the Ningaloo Reef on the North West Coast. Known as the gateway to the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area which encompasses the Ningaloo Marine Park and the Cape Range National Park, Exmouth has an interesting history.
It was barely a township until 1967 when the Naval Communication Station was built for the US to spy on their rivals during the Cold War. The base which still remains today, has been renamed Harold E Holt Australian Naval Communication Station, but is a little like a ghost town with the bowling alley, swimming pool and housing estate all abandoned by the US when they withdrew from the area.