One of the southern-most points in Australia, Bruny Island lies off the south coast of Tasmania. Though despite being just a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart, less than 10% of travelers to Tasmania visit, choosing instead to head to more famous parts of the State like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park.
While Bruny Island may only be 50 kilometres across, the unassuming island is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets, and while small in size, it certainly packs a heavy punch; think stunning natural beaches, elusive quolls and white wallabies, and sustainable luxury at its finest.
You’ll need at least 3 days to really do the island justice, and when it comes to accommodation, we can highly recommend Free Spirit Pods; gorgeous, fully self contained eco-pods set on the waterfront, backed by 8 acres of bushland on North Bruny Island.
Tasmania lies roughly 400 km from mainland Australia however it seems like a world away; a magical destination where you can escape the crowds of Australia’s main cities, and access vast wilderness and astounding natural wonders like no-where else in the world.
There’s a relaxing pureness about this small island State, and its towns transport you back to simpler times where modern stresses cease to exist. It definitely offers all the modern conveniences you could hope for, but has somehow managed to maintain its unique culture and charm. Managed to preserve it’s World Heritage Areas, wildlife, beautiful landforms, natural and cultural history, and brought them into modern times.
But it’s difficult to really experience all Tasmania has to offer without a car, so there was no question about how we would get to the Island of the Devil; we would journey overnight from the mainland on Spirit of Tasmania. By transporting ourselves along with our personal vehicle and all our gear we were assured of getting the most rewarding experience Tassie could offer.
There’s a lot to consider when preparing for a trip. You’ll need to book your flights, check your visas, pack your essentials, and maybe even learn how to use a VPN to stay safe online as you travel.
There’s certainly something to think about from every angle. To take some of the stress out of strategising, we’ve got a handful of tips that’ll make your travel well planned. So tighten the straps on your rucksack – here’s our 8 Tips For Your First Solo Backpacking Trip
Tasmania is world famous for its pure air, clean water, and crisp climate. And if you landed here without context, to our ‘lush crisp landscape battered by chilly seas’, pulled up to an imposing 19th century Coaching Inn, and were handed a single malt whisky, we’d forgive you for drawing parallels to Scotland.
After-all, you need a very stable, cool climate to brew the perfect malt whisky (not even modern climate controlled warehouses are as good as brewing in the perfect natural climate), and some of the purest air and water in the world.
Which is why Scottish Whisky has become so famous.
While both superb locations for making whisky, the difference of Scotland and Tasmania is that the distilling of spirits was outlawed here from 1838 to 1991. Though since the law was overturned Tasmania has experienced a craft malt Whisky revival, and the artisanal Whisky movement has earned the reputation of ‘Scotland Down Under’.
150 years was a long time for Tasmanians to wait between drinks, but the State’s pure ingredients and passionate distillers have more than made up for it since.
And that 19th century Coaching Inn? It exists! It sits at 26 Main St Kempton. 40 minutes from Hobart, the Coaching Inn is now a cellar door, with a distillery you can tour in the convict brick stables.
Australia has a long history of sheep farming, and within 50 years of their arrival in 1788, sheep had become the main source of income for Australian industry.
29 sheep arrived in Australia with the British First Fleet. 230 years later, wool markets around the world are dominated by Australian exports, and our country has more than 27 million sheep; raised largely for wool over meat.
Humble farming has defined Australia for centuries, and sheep are considered the iconic Aussie flock; farmers continue to work sheep stations throughout the country to feed and clothe the nation.
A true-blue producing nation, there are now 85,681 farms across Australia, and many sheep properties invite you to stay; to swap those white sneakers for gumboots and experience country life in a real and authentic way.
One such property is Rathmore, an hour from Hobart in Tasmania’s Central Highlands; a historic sheep property settled in 1828, which is unique in offering a choice of accommodation.
Choose to stay in the beautiful sandstone homestead with the land owners, with grand bedrooms and period furniture, or in the historic shearers’ quarters, recently revived to offer a country experience that is rustic chic.
Restricted to Tasmania during the pandemic, Mike and I have made an effort to explore our home state. Though being ‘confined’ to such a naturally beautiful island with a number of world famous wilderness destinations free of crowds and chaos is far from limiting!
Our experience in the Huon Valley was the perfect balance of wild exploration, while still being able to relax in luxury after days full of dramatic adventure; a balance made possible by checking into the ultra modern Cygnet Retreat.
Nestled in Southern Tasmania just a short drive from Hobart, Cygnet is now known as the place to escape the fast-paced stresses of our modern day to day.
Growing up in Hobart, I have many fond memories of heading to our family shack along the coast of Southern Tasmania. It had been years since I had returned to this southernmost part of Australia and I was eager to share the area with my American husband.
Basing ourselves in Dover, this region is defined by a culture of holiday homes; you won’t find high-rise cookie-cutter hotels here; it’s authentic living in seaside towns, from cosy waterfront studios, to beach-side bungalows, and locally owned villas in forested surrounds.
Surrounded by wilderness and relaxation, we were fortunate to stay at what must be Dover’s most unique and stunning property, a turn of the 20th century farmhouse that has been very much renovated into a luxury holiday home.
Known as the Peninsula Experience, this unique and secluded property actually boasts two separate houses which includes The Cape House and The Boat House. This is our experience at The Cape House.
The Huon Valley has long been a popular day trip option from Hobart. After-all, just a 30 minute drive south of the city and you’ll be at the source of some of the finest food and freshest ingredients in the country.
Apple growers, craft cider makers, boutique winemakers, salmon producers, and other homegrown produce means even many locals make the drive just for lunch.
But this is a region defined by more than just its food excellence, and if you’re visiting the State, the traditional day trip from Hobart won’t even come close to doing the region justice.
Because on top of the apple cider, salmon sushi, and mouthwatering apple pie (trust me, you’ll order two servings), the Huon Valley also serves up incredible natural beauty, and a huge range of adventure. And they serve it to you on a platter!
The Huon Valley is full of beaches, caves, thermal springs, and is the gateway to the southern forests and World Heritage Wilderness Walks. You can explore by jet boat, hang glider, foot, or car, and if you’re hungry inbetween, fuel up on produce from local roadside stalls.
The Huon Valley is not a day trip destination. It’s worthy of far more time. We recommend at least four to five days for exploring the region.
The first time we visited Alaska we flew into Anchorage and planned out a self drive itinerary by land. The thinking was that this would allow us to see and do more.
And while we had an incredible time, camping in the rugged interior of Denali, and encountering bears along some of the States most scenic drives, we actually missed out on the big show.
Because cruising actually allows you to experience more of Alaska than a land based DIY tour; while cruising offers the best of both worlds, and allows for land based excursions, driving means you completely miss out on sailing on the icy seas.
Cruising in Alaska means whale watching at 6am as soon as you fall out of bed. It means the opportunity to visit islands and towns not accessible by road. It means dining on fresh salmon as you float past massive blue glaciers, and snow-capped mountains shrouded in mist.
If you’re thinking of cruising Alaska, the word epic barely does the experience justice. Here are 7 things you can expect to see.
Of all the amazing experiences you’ve had abroad, which do you remember the most? Do you remember the hotels and hostels? Do you remember the bars? Could you tell me about the trains you took, the medieval churches, or any of the city parks?
And perhaps you do remember the hotels and hostels. Though when you think about these memories, why do they stick out? What’s the common theme? For me at least, my most memorable moments abroad have always been shared with the people I meet.
Let’s be honest, many of the travelers we meet may only be in our lives for a day. But we appreciate these people for the time we shared together. And some of those we meet do stick with us forever. But even if you don’t stay in touch, the best memories in your lives include each other and that’s a bond which ties you together for life.
The following post is about how to connect with travelers abroad, and why the friends you meet traveling are friends for life.
Adventure has been the new pretty for a while now, and women who travel are continually redefining the traditional notion of “sexy” through their passion for exploring the world and adventurous soul.
These women are smart, independent and strong. They navigate unknown cities with a great sense of direction, but also enjoy the spontaneity of getting lost. They’re not searching for money, status or looks, they’re searching for knowledge and world experiences.
These women may not be the most dolled up, but they’re certainly the most authentic. Self sufficient women who challenge, encourage and inspire you to see, do and be more.
Though it’s not even that the following women have all of the above mentioned qualities which ultimately makes them sexy. It’s that they have gone against the “norm” to create a lifestyle that they love. It’s that they’re genuinely happy in life. And happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and reflect that happiness back on you.
It was on the second or third day of our Ireland tour when a particular opportunity arose; a chance at a totally new experience for me. We were traveling north from Dublin, and as was explained by our extremely outgoing and animated Irish tour guide, it was optional if any of us wished to try walking across the structure to be found at our next stop.
It was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
Suspended almost 100 ft above sea level, the rope bridge spans a dizzying gap over the North Atlantic from the mainland to a small island. Today it is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of thrill-seekers (and birdwatchers!) to the North Coast every year.
If you are bold enough to cross the 65 ft (20 m) bridge, stretching from the mainland to ‘Rocky Island’, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Rathlin Island, Scotland and the Causeway Coast. Though legally blind, at least I didn’t have to worry about not looking down!
Trek on a glacier. Get up close (safely) to rescued bear cubs and injured raptors. Fish for salmon. Ride in a zodiac close to a calving glacier. See all varieties of wildlife. Bike, hike and kayak.
If that sounds like your kind of travel, you’ll love Alaska.
It is no wonder experiencing Alaska adventures at sea is on many families’ travel bucket lists. Alaska is an easier and more affordable trip than many other bucket-list destinations.
Multigenerational families understand the destination is appropriate for all ages and abilities, including those with mobility issues. And a trip to Alaska is guaranteed to be one for the memory books.
I am from Germany and by 2024 I will have lived in eight countries in Europe. Living abroad is amazing, and I recommend it to everyone who has an adventurous spirit.
But how do you continue to move across Europe without having to buy new furniture in every new city? What if you don’t want to jump between Airbnb, and enjoy the familiarity of your own things, and own pillow?! Here’s how I lived in 8 European cities with my own items.
When considering the best casino hotels in the US, those in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Reno inevitably come to mind. After all, these three cities are known for their great casinos and hotels.
Thankfully, finding the best hotels that have adjoining casinos doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just these three cities. Just as there are plenty of fish in the sea, many spectacular casino hotels can be found elsewhere in the US. These are less commonly mentioned and are slightly off the beaten track.
If you’re looking for a relaxing and luxurious hotel stay with a chance to win away from the stereotypical locations, check out the fantastic casino hotels below.
Raise your hand if you crave adventure! You won’t need to lug gear or cook your own food either – not on a cruise adventure.
That’s right. Cruises are offering ever more adventurous experiences, especially in destinations like Alaska. Add a zip line, bike, hike or fishing excursion to your activity list. At select ports, you can fish on a shore excursion and have your Princess Cruise’s chef serve your catch to your family at dinner. Exactly the way you like it.
There are more cabins for solo travelers too. That’s good news for gal getaways as well as for multigenerational groups with a grandparent in tow. My experience on ships is it’s easy to connect with other travelers. Whether I sit at the bar, request to have dinner at a larger table, or join active shore excursions, other passengers are welcoming.
California is one of the places that has what feels like unlimited sunshine. But while it’s known as the Golden State, there is much more to do here than just the beaches.
Yes, 840 miles of coastline make for amazing beaches, and many travel solely for the surf camps California has to offer. But you can’t spend 24/7 in the sun, sand, and surf! So here are many more great reasons to visit California.
Winter is the perfect time to visit the grand cities and picturesque villages of Europe. From Hygge and café culture to winter wonderlands and festive markets, the continent offers up a truly magical choice of activities and destinations. Plus, with accommodation and flights generally being less expensive from November to February, your dream trip will be easy on your wallet too.
Away from the seasonal market rush, most major European cities are remarkably crowd-free in the winter season, making it an ideal time to travel if it’s your first time in the destination. More experienced travellers, meanwhile, will discover a cosier side to bustling cities and metropolises.
Whether you’re planning a last-minute trip for this winter or are already planning ahead to next year, check out one of the following destinations for an unforgettable winter getaway.
It may surprise you that the city with the most skyscrapers in the world is one of the most family friendly, with a huge range of exciting things to do for kids; but Hong Kong defintely is!
Between an exciting food to try, a long coastline with spectacular beaches, and perfect sub tropical weather, Hong Kong is a great way to introduce kids to other cultures, with a great blend of Western and Chinese traditions. And let’s not forget Disney!
While summer is best avoided because of the heat, and it’s not exactly stroller friendly if your kids aren’t walking (the city is very hilly and step heavy), Hong Kong is very family friendly, and should be more than a stopover on your itinerary.
For many years, bingo has become known as a game played in retirement homes by seniors and middle-aged women. Though this stereotype is incorrect, and in many countries the game is more cultural than their (other) most popular ball sports; for instance, more money is spent every year in the UK on bingo tickets than it is on football!
Bingo is a game appreciated for its simplicity and social form, and around the world it’s played in pubs, drinking halls, cruise ships, and, in Italy, where it was invented, it’s still played over pizza every Saturday.
If you’re traveling, Bingo is also a really fun way to practice your language / number skills with locals. But with the closure of many land based bingo halls, can you still partake in the fun in the new digital era?
Banff National Park is the most visited national park in Canada and one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I’m going to share with you the 7 best things to do here, including hikes, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, wildlife, and a fantastic road trip on Icefields Parkway considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time visitor or have been to Banff already; this is an excellent place to start planning your itinerary. I’ve enjoyed these activities several times during my decade living close to Banff National Park because every season offers different views and experiences.
Most experienced travelers agree that Europe is one of the best destinations for solo travelers, especially those traveling alone for the first time. You can travel between many countries freely without having to deal with borders and customs hassles and many incredible cities can are just a short flight, train, or bus ride from one another.
Getting around most of Europe’s larger cities is a breeze for solo travelers and traveling alone is generally quite safe. There are also plenty of ways to travel throughout Europe on a budget. Europe is ideal for solo travelers looking to connect with other solo travelers, but those looking for a bit of solitude can find plenty of options as well.
Whether you’re after cultural excursions, a seaside getaway, delicious foodie experiences, or historical attractions, there are countless European countries that are perfect for first-time solo travelers. Here are my top five favorites.
As a single solo female traveller, it’s easy to get swept away by the romance and excitement of meeting foreign locals; they’re intriguing and exotic, it’s sexy when they speak their own language, and they have different ways of being sensual than you’re used to.
It’s a great way to taste authentic cuisine (hello Italian breakfast in bed?), and as a foreign babe yourself, they’re likely to be attracted to you for the same reasons. There’s also that dreamboat accent.
However if you’re dating abroad, it’s important to not let your guard down completely, and make sure you’re taking certain safety precuations – more so than you would in the world of dating at home, as you’re more vulnerable in a new country where customs, language, and services are foreign.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t fully enjoy your time abroad, but the following safety tips will give you the tools and resources for the best way to go about it. We’ve structured these tips based on the most common ways you meet people as a solo female traveler.
We’re very big fans of off the beaten path experiences, discovering destinations like a local, and really diving beneath the skin of a city.
And while we typically aim to avoid the crowds, and to blend in as a local, there’s defintely something to be said about the most touristy attractions – after-all, they’ve become so famous for a reason!
Toronto is Canada’s most popular city; it’s a sprwaling metropolis with an energetic spirit, and a global personality. There are vast green spaces to explore by day, and a buzzing nightlife to hit up at night.
And when it comes to culture & entertainment there’s an eclectic shopping scene, multicultural restaurants, sports, theatre, concerts, galleries, museums, festivals; Toronto is cultured, dynamic, creative, and fun.
If you’re hitting up the city there’s plenty to pack an itinerary, though consider sprinkling in some of these most famous attractions; even if you’re after the local experience, can you really say you’ve visited Toronto without having checked out these sites?!
Recent surveys have shown that 70% of Americans are planning to take a road trip this holiday season instead of flying, and the story is similar in other countries around the world. Despite fuel prices being quite high, people are ditching wings in favor of four rubber tires as air travel becomes more of a hassle thanks to the pandemic.
They say life is about the journey and not the destination, and that definitely rings true with road tripping. But a poorly planned road trip filled with boredom and preventable hiccups can easily ruin your road trip holiday.
With many of us planning longer road trips this holiday season and well into 2022, I thought I’d offer some tips on how you can survive the journey whether traveling solo or with family and friends.