All About Hobart

Hobart is a major gateway to Tasmania and a perfect hub to explore from or start your holiday. Whether you are looking for cultural enlightenment or an escape into the wilderness there is always plenty to do throughout the year.

Hobart is nestled between the waters of the Derwent River and the foot hills of Mt Wellington which stands over 1200m above the city. The city provides a great base to explore the southern region of Tasmania but is equally captivating in it’s own right. The architecture of the city is fascinating with early Colonial standstone buildings, 1920’s Art Deco and Modern Architecture being thrown together to create the what is now a thriving CBD.

Hobart’s culture is one of it’s drawcards with a desire to be artistic, modern and just a little different it’s no wonder events such MONA FOMA draw huge crowds each year from interstate and overseas. Hobart has a thriving live music, food and cafe culture as well with plenty of small boutique restaurants and cafes to explore with plenty of live music options spread throughout Salamanca, the CBD and North Hobart to enjoy.

A Brief History of Hobart

Hobart is the second oldest capital city in Australia founded in 1803 as a penal colony at Risdon Cove with a second settlement at Sullivans Cove established in 1804. The settlement on the Derwent River was perfectly suited to be a deep water port and quickly grew with the booming sealing and whaling trades coming in from the Southern Ocean.

Our Local Tips

Salamanca Market on Saturday is always fun to explore
Spend a day exploring the strange, weird, sexy and creepy at MONA.
Climb Mt Wellington and make sure to hire a bike and ride the North South Track
Go kayaking around the Waterfront
Grab a coffee and cake from one of many amazing cafes spread around the city, we like Yellow Bernard in the CBD and the Foodstore Cafe in South Hobart.
Visit the recently renovated Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)

Al About Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a favourite spot with both locals and visitors and a great destination for a weekend getaway. The island has some of the most amazing beaches in Tasmania and some stunning scenery with the Huon Valley and the mountains to the West and the Southern Ocean to the East.

Bruny Island is in effect two islands joined together by a slim isthmus called The Neck that is home to a penguin and sea bird rookery. The Neck has some huge sand dunes with a set of wooden stairs you can climb that provide amazing 365 degree views over the island and the waters that surround it.

The beaches on the Eastern side of the island provide some amazing surfing opportunities with swells from the Southern Ocean creating some great barrels and huge waves under the right conditions.

Bruny Island is home to some fascinating wild life with plenty of opportunities to see penguins, sea eagles, dolphins, seals, wallabies and even whales at the right times of the year.

Bruny Island is also well known for it’s food culture with everything from oysters to cheese being harvested or produced locally.

Getting to Bruny Island

Bruny Island is accessible all year round via ferry service departing from Kettering with the ferry crossing taking between 20 to 30 minutes depending on conditions. The drive between Hobart and Kettering takes around 40 minutes depending on traffic conditions, during peak periods (October to April) it’s worth giving extra time and aim to get to the ferry terminal early due to high demand.

If you don’t have a car there are a number of tour options available departing from Hobart.

Places to go on Bruny Island

Bruny Island is one of our favourite day trips or romantic weekend spots close to Hobart. It’s great if you want to just get away from it all and enjoy a number of scenic foods or indulge yourself in the fantastic local food and wine. Here are a few of our favourite spots to explore on the island.

North Bruny

Bruny Island Cheese Company

This is one of the most popular spots on Bruny Island and well worth a visit. Bruny Island Cheese Company produce artisinal cheeses with milk from their own dairy. They produce a variety of different cheeses that you can sample and it’s well worth visiting here to try a few samples and even to take a block or two away with you.

Get Shucked

If you enjoy good sea food then you absolutely have to stop by the Get Shucked Oyster Farm. The Farm produces Oysters at Great Bay and you can sample them fresh out of the water. The Farm now includes it’s own Oyster Bar where you can stop by for some lunch and a glass of wine as well.

Cape Queen Elizabeth

This is a great walk that takes you away from the main road along un-used 4WD tracks to the spectacular beaches at Cape Queen Elizabeth. The walk takes around 4 hours and is relatively easy going. Once at Cape Queen Elizabeth take a swim in the water or explore the stunning rock formations found along the beach.

The Neck

The Neck is a slim isthmus that joins the North and South of Bruny Island together. This tiny stretch of land is no wider that a couple of hundred metres at some points and provides shelter on one side while the other faces the brute force of the Southern Ocean. This small stretch of land is also host to a number of Penguin and sea bird colonies and comes alive at night with birds returning home from sea to feed their young so keep an eye out at dusk especially when driving on the main road.

South Bruny

Bruny Island Berry Farm

Ever wanted to stroll amongst a farm and pick your own berries? Bruny Island Berry Farm is a family owned property offering visitors the opportunity to pick their own berries fresh from the plant. The farm grows a variety of strawberries, as well as blueberries, blackberries and many more. Once you are done picking stop by the cafe and enjoy a great desert, tea or coffee.

 

Cape Bruny LighthouseBruny Island Berry FarmAdventure BaySouth Bruny National Park

Data peta ©2017 Google
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Adventure Bay

Adventure Bay is one of Bruny Island’s main townships and home to one of our favourite beaches. At the right time of year the bay is home to whales who enjoy the shelter it provides in order to calf.

The area has a rich history having been named after Captain Tobias Furneaux’s ship, The Adventure. The area was also visited by a number of European explorers during the 1700s including Captain Cook, Bligh, D’Entrecasteaux and Tobin.

Today the Bay is a popular tourist spot which is great for swimming during the warmer months. Adventure Bay is also home to the Bruny Island Berry Farm and the Bruny Island Cruises terminal.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse

Cape Bruny Lighthouse is one of Australia’s oldest lighthouses operating from 1838 until 1996. The lighthouse was fourth built in Australia and a key marker for ships making their way into port at Hobart.

Today you can visit the lighthouse as part of the South Bruny National Park. The lighthouse has stunning views out over the southern ocean and the massive sea cliffs along the edge of South Bruny.

South Bruny National Park

South Bruny National Park is a great spot to explore with it’s stunning sea cliffs and sea views. The park is home to a number of important sea bird rookeries and is also home to an abundance of wildlife including wallabies, echidna and more.

The Park has some great short walks and day walks exploring the Bruny Island coastline. Keep an eye out for whales and other marine life as well.

Tours on Bruny Island

Bruny Island is home to a number of amazing tours allowing you to go exploring both the island and the waters around it. Tours are lead by experienced guides who know the best places to go and all the special secrets. If you are travelling without a car a number of tours offer transport from Hobart as well.

Best Destination To Look Blood Moons, Auroras and finally some spring sun

It has been a bit of a crazy week for us, we relaunched the website last Friday and have been busy working away on new content and new features ever since. This is the first of our weekly highlights posts, we go through all of our social media tracking to find the best and most popular posts of the week from around Tasmania.

Aurora and Luna Eclipse

While seeing an Aurora is best described as a downright pain in the ass, getting shots of this weeks full luna eclipse proved to be a whole lot easier. Most people didn’t even need to leave their living rooms it was that bright provided the clouds weren’t in the way. The sunrise the morning after also proved to be of the most spectacular of the week.

When the full moon sets on the Tarkine coast it can only be equated with the most beautiful sunrise. The wildest and most remote of places this coast is also capable of the most delicate and serene scenes #tarkine #tasmania #discovertasmania #instagood #instatassie #clicktasmania #nuc_member #igworldclub #wildernessculture #ocean

Season Opening

October means start of the tourism season for most businesses especially those in the adventure space. We got to see some great shots from the overland as well as some great climbing shots as well.

Hollybank

The new trail network at Hollybank MTB Park opened this week as well with a metric ass ton of new trails generally being described as some of the best in Australia

Beautifull Show Of Cabaret In Paris

The room is dark, illuminated only by glowing champagne buckets at the centre of each red velvet booth. Then, to the strains of a sultry Britney Spears cover, the curtains open.
Launching the second half of the show at the Crazy Horse tonight is Undress to Kill, a striptease like no other, designed by Dita Von Teese. The dancer is completely nude, dressed instead in Le Crazy’s signature projections – a backless red dress slowly morphs into an intricate veil of lace as the performer leans in and out of the light.
Every performer has six pairs of made-to-order heels and costumes are handmade, taking up to a week apiece
This is Totally Crazy, the cabaret’s new show for 2017. Modern burlesque meets high fashion; it’s a riot of spectacular lighting, barely-there costumes, beat-perfect choreography and angular fluoro wigs. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.

Today, the Crazy Horse is the most famous cabaret in the city. The artistic vision of Andrée Deissenberg, previously of Cirque du Soleil, it’s become a Parisian institution, renowned for its celebration of femininity and beauty. Under the guidance of Creative Director Ali Mahdavi, they aim to glorify “the powerful, dominant, insubordinate female” – essentially women who like to run the show.
Since Andrée took the reins ten years ago, Le Crazy has gone from strength to strength, with Dita Von Teese by no means the most famous collaborator. The last few years have seen famous faces such as Conchita Wurst take to the stage, and the star-studded audience range from Rihanna and John Legend to Cara Delevingne and Jean Paul Gaultier.
The set-up may sound extravagant, but it’s clear that Le Crazy has hit on a winning formula
If some of the acts look familiar, it could be because Beyoncé modelled her video for Partition on some of Le Crazy’s signature performances. Her hypnotic fan of legs above a mirrored stage, and pole dancers illuminated bit-by-bit as if scanned by a sliver of light, are close to carbon copies of the originals.
Yet the cabaret’s most enduring collaboration is with Christian Louboutin, who has worked with the team since 2012. His contribution to Totally Crazy is a dancer shown only from the waist down, her legs daubed bit-by-bit in glow-in-the-dark paint as she dances in neon Louboutin stilettos.
The cabaret is an “iconic Parisian monument, a monument to dance” Louboutin says, “a modern and dreamlike conceptualization, celebrating women in honour of women”.

Tonight, like most, this outlook is reflected in a predominantly female audience. Tourist heavy it may be, but there’s not a hint of sleaze. Instead, the show is infused with humour and personality. Segments such as But I Am A Good Girl are playfully cheeky, while the mock salutes and marches of God Save our Bareskin kick off the night with plenty of Le Crazy’s trademark attitude.
Competition to become a “Crazy Girl” is fierce. More than five hundred performers apply each year, with only a couple making it through to join the troupe. The show relies on a distinct aesthetic and body type, and only girls with a slim and athletic build are chosen. This may make for beautiful choreography, but a lack of diversity is one of the few things to detract from the message of empowerment.
Each year, the troupe uses 2500 pairs of stockings, 500 litres of make-up and 300 lipsticks (the show has a bespoke red hue)
Being on stage at Le Crazy is, however, by no means purely about beauty. Dancers are required to be classically trained, and then undergo five months further instruction before they’re allowed to perform live. It’s only then that they receive their nom de scène, such as Lolita Kiss-Curl or Venus Oceane.
It’s an impressive operation in numbers, too. Every performer has six pairs of made-to-order heels and costumes are handmade, taking up to a week apiece. Each year, the troupe also uses 2500 pairs of stockings, 500 litres of make-up and 300 lipsticks (the show has a bespoke red hue).

This set-up may sound extravagant, but as we leave the second of two packed-out nightly consecutive shows, it’s clear that Le Crazy has hit on a winning formula.
There’s simply nowhere in Paris that can compete, and with the international Crazy Horse tour, Forever Crazy, now appearing everywhere from Singapore to Seoul, they’re certainly not resting on their laurels.
Yet while new audiences may go crazy for Le Crazy, something will always be missing if you see the show abroad. You simply can’t beat a night of cabaret in its spiritual home. Stepping out onto Avenue George V after a performance, the Eiffel Tower’s night-time illuminations glittering across the river, is an unforgettable Parisian experience.

Surviving Solo Travel

Travelling alone can seem daunting from the comfort of home. What happens if you get stranded somewhere? Can you go out at night solo? Won’t it feel weird to eat in a restaurant alone?

All these worries and more (Will I get attacked by bandits? Or my car stuck in a ditch?) plague most travellers before their first solo trip, but quickly evaporate, outweighed by the innumerable benefits. Here, our authors and editors offer their top tips on how to travel alone successfully.

1. Know your strengths

Are you a sociable person who wants to be in the middle of everything? You might go crazy if you can’t communicate, so head somewhere you speak the language.

If you’re more of an introvert, forget the language barrier. Vibrant cities are perfect for people watching, especially if they have a fantastic café culture.

2. Sleep around

Try a homestay or look for room rentals in an apartment – this gives you an automatic connection with residents when you’re travelling alone. As a solo traveller, you’ll have tons of options to choose from. Even if your landlord doesn’t take you out on the town, you’ll at least scoop up a few local tips.

Hostels are of course ready-made for solo travellers too, but you might wind up spending more time with other tourists than with locals.

3. Don’t be afraid of your own company

Being alone for large quantities of time can be daunting – but just roll with it. You might learn to love your own company along the way.

And if you’re feeling particularly social, you can always try to make new friends. Show off your free-agent status by offering to take a family’s photo at a big sight, for instance, or by sitting near a chatty gang at a bar.

4. Just say no

Sometimes, especially in more hospitable and foreigner-fascinated cultures, the attention you get travelling solo can be a little intense. Learn how to say “no, thank you” in the local language, as well as “absolutely not” – plus the local nonverbal gesture for “no”, which is often more effective than both.

Also have local help numbers, such as the tourist police, programmed in your phone. You’ll probably never need them, but just knowing you have them can give you the confidence to deal with awkward situations.

5. Take photos

Making photography a mission, even if it’s just snapping odd little details you notice about a place, gives structure to your day. Your friends at home will appreciate your perspective and the story that comes with it.

6. Eat big

You might be tempted to live on fast food just to avoid awkward restaurant situations. Don’t. In fact, fancy establishments are fantastic places to dine alone. Waiters are happy to help solo diners who smile and say, “I made a special trip just to eat here. What do you recommend?”

7. Get an early start

If the thought of bar-hopping alone makes you die a little inside, just recast your day. Wake up early, enjoy a leisurely breakfast (when all the good stuff is still available on the hotel buffet) and head out for parks, museums and other daytime-only activities. If you pack your day full enough, you’ll be ready for bed by 9pm.

8. Find your people

Use Facebook and Twitter to make connections where you’re travelling. Offer to take local friends of friends out for dinner, and you’ll be surprised how many people take you up on it – everyone likes to be tour guide for a night. Also seek out your interests in your destination – the fan club for the local football team, say, or the chess association.

9. Revel in it

Even if you do get lonely, don’t lose sight of all the things you can do when travelling alone. Some of those perks are tiny – whether that means double-dipping your chips in the guacamole or changing your mind every hour, without worrying about driving anyone crazy.

But the real bonus of solo travel is much larger: pure freedom. You can take the exact trip you want, and even if you’re not quite sure yet what that might be, you’ll have a great time figuring it out.

10. Embrace technology and terrible films

Remember that it’s OK to spend the occasional night in watching the TV in your guesthouse. You wouldn’t be out every night at home, it’d be exhausting, so why would you try and do it for several months abroad?

And a smartphone or tablet is a must now that there is free wi-fi almost everywhere. Among many other things it means you can book your accommodation ahead and ensure a safe pick-up at your destination. If you’re feeling lonely you can connect with home, read the news and podcasts are great for passing time on long journeys.

11. Don’t bury your head in a book

It’s easy to be daunted by travelling alone – and retreating into the pages of a good novel can feel like the perfect way to escape curious stares on public transport or in restaurants.

But going solo means you have a chance to really take in your surroundings, meeting locals and travellers alike along the way; be content to be by yourself, but confident enough to introduce yourself to people when you want to be sociable.

12. Learn a little of the local language

Make the effort to learn a few words and phrases before you go travelling. Just knowing how to introduce yourself, start a basic conversation, order a beer and count from 1–10 makes all the difference. People love to know you’re making an effort and doing your best to interact, even if you’re a little rusty.

13. Be aware of safety

Travelling solo can be both safe and rewarding, but be mindful of safety concerns just as you would travelling in a pair or group. Take care in large cities at night, watch your drinks, be aware of any local scams and keep a close eye on your valuables.

Amazing Caribbean mould in Dominica

When imagining a Caribbean holiday, most of us think of pristine white-sand beaches, all-inclusive resorts and glitzy pool parties. But nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique, the volcanic island of Dominica flouts expectations.

Nicknamed the “Nature island of the Caribbean”, it attracts a relatively small number of independent, adventurous eco-minded travellers. Here’s why you should go, plus the essentials to plan your trip:

Why should I go?

Rising starkly out of the Caribbean Sea to the west and the Atlantic to the east, Dominica is covered in steep hills and thick jungle peppered with waterfalls, freshwater lakes and sulphuric pools. Black-sand beaches and rocky coves line the shores – and there isn’t a mega-resort in sight.

Tangling tropical foliage is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna. And despite this huge variety of wildlife, there are no venomous snakes or spiders to worry about.

But without the typical Caribbean draws of white-sand beaches, and with an airport that only serves other nearby islands, development on Dominica has remained slow, low-key and independently run. Though cruise ships do stop here in season (October–March), passengers generally only stay for the day, and the island is otherwise quiet.

There are no malls or chain shops, either. Pretty much everything in Roseau, the capital, is locally owned. Come here and you’re in for a truly Dominican experience.

Why is now a good time to visit?

Storm Erika ripped through Dominica in August 2015, killing at least twenty people and causing colossal damage to roads, farmland, livestock and buildings. Two years on, after a huge recovery effort, the island is back on its feet, and tourism is more important than ever.

The island has only 75,000 overnight visitors per year ­– a tiny amount compared to nearby Barbados, which sees around 1.3 million tourists annually. But the prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has promised that a new international airport will become a reality.

Currently, the tiny Douglas–Charles Airport only operates flights to other Eastern Caribbean islands. If the new airport plans come to fruition, the number of visitors to Dominica will skyrocket. Get there before the rest of the world does (and try to avoid peak cruise ship season, too).

Where can I unleash my sense of adventure?

Dominica is not short of waterfalls. One of the most popular is on the east side of the island, not far from Rosalie Bay. Walk down one hundred steps past overhanging trees, draping vines and brightly coloured flowers to the icy cold, green waters of Emerald Pool, into which flows a magnificent waterfall.

Getting to Boiling Lake, the second-largest hot springs in the world, requires a six-hour hike through dense forest, bubbling mud pools and a volcanic area named the “Valley of Desolation”. After this you emerge over the lake to see an immense cloud of steam rising off the grey-blue water. The Boiling Lake trailhead is near Titou Gorge, where you can swim through the refreshingly cool water into the darkness between the gorge walls, against the strong current, to a gushing waterfall. The dappled light streaming down through the thick foliage up above is nothing short of ethereal.

Boiling Lake Hike, DominicaDominica Tourist Board

For a journey into the mysterious depths of the island, take a boat trip down the Indian River, which was the set location (among other places on the island) for Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest. Minutes after the sound of the busy main road drifts away, the river narrows, trees close in overhead, the sunlight dims, and the only sound is of birdcall. The swirling tree roots seem to overtake the shoreline, intertwined in fantastic patterns. It’s as if you’ve entered a fantasy world.

Cozumel: an insider’s guide to Mexico’s Caribbean jewel
A 15-square-kilometre area in northeast Dominica is Kalinago Territory – land belonging to the indigenous Kalinago (or Carib) people, who inhabited the island long before European colonization. A model village, Kalinago Barana Auté, showcases the traditional practices and values of this tiny ethnic group.

A village tour involves learning the history of the Kalinago people as you are shown round by an extremely knowledgeable local guide. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet ex-chief Faustulus Frederick on your way round, as he makes crafts in a small hut on site, overlooking the ocean.

 

Will I see some marine life up close?

Whale-watching is a big draw. Dominica is the only country where you can see sperm whales offshore year-round (though November–March is the most likely), and there’s also a high chance of spotting either killer whales or large pods of dolphins.

The whale-watching boats track the creatures with underwater audio devices (hydrophones). Highly trained staff can tell how many whales are communicating, and how far away they are, from the giant creatures’ clicking sounds, which are played aloud to passengers.

Go snorkelling at Champagne Reef with a guide, and you’re guaranteed to see an abundance of sea life, such as parrotfish, needlefish, sea cucumbers, puffer fish, green turtles, trumpet fish, huge yellow-tube sponges and more. Plus you’ll be swimming in water that’s literally bubbling (hence the reef’s name), as thousands of little pockets of sulphur emerge from the volcanic rock beneath.

Similarly, at Bubble Beach, by the town of Soufrière in the island’s southwest, the sea shallows are warmed by hot sulphuric gases trickling into the water in tiny bubbles – watch out in the shallows, it gets really hot.

How do I get there?

Flights to Dominica from the UK usually stop over in Antigua. From the rest of Europe and the US, flights connect at a number of Eastern Caribbean states, including Antigua, Barbados, St Maarten, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Where should I sleep?

For unparalleled tropical gardens: Eco-inn Papilotte Wilderness Retreat is practically hidden in vegetation and has natural hot pools, a private waterfall and great food.

For a remote getaway: Beau Rive is a plantation-styled boutique hotel with beautiful, homely shared spaces and refreshing sea breezes.

For turtle hatchings: Rosalie Bay is a luxurious eco-resort, run on 100 percent renewable energy

Should You Know About Best Road Trips in The UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter the destination, a road trip unfolds at the same, ascending rhythm.

Back roads are followed (whenever possible), motorway service stations are avoided (at all costs) and the countryside flits by with the same tempo as a rock song (cue Status Quo). If you’ve got wheels – be it a car, bike, or camper – these are the only road trips you should consider this summer.

1. Scotland’s North Coast 500

This circular route is a greatest hits of Scottish icons, stretching across 805km of lonely single-track. Skirting the coast from Inverness and the Black Isle, past the seaboard crags of Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross, it offers up uncanny ruins, rugged fairways, toothy castles, shingle-sand beaches, tiny fishing hamlets and peaty whisky distilleries. Even the name is a doff of the cap to The Proclaimers.

Along the way, the road becomes a symphony, building note after note, bend by bend, from its rallying start through the east coast villages of Dornoch and Wick to Aultbea, Poolewe and Gairloch on the savage west coast. Here, it reaches a crescendo below the impregnable peaks of Loch Maree.

Finally, the road reaches the nuttily brilliant Bealach na Bà, which loops up and over the Applecross Peninsula like a piece of gigantic spaghetti. It could scarcely be more isolated or awe-inspiring.

Best for: escaping urban life and unexpected traffic jams, courtesy of wayward Highland cows and stags.
Duration: 4-7 days.
Need to know: accommodation options are few and far between, so book in advance. Outside of summer, you’ll have the route to yourself, when even a witches’ brew of winter clouds couldn’t dampen the drama or Highland spirit.

Applecross, Scotland, Scottish HighlandsPixabay/CC0

2. A circuit through Yorkshire’s finest

In Yorkshire, the roads move from moor to dale through centuries of dark medieval history, once a backdrop to the War of the Roses, the bloody struggle between the royal houses of Lancaster and York.

Here the mix of A- and B-roads create a daisy-chain link between the most beautiful villages, waterfalls and rolling backdrops in northern England. When heading through fields of summer grasses over the Buttertubs Pass from Wensleydale to Swaledale, the road twists and turns like a thrashing snake.

Set off on the A59 from Harrogate towards the historic market town of Grassington before boomeranging back to Aysgarth Falls, a multi-tiered terrace that’s perfect for a hazy summer ramble.

Next, putter along the valley floor to the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre at Hawes to stock up on Wallace and Gromit’s favourite cheese, before plunging over into Reeth and looping back to your start point via Jervaulx Abbey. A spooky Cistercian monastery in the moors, its grisly backstory is worthy of CBBC’s Horrible Histories.

At the end of a long day’s drive, there’s nothing more satisfying than the promise of a pint of Black Sheep from Masham Brewery. The welcome here is warm, the people friendly, the surrounding landscapes wild, and the ales strong.

Best for: ale drinkers and cheese lovers.
Duration: 3 days.
Need to know: the Yorkshire Dales are a magnet for tour buses and parking can cause major headaches.

England, North Yorkshire, Jevaulx Abbey exterior with sheeps in foreground
3. Southwest England’s Atlantic Highway

A storied ribbon of asphalt and maritime history, this 275km road has the wild beauty that has become the hallmark of southwest England: it’s all about the big views.

Sandwiched between barley fields and a succession of bays and beach breaks, the A39 from Bridgewater to Bude is a magical concertina that creases and folds along the Devon and Cornish coast. Beyond the roadside hedgerows, the windswept dunes become the territory of shaggy-haired surfers, where foaming waves beat the shoreline.

Stop off at Exmoor National Park for hikes across the hilly moors, before driving south from Barnstaple through the salt-tanged seaside towns of Bude (for surfing), Padstow (for seafood) and Newquay (for weekend partying). Then it’s onwards to Land’s End – the place Cornish sailors once thought was the end of the world.

Best for: surfers and wannabe hippies.
Duration: 4-5 days.
Need to know: the name is a bit of a cheat. The route travels inland for much of Cornwall, eventually feeding onto the shoreline at Newquay. Seen through the grainy light of nostalgia, the only way to do this trip is in a VW camper van with a board tied to the roof.

Great Britain, England, Cornwall, coastline views, looking towards Bude
4. Northern Ireland’s coastal route

Map a journey around the knuckle-shaped fist of the Irish coast and you’ll not regret it. There’s a hypnotic quality to this 195km route from Belfast to Londonderry, one that can see you detour off the road and lose days.

First hit the gas for the Gobbins Cliff Path, an ambitious walkway chiselled out of basalt rock with hammers and rudimentary tools. North of Belfast, it carves a path through caves, over bridges and gantries, and down steep drops. Following a £7.5 million investment, the path reopened in 2015 – the first time in more than 65 years (although it was closed again for maintenance in 2016 and is now scheduled to reopen in June 2017).

As the journey continues, stories, both ancient and modern, will pull you over. Detour to Antrim to see the Dark Hedges, a natural phenomena used in Game of Thrones, while making sure to stop at Ballintoy harbour (also another GoT location).

Some Dazzling Cities in Europe

While great centres of civilization such as Athens, Rome and Istanbul still endure, there’s nothing quite like the melancholy grandeur of an abandoned city to really fire the historical imagination. From Salona to Pompeii, here are ten of the most evocative:

1. Pompeii, Italy

The most symbolic of ancient cities because of the cataclysmic nature of its destruction, Pompeii was famously buried in volcanic ash following the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. In consequence it is extraordinarily well preserved, and pacing its narrow streets is almost like entering a virtual-reality simulation of first-century life.

Surviving mosaics and wall paintings are stunning, and there’s something rather poignant about being on holiday in a place where the Romans themselves went on vacation – as can be deduced from the large number of recreational villas on the city’s outskirts.

2. Cherven, Bulgaria

Medieval Bulgaria was once one of the mightiest empires of the European mainland, and the windswept hilltop city of Cherven was one of its most awesome cities. Founded in the sixth century and not abandoned until the seventeenth, Cherven is nowadays an almost total ruin, its scenic grey ramparts hovering dramatically above a bend in the canyon-bound Cherni Lom river.

Formerly called the City of Bishops on account of its many churches, Cherven is an extensive site, and comes with sweeping views of the surrounding nature.

3. Delphi, Greece

The Greeks liked travelling too, and the sacred city of Delphi on the slopes of Mount Parnassus was the one place that people from all over the Hellenic world wanted to see. They came here to pay their respects at the sanctuary of Apollo, seek advice from his priests, attend seasonal festivals, or take part in the quadrennial Pythian Games.

It’s difficult to tell from the surviving ruins where all these visitors stayed. However it’s hard to stroll round the stadium, the theatre and the sanctuaries of Athena and Apollo, without imagining how these places were once filled with awestruck visiting crowds.

4. Biskupin, Poland

A fortified lakeside settlement built by the Lusatians in around 550 BC, the iron-age village of Biskupin is one of the most evocative prehistoric sites in Europe. Located 60km northeast of Poznań, the village has been partially rebuilt by experimental archeologists with wooden palisades, watchtowers and log-built longhouses. The Lusatians had extensive trading contacts – as evidenced by Egyptian beads displayed in the site’s museum.

5. Carnuntum, Austria

You might not immediately associate the green fields of lowland Austria with the glories of classical civilization. However the Romans were here for more than four centuries, and their provincial capital Carnuntum serves as a powerful reminder of their presence.

Excavations have been going on here for well over a century and the site has become a key resource in telling us how life in the Empire was actually lived. The Roman City Quarter contains a number of reconstructed baths and mansions, and a programme of annual festivals features gladiatorial combat and reenactments of ancient life.

6. Kernavė, Lithuania

There’s nothing more moody and mysterious than the man-made castle mounds of medieval Lithuania, and the village of Kernavė, 35km north of Vilnius, is one of the best places to soak up the atmosphere. The cluster of grey-green, flat-topped hills here once served as the centre of the Lithuanian state, a potent and expansionist power that remained pagan state right up until its acceptance of Christianity in the late fourteenth century.

The site’s combination of historical pedigree and natural beauty ensures its popularity with present-day neo-pagans, who congregate here for summer solstice bonfires on the night of June 23/24.

7. Mystras, Greece

Built by Frankish empire-builder William II de Villehardouin in 1249, and subsequently capital of the Byzantine province of Morea, Mystras is a particularly outstanding example of the glittering medieval city that was totally abandoned in the centuries that followed.

Bristling with towers, palaces and churches, the hillside-hugging site was one of the last Byzantine cities to hold out against the Ottoman Turks (it fell in 1460). It represents the last great flourish of Europe’s longest-lasting empire.

8. Empúries, Spain

It may not be the best-known clump of ruins in the Mediterranean, but Empúries certainly makes up for it in terms of location, set beside a sandy beach right next to the Catalonian heritage village of Sant Martí. The largest Greek colony on the Iberian peninsula, and subsequently a thriving Roman port, Empúries preserves a thrillingly complete grid of streets and some spectacular floor mosaics.

It’s also one of the most entertaining ancient sites to visit, with audio-visual content, costumed reenactments, and summer concerts in the former Roman Forum.

9. Butrint, Albania

Sitting on a hilly peninsula jutting into a coastal lagoon, Butrint has pretty much got everything you expect from a lost city. It has a timeline that spans the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras, a beautiful natural setting that now enjoys national park status, and the aura of being slightly off the radar because it’s in lesser-travelled Albania.

It’s a thrilling place for a ramble, with stepped streets, temple precincts, early Christian churches and beautiful mosaics conveying a heady sense of former splendor.

10. Salona, Croatia

Stretching along a hillside 5km inland from the Adriatic port of Split, Salona is thought to have been the fourth-largest city in the Roman Empire in its heyday. It’s certainly an extensive site (less than 20 percent of which has been excavated so far), with walls, gates and early Christian basilicas poking out from among orchards, olive groves and vineyards.

The pièce de résistance is the amphitheatre, where Christians were put to death on the orders of third-century Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian’s unbelievably intact palace is just down the road in Split

Know More About Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is one of the most popular spots in Tasmania and famous for the twin peaks and spectacular Dove Lake.

Part of the World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park offers some of the most popular walks in Australia and plenty to see and do.

Cradle Mountain is the starting point for the popular Overland Track that takes you through the national park park to Lake St Clair and finish the walk either by boat or on foot at Derwent Bridge. The Overland Track takes between 4 and 6 days to do depending on your level of fitness and experience, there are a number of guided options as well as the option to do it on your own. During the summer months bookings to walk the overland track are required, however you can take it on all year round including on snow shoes or skis during the winter months.

Cradle Mountain is home to some adorable wildlife with pademelons, wallabies and wombats all spotted regularly within the park and most will allow you to get relatively close if you are after that perfect shot. Be careful of the male wombats as they can become agressive if you get too close.

There are a number of accommodation options available within the Cradle Mountain Village however you can also stay easily nearby with a number of towns including Wilmot and Sheffield only a short drive away. Accommodation at Cradle Mountain can be expensive especially at short notice so it’s worth planning your trip a few months in advance and scoping out the best deals.

A Brief History of Cradle Mountain

The area was first surveyed in the 1820’s and named for the cradle shape of the mountain. The first tourist chalet was built in 1912, and the Overland Track was completed in 1935.

Our Local Tips

Go for a walk and see the native wildlife.
Take on the multi day Overland Track.
Enjoy the snow in winter

Amazing Secret At Mole Creek and Deloraine

Mole Creek and Deloraine both sit on the edge of the World Heritage area and offer easy access to Cradle Mountain and the Great Western Tiers.

Mole Creek is probably best known for the large network of limestone caves which are home to fragile crystal and rock formations as well as the spectacular glow worms. There are a number of guided tours that can take you through and show you the wonders of the local caves.

Mole Creek is also the departure point for a number of walks including the walk into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

Deloraine is an old Tasmanian town with many Georgian and Victorian era buildings lining the streets. Deloraine is known for it’s arts and crafts, holding a massive craft fair every year and is also a great town to stop and grab a coffee and enjoy the local bakeries.

If you are looking to explore Cradle Mountain but don’t want to stay up in the Cradle Mountain village, Deloraine offers plenty of accommodation and easy access to the mountain.

A brief history of Mole Creek and Deloraine

Mole Creek has a long history of Aboriginal habitation and saw much conflict with the arrival of European settlers.

Deloraine was settled as farm land in the 1820s, becoming a major agricultural centre for settlers in the region.

Our Local Tips

Take a tour of the caves to see the limestone formations and the glow worms
Check out the old buildings around town
Go to Lions Lookout for a great view, and see the lion sculpture and map in cast aluminium.

Beautifull Lavender Field At Scottsdale, Blue Derby and Bridport

The North East corner of Tasmania has recently come to national attention due to the construction of the world class mountain bike trail network at Blue Derby.

Scottsdale is an idyllic old country town surrounded by dairy country and is quite fun to drive as it includes a number of stages of the Targa Tasmania in the surrounding hills.

Nearby is the town of Derby which is the centre of the new trail network called the Blue Derby. The Blue Derby trails feature over 80km of single track catering to a variety of difficulty levels with plenty of challenges to keep both XC and Enduro riders happy.

To the north is the beachside holiday town of Bridport which has some lovely beaches and sand dunes to explore. Bridport is also home to the world famous Barnbougle Dunes Golf Course, a public course anyone can book to play at. There’s also the popular Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm which produces the very popular Bobby the Bear Lavender teddy bears.

A Brief History of Scottsdale, Blue Derby and Bridport

European settlers first explored this region in the 1850’s and settled creating a major agricultural centre. Since then the region has produced everything from potatoes and dairy to poppies and hops.

Derby was settled at a similar time as Scottsdale but instead became primarily a mining town to support the tin mining industry in the surrounding hills.

Our Local Tips

Have drink at the Weldborough Hotel, they have ciders and beer from every Tassie brewery.
Play a round of Golf at Barnbougle.
Go riding on the Blue Derby Trails.
Have a coffee at the Scottsdale Art Gallery.
Head over to Pyengana for some cheese.
Go for lunch at the Pub in the Paddock.
Feed the ducks at the Northeast Park camping area in Scottsdale.

A Dazzling Bicheno

Bicheno is one of the most popular tourist spots on the East Coast being centrally located close to Freycinet and Douglas-Apsley National Parks as well as some amazing coast line. Bicheno is a great place to stay over night if you are doing a multiday road trip up the East Coast and a perfect base to explore from.

During the summer months there are plenty of amazing spots to go swimming with plenty of free beach side camp sites on offer and always proving popular with both interstate visitors and locals.

The waters off Bicheno offer some amazing fishing and diving with a beautiful reef being home to kelp gardens and home to an abundant array of marine life. On land you can check out Tasmania’s native wildlife at East Coast Nature World.

If you are into sea food Bicheno has an amazing local catch on offer at eateries around town with local salmon, abalone and crayfish all on the menu.

A Brief History of Bicheno

The area around Bicheno was first used by European whalers from as early as 1801 with the township being officially established in 1866. During the 1800’s the port at Bicheno was a central hub for shipping on the East Coast moving agricultural produce as well as coal from the mines at Denison River. Mining however quickly dried up with much of the work force moving away as the Victorian gold rush took off.

Visit An Amazing Scamander, St Helens and the Bay of Fires

Scamander, St Helens, Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires at the northern end of the East Coast offer a beautiful Tasmanian coastal experience with some of the best beaches in Tasmania to explore and picture perfect views.

Scamander is an idyllic tourism town on the waters edge with Scamander Beach offering great surfing and swimming during the summer months and fishing all year round. There are some great short walks located nearby with Henderson Lagoon and Scamander Forrest Reserve offering the chance to spot a variety of local wildlife.

St Helens is the largest town on the East Coast and the second largest fishing port in Tasmania offering some delicious fresh seafood right off the boat. St Helens is a great base to explore from as it’s around 2 hours drive from Launceston and only a short drive north to Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires. St Helens is close to some amazing surf beaches as well as Peron Dunes and has some of the best game fishing in all of Tasmania.

Binalong Bay at the southern end of the Bay of Fires is a small tourist town with plenty of accommodation and easy access to local beaches and the Bay of Fires Conservation Area. The Bay of Fires offers plenty to do including walking and swimming as well as some great snorkelling and fishing around the beautiful lichen covered red rocks.

A Brief History of Scamander, St Helens, Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires

Scamander was first settled in around 1830 and was known for it’s difficult river crossing and bridge collapses.

St Helens was first established as a base for whalers and sealers in the early 1800’s and was later transformed into an export port for mining after tin was discovered in the surrounding area. As whaling and sealing ended the town was transformed into a major centre for commercial fishing and tourism.

The Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires area was first discovered by Tobias Furneaux who sailed the coast in 1773, the area was named for the fires on the beaches lit by the local Aboriginal tribes.

Our Local Tips

Go for a swim on any number of amazing local beaches and make sure to check out Peron dunes near St Helens.
Try some local sea food including the local oysters.
Go for a walk at the Bay of Fires and check out the amazing red rocks, especially around Sunset.
Take the dirt road up to the Eddystone Point Lighthouse in Mt William National Park