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UNCOVER QUEENSLAND / 8

AMAZING JAPAN / 1 4

THE UK & EUROPE’S HIDDEN GEMS / 19

Rediscover old and new favourites. YOUR PERFECT CRUISE / 28

WHAT’S NEW IN NEW YORK CITY / 32

EATING IN CALIFORNIA / 36


I N T U I T I V E LY DE S IG N E D A R O U N D YO U

New Business Class

Experience the perfect space for work, play and relaxation with the New Business Class on Singapore Airlines. An all-in-one business panel with in-seat power supply keeps you plugged in, while convenient stowage areas keep your belongings within easy reach. The 28-inch wide seat features new reclining positions for maximum comfort and transforms into a fully flat bed for a good night’s rest. Every feature

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is thoughtfully designed with you in mind.


IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

Contents 2018 TRAVEL GUIDE 8  Rediscover Queensland 10  Hidden Tropical North Queensland 12  School holidays in Fiji 14 Amazing Japan 16 Chat with founder Chris Paulsen UK 20  22  23  24

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& EUROPE Around the UK & Ireland Europe is for (chocolate) lovers Europe’s hidden gem We need to talk about the Camino

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CRUISING 27 Cruising tips & tricks 28 Which cruise is right for you? 30 Cruising for a younger crowd USA 32 What’s new in New York City 34 Leaf peeping in New England 36 Eat your way around California END NOTES 38 Who knew?

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HOUSE OF TRAVEL CONTRIBUTORS Writer ANNA SARJEANT Designer BETH ALLISON Australia TELESIA FONOTI South Pacific SHARMA SMITH North America GABRIELLE BROWN Asia JON GWIN UK & Europe ANGELA WEBBER Touring JOHN CROUCH Long Haul SHELLEY ADKINS Printer WEBSTAR

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS GENERAL CONDITIONS: Prices are correct as at 16 October 2017 – costs may vary due to subsequent tax surcharge increases, currency exchange rates and/ or unforeseen circumstances. Valid for new bookings only as specified or sold out. For travel commenced and completed as specified. Min/max stays apply. Prices are per person share twin in NZ dollars subject to availability at time of booking, based on payment by cash or cheque. Booking deposits and payment requirements may apply. Bedding configurations may vary. Credit card fees will apply. Some closeouts apply. For travel outside the dates specified, ask your local House of Travel consultant. Amendment and cancellation fees apply. Accommodation ratings are based on House of Travel ratings and are a guide only to the overall quality of the property. Flights are additional unless specified otherwise. Ask us about the best available flights to your chosen destination. Further terms and conditions may apply. See www.houseoftravel.co.nz/inspire for more details.


STUFF WE LOVE

Glamping in Rarotonga.

TRAVEL GRIPES. Whinge with us. We’ll all feel better.

Unforeseen airport waits. You didn’t see the small print and now you have a 12 hour wait in the airport. Use a House of Travel consultant and they’ll find the shortest transfer time available, or they can book you into a boredom-busting Premium Lounge.

I K U R A N G I E C O R E T R E A T, C O O K I S L A N D S

At House of Travel we don’t just sell hotels. Ask us about Ikurangi Eco Retreat, the Cook Islands’ only glamping spot. Sleep in Safari-style tents, bathe under a starlit sky and find harmony with nature. Just one example of the diverse accommodation we can book for you. Want in? Come see us in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to find out more.

Grandma Lena The 90 year old grandma better known as Baba Lena has spent the past seven years travelling the world. And she’s not stopping anytime soon. Someone we can all take inspiration from, follow her adventures on social media. @ babushka_1927

The first beachfront departure lounge Sir Richard Branson, we salute you. Virgin’s 2018 ‘Departure Beach’ will include flight check-in, baggage drop off and a buffet — on a real beach complete with sun loungers. Just like a regular departure lounge, but with sand.

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The best travel pillow yet A pillow, eye mask and noise cancelling earmuffs all-in-one. The soft and fleecy Wrap-aNap® provides you with the ideal conditions for sleep. It muffles noise and blindfolds you into nap inducing darkness. See you in eight hours. www.wrapanap.com

THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .

Falling asleep on a flight and missing dinner. At least with Emirates you get a selection of stickers that a flight attendant can see. They currently have three: “Do not disturb”, “Wake me up for meals” and “Wake me up for duty free”. Stick one on your forehead. Or just your top. Either or.

There’s only “One Seat Left” messages on flight websites. Hang fire. Because as any House of Travel agent will tell you - “That urgent ‘One Seat Left’ siren is flashing unnecessarily.” Let’s just say a consultant’s screen probably says otherwise.


D R EAM SPOT L I O N SA N D S G A M E R E S E RV E , K RU G E R N AT I O N A L PA R K , S O U T H A F R I CA

THE BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP IS UNDER THE STARS

“And nothing beats luxury under a starlit sky. Lion Sands’ Chalkley Treehouse is the ultimate bedroom in the South African bush. Sleep directly under the stars atop a luxury wooden platform and enjoy 5-star comfort with a once-in-a-lifetime backdrop. Whether you have a special occasion in mind, or simply want to fulfil a lifelong dream, ask your House of Travel consultant about Lion Sands Game Reserve and we’ll make this magic happen.” SHELLEY ADKINS, General Manager, House of Travel Product Already mentally packing? Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to start planning your stay.

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I G U E L D O, S PA I N

THE 2018 HOUSE OF TR AVEL

Rediscovering Queensland.

Exploring the UK & Ireland.


Chocolate tasting in Europe.

Walking the Camino in Spain.

Leaf peeping in the USA.


2018 TRAVEL GUIDE / QUEENSLAND

Bet you didn’t know you could do this in Queensland. Whether you’re a serial visitor or you’ve never been, this iconic region always surprises. These little-known treats are our favourite.

HOT TIP “A must for the Sunshine Coast is a rental car. From the coastline to the Hinterland. Incorporate a day trip to Montville, a village in the Hinterland. There’s something for everyone, from boutique shopping, art and craft galleries and quirky cafés.” PIA LEMIN, HOUSE OF TRAVEL LAKERS INVERCARGILL

S O U T H E R N G R E AT B A R R I E R R E E F M O N R E P O S C O N S E RVAT I O N PA R K , B U N DA B E RG

Call yourself a traveller? You’ve got nothing on a loggerhead turtle. From January through to March, tiny footprints pitter patter the sand at Mon Repos beach. Turtle hatchlings which were laid just eight weeks earlier now appear from their sand nests and scramble towards the sea, for a journey that can take them as far as Mexico. Witnessing this rare sight — the annual dash to the ocean’s edge — is one of Queensland’s best wildlife encounters.

Together we’ll take you to more of Queensland 8   I N S P I R E   |   HOU SE O F TRAV E L  

THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .

Our alliance gives you easy access to 13 Queensland destinations.


T RO P I C A L N O RT H Q U E E N S L A N D PA RO N E L L A PA R K An artist and a visionary, José Paronella’s dreamt of a tropical estate encased in lush Australian jungle. He dreamt of an elaborate castle, inspired by his Spanish roots, and a natural wonderland dotted with picnic areas and waterfalls; fountains, tennis courts, tunnels and bridges. By 1935 he had completed his dream, and today — 82 years later — guests can visit his Shangri-la.

T H E W H I T S U N DAYS W H I T E H AV E N B E AC H

Whitehaven Beach. Google it and gawp. Where angel white sand meets liquid teal, the beach is part of the Whitsunday Islands, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Arrive by air or by sea and dig your feet into some of the world’s purest sand. Stretching seven kilometres in total, stay at one end or the other and picnic in paradise, or venture further along the shoreline and find a delicious slice of sand all to yourself.

S U N S H I N E C OA S T N O O S A E V E RG L A D E S Noosa was made for boutiques and beach life but you will also find one of the world’s most pristine stretches of wilderness, the Noosa Everglades. Lush wetlands and sedate waters lend themselves to a boat cruise. Drift along the Cooloola Coast, stretching 65km from Noosa to Fraser Island, or commandeer a canoe and gently paddle upstream, passing champagne sand bars and beautiful private jetties.

O U T B AC K Q U E E N S L A N D ROA D T R I P S From the lone fuel stations that stand like antiques in the desert, to horizons warped by heat lines, Queensland offers the most accessible Outback road trips in Australia. Venture across landscapes once trampled by dinosaurs, swamped in wetland or freckled by bottle trees. These giant beasts swell at the trunk and resemble enormous barrels on the brink of bursting. With numerous routes streaking the map, days are for exploring, while nights call for hearty steaks devoured at friendly Outback taverns.

G O L D C OA S T N AT U R A L B R I D G E , S P R I N G B RO O K N AT I O N A L PA R K Swap the sound of crashing surf and Gold Coast chatter for tropical birdsong and the croak of tree frogs. Leave the coast and an hour’s drive later find yourself at Springbrook National Park. The one kilometre subtropical circuit leads from the carpark through leafy rainforest and the honey sweet smell of sun warmed flora. Emerge into a shaded cave with a serene waterfall, complete with a fairy tale bridge arching over a pretty lagoon.

B R I S B A N E L A N E WAYS With laneways to raise a Melbourne eyebrow, check out Brissie’s Burnett Lane for the city’s best bites. This former prison yard has flavour, sass and grunge appeal. Gresham Lane pours a tipple to fill your tumbler and Spencer Lane offers a touch of New York style class with a great cup of Joe. We’ve only scratched the surface — you can fall down the rabbit hole.

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HOT TIPS

LEEZA YOUNG, House of Travel, Papamoa

Take a Great Barrier Reef day trip with Quicksilver Cruises

from Port Douglas. The boat docks at a pontoon so it’s perfect for those who get seasick. Looking for luxury? The premium Thala Beach Nature Reserve located

just outside of Port Douglas is a stunning high-end rainforest retreat with absolutely incredible views.

Experience Tropical North Queensland like you’ve never seen it before. Visit your local House of Travel store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz.

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2018 TRAVEL GUIDE / TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

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Look beyond the obvious. Think Tropical North Queensland is all about coral reefs and flashy resorts? Wake up and smell the secrets we’re about to spill. These little-known tip-offs are worthy of a nose tap and a wink. 1 / T H E T RO P I C A L N O RT H I S A H U G E B OW L O F G L U T TO N O U S T E M P TAT I O N . Gorge yourself silly in Atherton Tablelands. This great fertile region is a highland plateau sitting south west of Cairns. Teeming with tropical indulgences, local harvests make all sorts of deliciousness, including the spirits sold at Mt Uncle Distillery — pop in for tastings and stone baked pizza. For alcohol-free revivers, Skybury Tropical Plantation grows the region’s richest coffee, while Nerada Tea Plantation will satisfy the leaf sippers. With more dairy products than days of sunshine (almost), visit from summer through to autumn for the region’s awardwinning ricotta and feta, or year-round for spectacular ice-cream. The Humpy between Tolga and Atherton is something of a local secret and sells juicy locallygrown produce, and Yungaburra Farmers’ Market is the largest and oldest market in the hood. But you’ll find stalls selling delicacies any given weekend of the month. Tuck in. 2 / THERE ARE SEVERAL U N TO U C H E D T RO P I C A L H A N G O U T S . For an eco-escape that few others know about, head south of Cairns and don’t stop until you get to Mission Beach. Hugging the Cassowary Coast, Mission Beach boasts four sleepy villages and 14km of wide, empty beaches. As the perfect launch pad for the secluded islands of Dunk and Bedarra, jump on the Dunk Island Water Taxi and sail away into azure waters and

semi-deserted islands. Offering beautiful slivers of untouched sand you’re just 4km from the mainland and a million miles from reality. Mission Beach is also an ideal base from which to explore the famed Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel-up and let Mission Beach Dive get you acquainted with the deep blue. 3 / M OT H E R N AT U R E B U I LT H E R B E S T WAT E R PA R KS H E R E . An hour south of Mission Beach there exists Australia’s best kept secret: Cardwell Spa Pool in Girringun National Park. A natural lagoon in the crease of rocks and rainforest, this sparkling waterhole recently featured on Instagram and nearly broke the Internet. Due to a natural depression in the creek bed, the ultramarine water swirls like a nature-made Jacuzzi. Water babies will also enjoy Babinda Boulders, named after the giant well-polished rocks that litter a freshwater swimming hole. There’s also Mossman Gorge; a similar nature-created water haven 20km from Port Douglas. Take respite from the afternoon sun, wade out, climb a smooth boulder and slide off with a satisfying splosh. 4 / T H E P E R F E C T DAY B E G I N S A N D E N D S I N PA L M C OV E . Hats out, shades on glam-seekers, this sophisticated coastal community is as dazzling as the sunshine reflecting off its Coral Sea water. Impeccably slick it still possesses laid-back

coastal vibes, where days call for early starts — kayaking around the fringing reef of Double Island in search of turtles, or mastering the skill of SUP boarding to a sunrise backdrop. Brunch at Chill Café, which is as relaxed as the name suggests, before heading back out for an afternoon of spa indulgences at Reef House Resort. Once polished, finish the day with a sunset barbecue on the beach. With frosted beers and snags sizzling as the sun descends. 5 / T H E B E AC H TOW N S H AV E S L E E P Y V I L L AG E V I B E S . With something to please every punter, Port Douglas is an all-round crowd pleaser. A playground for families, a heavenly hangout for couples and it’s just one hour north of Cairns. The outer Great Barrier Reef is less than an hour offshore and the Daintree Rainforest is so close you can practically hear the cassowary. Take the Dreamtime Gorge Walk with an indigenous guide and load up on Daintree facts. Croc lovers can embark on a crocodile cruise aboard the Lady Douglas, or watch them being fed at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. The silky sand of Four Mile Beach is patrolled for safe swimming and daily ice-creams from Macrossan Street is a no-brainer. As dusk approaches, watch the boats glide in and out of the Port Douglas Marina from Hemingway’s Brewery. Child friendly and super chilled, the food’s tasty and the beer’s made using water from Mossman Gorge. Cheers. ■

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2018 TRAVEL GUIDE / FIJI

Spend the school holidays on island time. The best family holidays start with a Bula! Book early to secure one of these first-rate Fiji resorts. Early birds catch the warm Fiji deals!

F O R B E AC H E S Castaway Island Fiji, Mamanuca Islands. This award-winning private island retreat is just a one minute walk from the beach. From the pizza bar to your bedroom, water and reef is always in eyeshot.

Vomo Island, Mamanuca Islands. A top seller, this island getaway boasts villas with direct beach access. You’re inches from shoreline and there are complimentary non-motorised water sports, including snorkelling. F O R SW I M M I N G P O O L S Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island. Almost all Fiji resorts feature beautiful pools, but The Radisson Blu boasts four! Including an adults-only pool, Fiji’s largest swim-up bar and a waterslide.

Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Denarau Island. One of the largest lagoon style swimming pools in the South Pacific, Sofitel Fiji’s stunning pool also tickles the beachfront. F O R WAT E R S P O RTS Mana Island Resort & Spa. Direct snorkelling off the beach, parasailing, fishing, Jet Ski safaris,

shark encounters, kayaking, boat tours, windsurfing, jet skiing, banana boats and diving at Aqua Trek Mana — a PADI Gold Palm Resort dive company. Phew! F O R E ASY A I R P O RT T R A N S F E RS Denarau’s resorts. Less than 10km from Nadi, Denarau is an upscale island resort accessed via causeway from Viti Levu. Denarau’s integrated hotels are just a 20-minute transfer from Nadi Airport.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji. Double Tree Resort is a 25-minute drive from Nadi International Airport. If you’re coming from the main island of Viti Levu, it’s just a 3-minute boat ride away. F O R E N T E RTA I N M E N T Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Coral Coast. The Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort on Viti Levu’s Coral Coast has a playground, babysitting services and a kids’ club. With extensive daily activities, movie nights, TV room and ‘kids eat free’ buffet incentives.

Plantation Island Resort, Malolo Lailai Island. Plantation Island features a kids’ club, games

room, playground and babysitting. There are books and DVDs, as well as an indoor play area, outdoor play equipment and complimentary bikes. FOR DINING Denarau. With several hotel resorts and their restaurants, Port Denarau also boasts the Hard Rock Café, Mamas Pizza, Cardo’s Steakhouse; an Italian, Indian and New Zealand Natural Ice Cream, while the Rhum Bar is a great spot for fresh food. And kids devour it!

Ready to dive in? Visit your local House of Travel store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz. 1 2  I N S P I R E   |   H OUSE O F TRAV E L  

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HOT TIPS

Holidaying in Fiji with pint-sized travellers.

SHARMA SMITH, House of Travel Product

Ask us about one bedroom/ interconnecting rooms or two bedroom villas and bures. The price difference is usually minimal. Purchase a case of bottled water from Duty Free on arrival into Nadi while waiting for your luggage. If you have very young children, bear in mind the outer islands are always a few degrees hotter than the mainland. Some of the larger resorts like the Sheraton properties in Denarau hire out mountain buggies. Do enquire as it may save you carting your own one over. Kids’ menus can be sourced from most properties, so don’t hesitate to ask your consultant.

Lomani Wai at Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island. Tables sit in the hotel’s lagoon pool and kids love dangling their feet in the water. F O R C U LT U R E Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, Coral Coast. For eight years the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort (one of Fiji’s most popular resorts) has been offering voluntourism projects. From building libraries to computer labs for the local community, pay from NZ$85 per adult and NZ$55 per child to lend a hand. ■

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ANDREA ADDISON, House of Travel Papamoa

HOT TIP “Take a plug-in mosquito repellent device for your room. And take your dry snacks in a big plastic container (think Sistema 5L). It’s really handy for keeping them fresh and keeping crawlies out!” CHARLOTTE CAMPBELL, HOUSE OF TRAVEL PAPAMOA

THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .

Rumba restaurant at the Denarau Marina has amazing seafood, well priced drinks and great menu options for kids. Golf Club in Denarau make huge pizzas – excellent value for a family meal. Big Bula in Denarau is a fully inflatable waterpark just down the road from the Radisson. Good fun for kids and adults!


20 1 8 T R AV E L G U I D E / JA PA N

Japan: See with all your senses. You’ve heard of Tokyo, sure. But here’s what else you shouldn’t miss in Japan.

From left: Japan is a feast for the senses, from the smell of cherry blossoms and sounds of chanting monks to the tastes of fine sashimi. TASTE THE FOOD AT TAPAS MOLECULAR BAR , MANDARIN ORIENTAL TOKYO. With only eight diners and two chefs, one of which is acclaimed Ngan Ping Chow (famed for his celebrated molecular cooking) the Michelin-starred restaurant on the 38th floor of Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel is theatrical fine dining. Part show, part tapasinspired delicacies, Japanese plates are prepared before your very eyes and delivered dramatically. Observe a world-class chef while blowing smoke out of your nose from a dry ice inspired dish. Book in advance. SEE HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL PARK. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates all those affected by the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing; the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack. The park comprises several memorials and monuments, notably the skeletal remnants of a bombedout hall known as The A-Bomb Dome, as well as a concrete Cenotaph inscribed with the names of all known victims. And then there’s the Flame of Peace; set to burn until all the world’s nuclear weapons are destroyed… H E A R T H E M O N KS C H A N T I N KOYA S A N . Stay in a monastery in Koyasan, 80 minutes south of Osaka, and awaken at 6am to hear the monks chant. Recognised as the birth place

of Shingon Buddhism, several temples offer private, traditional Japanese rooms with shared bathrooms and simple vegetarian meals. As you’d expect, Koyasan is a spiritual place, far removed from modern civilisation and quite often coated in a blanket of befitting mist. Perfectly peaceful, it’s also Japan’s holiest place to be buried. Visit the mausoleum for ancient graves as well as those from wealthy modern families, such as Panasonic and Nissan. TO U C H T H E S A N D AT S U N S E T B E AC H , I S H I G A K I I S L A N D. As part of the Yaeyama archipelago, Sunset Beach is on Ishigaki Island. Fly in from Tokyo and you can go from urban to Utopia in just over 3.5 hours. With a beautiful beach and a semi-tropical location in Japan’s

south, the sand is platinum white and the emerald sea is perpetually inviting. Of course Sunset Beach also offers the optimum spot to watch the sun sink into the East China Sea. S M E L L C H E R RY B LO S S O M . Japan’s pastel pink cherry blossoms smell as good as they look. While the trees seldom bear fruit, the blossom flourishes every spring, and with it comes an intoxicating floral scent. The Japanese celebrate Sakura (cherry blossom) with Hanami, literally “flower viewing” celebrations which take place in March and April. Locals organise flower appreciation picnics under the blooms, sitting beneath the bubble gum petals and sipping on ‘Sakura’ Pepsi. For a limited time, even the cola’s pink! ■

H OT T I P S F O R T R AV E L L I N G I N JA PA N

✗ DON’T put your chopsticks in

✓ DO try the cans of iced coffee from

your mouth. It’s considered the height of rudeness.

vending machines. They’re delicious. And everywhere!

✗ DON’T crease your money as it’s

✓ DO use a coin operated café (put

disrespectful. Keep it crisp in your wallet.

your money in, order your dish, take a number and wait for your food).

✗ DON’T walk barefoot in sacred places, your actual feet should never touch the ground.

✓ DO grab sushi from a 7/11. For quick and easy meals, the sushi is always fresh.

“Japan is so hot right now. At House of Travel we have seen a huge surge in Kiwis travelling to The Land of the Rising Sun. With vibrant food, friendly people, diversity and true cultural experiences, Japan is unique, safe and captivating.” KIRSTY STEWART, House of Travel Hornby

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QUICK GUIDE KIRSTY STEWART, House of Travel Hornby, shares some details.

H OW D O I G ET THER E? There are numerous airlines flying to Tokyo but Air New Zealand is the only direct flight from Auckland. Get there in 10h 50m. H OW LO N G D O I NEED THERE? We recommend a minimum 10 days to see all the major sights. H OW D O I G E T A RO U N D? Ask your House of Travel consultant about a Japan Rail Pass. They’re comfortable, speedy and easy. C U R R E N CY? Japanese Yen. D O I N E E D A V I SA? New Zealanders can visit Japan for tourist purposes for up to 90 days. C L I M AT E & W E AT H E R? Temperate with four seasons. Southern Japan gets a milder winter and hotter summer than the north. Summer hits 30°C+ and winter can drop to zero. W H AT D O I D O I N A N E M E RG E N CY? Call 119 for fire and ambulance, 110 for Police and 118 for the Coast Guard. CA N I D R I N K T H E WAT E R? You can safely drink water from the tap anywhere in Japan.

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We’ll help you get there. Visit your local House of Travel store, 0800 713 715 or visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz

THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER call us on.


H O U S E O F T R AV E L F O U N D E R C H R I S PAU L S E N C E L E B R AT E S 3 0 YE A RS

‘Kiwi ingenuity at its finest!’ Our Founder and Executive Chairman talks about how travel planning has changed since House of Travel opened its first store 30 years ago and why it’s only getting better. How did it all begin? It was nearly 50 years ago when I first joined the travel industry as an office junior at Air New Zealand. I worked my way up the ranks and into reservations, ticketing and sales. I was a part of a new generation at Air New Zealand and had bundles of exciting ideas. So in 1977, at the age of 25 we decided to set up my own travel business in Christchurch with a good friend and sold my car to fund it! Over the next ten years we developed a business that dominated airline consolidation and wholesaling in the South Island. In January 1987 we decided to sell the business and opened the first House of Travel store in Timaru. We could see the future of travel was focussing on the customer and creating a retail business instead of just being a wholesaler. We didn’t think there were many operations that were passionate about the customer. We’ve made customer service a priority from the moment the doors first opened.

Chris Paulsen has been working in the New Zealand travel industry for nearly 50 years.

What significant changes have you seen in the travel industry over the past 30 years? Thirty years ago, our customers would come to see a travel agent as they knew nothing about how to travel to the other side of the world, where to stay or what to do once they arrived. These days, when a customer walks into a House of Travel store, they have done plenty

of research beforehand and already have an idea of the holiday experience they’re after. The evolution of the internet has definitely had a big role to play in that research phase. One thing that hasn’t changed too much is how engaging a great travel agent can help interpret that information and assist with creating a better holiday experience together. Travel agents have access

to amazing deals that are often tricky to find online, they take the hassle out of all the time sifting through Expedia, Airbnb and Viator, and they personalise an itinerary to suit your budget and needs.

What’s the secret behind House of Travel’s success? House of Travel is all about business partnerships. I love the fact that every store located across New Zealand is owned and operated by local members of the community. There’s a 50/50 split so local owner-operators feel supported by a larger enterprise but have the freedom to run their own business. Kiwi ingenuity at its finest! What’s instore for House of Travel over the next 30 years? Globally there is a shift in customers returning to use a travel agent rather than trying to tackle travel planning on their own. There’s so much information available out there that people are overwhelmed by all the options, and in turn this is creating some distrust with certain websites and advice provided by the “unknown.” You can’t go past that personal interaction, trust and specialisation that goes into creating a holiday experience. I expect that this trend will sustain and House of Travel will continue to grow and assist Kiwis with their dream travel plans. ■

3 0 Y E A R S O F G I V I N G K I W I S G R E AT H O L I D AY S 1 9 9 4 House of Travel expanded to 50 stores nationwide, and consultants are sending adventurous Kiwis around the world — and our own gorgeous country.

1 9 8 7 The first House of Travel outlet opens in Timaru. Within that year, seven stores are opened across both islands.

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1 9 8 8 Remember when airline tickets were issued by hand? We sure do.

THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .

2 0 0 6 We don’t like to brag, but since 2006, House of Travel has been repeatedly voted NZ’s best travel web site. We haven’t let it go to our heads — our site is always improving!


C H R I S ’ FAV O R I T E D E S T I N AT I O N S

After so many memorable trips, Chris can’t pick just one favourite destination, so here are three: Porto (left), a coastal city in northwestern Portugal; Havana, Cuba (above); and Hoi An, Vietnam (below), where he found his all-time favorite hotel, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai.

2 0 0 6 We start a partnership with Hospice that continues today.

2014 House of Travel debuts its very own App for smartphones. Login to access itineraries, arrival guides, bookings and so much more. You have downloaded it, haven’t you?

2 0 1 7 House of Travel now has more than 75 stores and continues sending Kiwis on incredible holidays to Fiji, London and everywhere in between.

2 0 1 7 House of Travel are winners of Best Travel Agency Brand five years running at the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards.

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Our commitment to our customers. The best holiday for you.

At the best value possible.

• We’ll combine your ideas with our experience and expertise to deliver you the best holiday possible.

• We’re committed to providing the holiday you want at the very best value possible.

• We’ve got your back 24/7 from the moment you contact us until you’re home again.

• We promise to utilise all our buying power to search out a great price for your holiday.

• We value your feedback on your last HOT holiday, so we can make your next trip even better.

• We know value means different things to different people, so we take the time to understand what’s important to you.

The best holidays are created together. H O T . C O . N Z

Why you should choose a TAANZ accredited travel agent. A DVO CACY

Unfortunately, the unforeseen does happen. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you can be assured your TAANZ agent will do everything they can to get you moving again as quickly, and with as little disruption to your travel plans, as possible.

CHOICE

TAANZ agents work for you, and will always make unbiased recommendations. With longstanding relationships across a huge array of suppliers, your agent offers a world of choice, assisting you to make decisions based purely on what is the best fit for your needs and budget.

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KN OW LE D G E

All TAANZ agents have the invaluable combination of formal training and realworld experience. Whether you’re planning to see the famous sights or looking for somewhere off the beaten track, they offer first-hand insight along with professional, expert advice.

TH E B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .

SAFETY

By aggregating official travel advisories with global and local intelligence, your TAANZ agent has accurate, up-todate information, always. With TAANZ, you can be sure you have all the knowledge you need to make informed decisions regarding safe travel, before departure and beyond.

PE O PLE

TAANZ accreditation gives you the assurance your agent is held to the highest industry standards — they are the best in the business. For your peace of mind, TA ANZ m e m b e rs a re bonded and must meet financial standards that nonTAANZ members do not.


THE UK & EUROPE

What’s new with you, Europe? Brimming with landmarks, the UK and Europe have bragging rights to all the tourist hot spots. But what about all the juicy gems you’re yet to explore? Curious minds read on. AROUND THE UK & IRELAND / 20

HIDDEN PORTUGAL / 23

N I KO U R I A I S L A N D, GREECE

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TOUR GUIDE

10 unexpected finds in the UK and Ireland. Try something a little different.

1 / S T E E P YO U R S E L F I N S E AW E E D. Make a stop at Voya Seaweed Spa, nestled along the beach in the little seaside town of Strandhill. If you’re in County Sligo, it’s a must-do for any bath junkie. They haul fresh seaweed from the ocean, add essential oils and fill a private bath; you just relax. Strandhill, Carrowbunnaun, Sligo.

3 / S C O R E A B A RG A I N . The UK’s largest designer outlet complex is McArthur Glen Designer Outlet. Just a 45-minute drive out of Manchester (and it’s the one M56 motorway all the way). Home to 145 designer stores and open until 8pm Monday Saturday. Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

2 / VISIT REAL-LIFE WINTERFELL . With its craggy coastline and gunmetal grey sky, Northern Ireland makes the perfect location for Game of Thrones. Head to County Antrim for the 820-acre walled demesne of Castle Ward, AKA Winterfell. Strangford, Downpatrick.

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4 / TA K E A W I L D R I D E . The UK’s best theme park, Alton Towers boasts dozens of rides, G-force roller coasters, a waterpark, spa and a treetop rope course. Annual themed events include the Halloween Scarefest with rides in the dark, and Bonfire Night, with a legendary firework display. Farley Lane, Alton, Stoke-on-Trent.

5 / S E E S O M E R E A L LY S I C K P L A N T S . The sign at the gate of Alnwick Poison Gardens reads: “These Plants Can Kill.” Created by an English duchess, every plant is deadly and/or narcotic. Part of the 14-acre Alnwick Garden, it houses 100 killing plants, some caged. Take a guided tour but don’t touch! The Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick.

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is the year construction began on the tower we call Big Ben. Officially, though, “Big Ben” does not refer to the clock tower but instead to the huge 13-ton Great Bell located at the top. Tourists who meet visiting criteria and book in advance can see it up close.

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6 / TA K E H I G H T E A I N S T Y L E . If you’ve seen the 1990 movie, The Witches, based on Roald Dahl’s book, you’ll recognise Newquay’s Headland Hotel. Now serving high tea and scones, the Cornish clotted cream is arguably the best in the country. Fistral Beach, Headland Road, Newquay.

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7 / T E L L T H E K I D S TO TA K E A H I K E . Families love the award-winning Crocky Trail. An outdoor adventure playground in the muddy outdoors, scrambl​e through trees, crooked bridges and swing over the fast flowing Crocky stream. If you slip, you’re only going one way — into the mud. Cotton Abbotts, Waverton, Chester.

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8 / C ATC H A M OV I E I N A N H I S TO R I C S E T T I N G . Said to be Quentin Tarantino’s all-time favourite picture house, The Cameo is one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland. Have a drink in the adjoining café and settle in for an art house film. The seats recline and ticket cost £11. 38 Home Street, Edinburgh.

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9 / R E D E F I N E C O SY. Duck inside Great Britain’s smallest house in the quaint fishing town of Conwy; just six foot wide and only a fraction higher. Sit outside, facing the sea and grab a bag of mussels. There’s also Conwy’s beautiful 1289 castle in walking distance. 10 Lower Gate Street, Conwy.

10 / GREET A G I A N T S Q U I D. Archie the giant squid lives in London’s Natural History Museum, in a custom made nine metre tank. Caught off the Falkland Islands in 2004, the 8.6 metre monster is roughly the size of a bus. Drop in and say hello. Cromwell Road, London.

Ready to go? Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to start planning your UK adventure.

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SWEET IDEAS

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Europe is for (chocolate) lovers. 1 / T U R I N , I TA LY. The concept of Nutella

originates from this city. The first ever hot chocolate was served in a Turin café. And if you’re after the annual Cioccola-Tò chocolate festival, you’ll only find it in Turin. Basically, Turin is chocolate. Taking place every November in the city’s Piazza San Carlo, the festival mixes molten hot chocolate with free-flowing samples. From competitions to chocolate workshops, the entire event is free. C H O C T I P : Coffee more your thing? Bicerin is also native to Turin: Espresso, drinking chocolate and milk. 2 / B O U R N E M O U T H , U K . Brace yourself

chocolate lovers. In Bournemouth you’ll find The Chocolate Boutique Hotel. With 15 chocolate-themed rooms, it’s the non-stop complimentary chocolate that we’re really here for. As well as your bedroom, there’s free chocolate dished out at the bar. Which is also where you can sip on the hotel’s chocolate cocktail. Or maybe you’re more interested in the chocolate fondue fountain? Or a chocolate workshop... C H O C T I P : Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So tuck into the hotel’s signature pancakes. Chocolate ones, obviously. 5 Durley Road, Bournemouth. 3 / R O M E , I TA LY. A former chocolate

factory (and the oldest one in Rome) ‘SAID dal 1923’ is a restaurant in the San Lorenzo area of the city. This modern Italian eatery now serves top-notch dishes,

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many of which are infused with cocoa. From chocolate ravioli to eggplant and chocolate sauce, it sounds like a disaster, but the entire menu is divine. C H O C T I P : Find it at Via Tiburtina, 135, 00185, Rome. 4 / B R U S S E L S , B E L G I U M . The home

of pralines, Brussels has a long history of quality handmade chocolate. The city’s main square, the Grand Place, is home to four revered chocolate shops. Godiva, Galler, Leonidas and Neuhaus, who claim to be the original creators of the praline. Press your nose against each window display and marvel at the decadence. C H O C T I P : Bruges is also a chocoholic’s dream township. Especially along Katelijnestraat, with its half dozen fancy chocolatiers. 5 / J U N G F R A U J O C H , S W I T Z E R L A N D.

At the Lindt Chocolate Heaven store in Jungfraujoch, you really are in cloud nine. 3454 metres above sea level, it’s the highest chocolate shop in Europe. Boasting every flavour of Lindt you could possibly imagine, there are slabs of every shape, buckets of every colour, and walls lined with shiny ‘eat me now’ bars. And nothing tastes better than Swiss chocolate consumed on a beautiful Swiss mountain. CHOC TIP: Get there by taking the cogwheel train to Jungfraujoch. Better known as the ‘Top of Europe’ the fresh air is as almost as delicious as the chocolate. Almost. ■

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DESTINATION SP OTLIGHT / PORTUGAL

Europe’s best kept secret.

HOT TIPS

For centuries Portugal has lived in its Spanish shadow; a secret behind the showpiece. But this hidden beauty is shining through. A B O O K- LOV E R’S D R E A M D E ST I N AT I O N . Óbidos, a medieval town just 80 kilometres from Lisbon has transformed itself into a literary wonderland. Themed bookshops freckle the landscape, such as the 13th-century Church of Santiago which is now the Grande Livraria de Santiago (“The Grand Bookstore of Santiago”) complete with bestsellers on the marble altar and towering art books where there once were pews. The vegetable market now sells cookbooks and there’s even a book hotel with 45,000 titles. A P O RT U G U E S E FA I RY TA L E . The Grimms Brothers eat your heart out, nowhere delivers a better fairy tale than Sintra. From the Bavarian Gothic Pena Palace to the pastel-hued manors, castle walls, rolling storybook hills and enchanting woodland, it’s a dreamy must-see. Those who dare should visit the Quinta da Regaleira estate and peer inside the colossal Initiation Wells. Dark underground towers cloaked in an eerie moss, if this were a Grimm’s tale, something ghoulish would lurk inside. LISBON, YOU GORGEOUS LITTLE INTROVERT, YOU. Lisbon has stayed off-radar for the last several centuries, but a wallflower she is not. The decorative ceramic tiles, for which this city is famed, lavishly adorn the walls, doorways and floors, while The Madre de Deus Convent houses five centuries of the most beautiful. Don’t forget the Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) because a trip to Portugal isn’t complete without at least one…one per day that is! Pasteis de Belém — just across from St Jeronimos Monastery — have been making the city’s most delicious custard tarts since 1837.

My Portugal CARLOS BARBOSA, a half-Portuguese Kiwi at House of Travel Calder & Lawson, shares some secrets from his second home. Far removed from the masses, Vidago is defined by the spectacular Vidago Palace Hotel. Paredes de Coura is a pretty village of parishes. The river is the life force, and I love going there for a picnic and a refreshing dip. Restaurante Cruzeiro in the Amares region serves the most amazing goat dish I have ever had.

The Initiation Wells at Quinta da Regaleira estate are a World Heritage Site in Sintra.

T H E B O U L D E R H O M E S O F M O N S A N TO. While you might like to line your house with weatherboard, the residents of Monsanto choose something a little more unorthodox. 200 tonne boulders to be exact. Located in Portugal’s east, Monsanto is a 16th century village hanging from a lofty mountaintop, and it’s littered with enormous granite boulders. It was the village’s original inhabitants who built into these mammoth stones, some of which are even fitted with doors leading into craggy Flintstone-style homes. The stonework is adapted everywhere; walls, floors, and even roofs. ■

The secret’s out, Portugal is here to dazzle us. Book your next trip to Portugal with House of Travel. Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to talk to our travel experts today.

Coimbra is said to have the oldest University in the world. I love walking the main street and smelling the roasted chestnuts. Built on a hill flanking the River Duoro, Porto is delightfully higgledypiggledy. Tap into the Port wine – for which it is famed. Half an hour from Sintra, you can hike from Cabo Roca to Adraga Beach. Reward your efforts with a bowl of fried Boulinhos de Bacalhão at the beach fronting restaurant.

“I always say, if you think Spain is relaxed — with all their siestas and long lunches — then when you get to Portugal you will think the Spanish are absolutely manic!” CARLOS BARBOSA, House of Travel Calder & Lawson, Hamilton

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TRAIL GUIDE

We need to talk about the Camino. The Spanish Camino is Spain’s famed 900km hike and one of the most talked about walks in the world. There are several Camino tracks, but we’re here to focus on Los Caminos del Norte. We pose every question a prospective pilgrim may want to ask. And all the very real answers you’ll want in advance.

Friendships are easily formed with other pilgrims over Є10 meals and a bottle of vino tinto.

B U T F I R S T, B U Y A PA C K O F L A DY ’ S S TO C KI N G S . Prevention, not cure. That’s what you really need to know about blisters. So before embarking on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, pack a pair of woman’s stockings to wear underneath your socks. Hikers swear by it. Is it practical in the soaring Hispanic sun? We don’t know, but we’re happy to let you find out. O K AY, S TO C KI N G S – G OT IT ! B U T W HAT I S T H E CA M I N O, E X AC T LY? A journey of epic proportions. You’ve decided to follow in the (literal) footpath of a thousand pilgrims; to walk the longest pilgrimage route in Europe, to the relics of the Apostle James. Or maybe you’re simply intrigued by the beauty of Spain’s most infamous walking track. Either way, the 900km ‘Camino Walk’ is an adventure of gigantic stature.

N O WAY CA N I WA L K 9 0 0 KM . Sure you can, but it’ll take you at least one month. Most pilgrims choose to walk one or two sections at a time, walking for a few days or a couple of weeks. You could choose the Portuguese Camino, Primitivo or Camino del Norte (amongst others). Or the journey of the Camino Francés; 800km from St John Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella — and you can add another 100kms if you walk to Finistere on the coast. I WI LL ON LY DO TH E VE RY BE ST S ECTION . Easier said than done, amigo. All sections of The Camino have their merits, the most populous route being the Camino Francés, with plentiful pit stops, accommodation and ample sightseeing. But if you’re a pilgrim after solitude, this route is also like State Highway 1 of the entire conquest.

S O YO U ’ R E S U G G E S T I N G A N O T H E R RO UTE? Indeed. Los Caminos del Norte. Also known as The Coastal Route. Stretching as far as Galicia before turning inland towards Santiago, this stunning sea-grazing route also passes Bilbao, Gijón and San Sebastián. You’ll also be walking through Basque Country, the home of pinxto (pronounced pin-chos). Put simply, pintxo is the Basque equivalent of tapas. Be sure to try ‘gilda’, a traditional favourite consisting of green chilli peppers, olives and anchovies. I ’ M L I S T E N I N G . Choose the Los Caminos del Norte and your feet will tramp along the northern tip of Spain’s prettiest coastal towns. From mountains to maritime, the numerous ascents and descents can be challenging, but you’ll be rewarded with café stops (and

LOCALSPEAK ¡24  Me d I NuSeP lI R eEn   l o|   s pHiOUS e s ! E\OMy F TRAV feet hurt! E L   TH E¿D B Eó STn d He O LIDAYS e s t á e ARE l a l bCREATED e r g u e mTOGETHER á s c e r c a .n o p o r f a v o r ? \ Where is the nearest albergue please?


HOT TIPS

BRIGITTA MOORE from House of Travel Northlands has walked the Camino. Take two sets of walking gear (one for the evening). Vaseline or Gurney Goo to prevent blisters. Quality socks. Change them when they get damp to avoid blisters. Quality walking boots. And break them in before you start the Camino. A backpack that properly fits the length of your back.

The Camino takes hikers through many charming medieval towns with narrow stone streets. Shells, the symbol of those making the pilgrimage, mark the route and accommodation along the way.

Take walking poles and learn how to use them beforehand. Make sure you train adequately in advance. Hydration pack. Get your recommended three litres of water. Cork screw. Spanish wine! It’s corks a go go in Europe.

make sure you take plenty) for cafe con leche and zumo (orange juice), as well as the great ‘Camino Camaraderie’ with fellow pilgrims hiking the same route. N OT BA D. W H AT E L S E? You’ll be walking up to 25km per day but Asturias famous cider flows as freely as the rivers you’ll be crossing, so you’ll never be too far from a refreshing happy hour. You’ll navigate rocks, logs and muddy pathways while flirting with ocean bluffs and sheer cliffs. The mountain air is fresh and seasoned with a lick of sea salt. The terrain is empty, except for pilgrims, curious cows and bemused donkeys, with bells around their necks and grins on their guise. DON’T TELL ME I’LL BE SLEEPING IN A T E N T ! We won’t. You can if you wish (and

many pilgrims do) but there are also plentiful hard-roofed accommodations en route. Typically you’ll come across family owned hotels, casa rurales, rustic pensiones and ‘albergues’ (pilgrim hostels) which, albeit basic, come with a colossal-sized dose of pilgrim camaraderie and cost a mere €3-10 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. I ’ M S H O RT O N TI M E . TE LL M E W H AT I S

U N M I S SAB LE? The architectural gems, which are as numerous as they are un-crowded. From Bilbao’s Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum to sleepy Spanish towns entwined by cobbled roads and shuttered Spanish casas, every corner provides another flawless Kodak moment. This route, like all the Camino routes, has a certain pull; a “draw you back” sentiment that will make you want to tackle it all over again. ■

Ready to go? Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and talk to one of our travel experts about every step of your trip.

¿T i e n e a l g ú n a s c u r i t a s? \ Do you have any plasters?

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MARINE LIFE

Everyone’s a cruise convert. Why aren’t you? From ships departing Auckland to penthouse suites with your own butler, the cruise industry is outdoing itself. Forget the past, the future’s cruise.

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W H Y YO U S H O U L D

Cruise out of Auckland. Start your next cruise 100% stress-free with an Auckland departure. Here are 10 reasons why it’s a great idea. Sea the light!

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T IME SAVIN G . No international flight, airports or transfers. Spend more time actually on holiday. O PT IO N S. Head to Australia, the Pacific Islands and the USA, or skim the NZ shoreline. D O O RST E P DAZ Z L E RS. See NZ from a visitor’s eyes. Sail our native coastline – we live in paradise!

PAC K I N G L I ST

How to pack for your cruise. Smart packing is not as hard as you think. Follow our top hacks and we’ll make a master-packer of you yet. 1 / A M I N I S U I TC A S E F O R YO U R F I N A L N I G H T. Many cruise ships require passen-

gers to leave their luggage, fully packed, outside their cabins on the final night. Take a mini suitcase for your necessities the next day — toiletries and a change of clothes. 2 / A B OT TLE O F W I N E . Sometimes cruise lines allow passengers to pack a set amount of alcohol, such as a bottle of wine per adult passenger. Check if you can take your own when booking. 3 / D R E S S C O D E AT T I R E . Pack clothes in three solid non-running colours. It may sound boring but it’s easier to mix and match multiple outfits. 4 / S U I TA B L E H E E L S . Ladies. It may be glam to wear high heels, but when the ship’s rolling on the water, it’s harder to saunter in stilettos. Flats or wedges are a safer option. 5 / FA N TA S T I C E L A S T I C S . It’s not sexy but it’s sensible. Use elastic bands to reduce the size of your luggage. Fold your items, roll and secure with bands. Like string around a pork roast, it’ll keep everything neat and compact. 6 / M AG N E T S . Throw some magnets in your purse. Cruise doors are metal and magnets will allow you to stick important documents onto the back of them. Never lose the vitals again. 7 / M A K E M E R I N O YO U R H E R O P I E C E . Need something warm for cool evenings? Pack one piece of Merino. It’s lightweight, warm and packs small. Smart wool = smart packing. 8 / A S M A RT P H O N E . If you want to take books, cameras, maps, magazines, travel guides and torches, don’t bother, there’s an App for them all. And voilà, you’ve freed up half your luggage. ■

E ASY IS L AN D H O L IDAYS. Load up on sunshine with a lot less hassle. Take the scenic route by sailing. C O N VE N IE N C E . Auckland’s cruise terminals are all located in the heart of the city. AC C E S S IBIL IT Y. Step off the bus, train or even Auckland Airport’s Sky Bus and you’re 5 minutes from the port. BU D G E T. Choose from allinclusive cruise options so you know your costs upfront. C H IL D F RIE N D LY. No lugging kids from airports to taxis, to resorts to landmarks. T H E ME D. Experience a comedy cruise, a wine cruise and more. GUYS’ AND GIRLS’ WEEKENDS. Grab the girls or round up the boys. The best weekend getaways begin at sea.

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CHEAT SHEET / CRUISING LIKE A PRO

Which cruise ship is right for you? The evolution of cruising has resulted in some big changes. The industry now has yes-appeal for every type of traveller. G E T S TA RT E D BY M ATC H I N G YO U R S E L F TO S O M E O F O U R TO P O C E A N C R U I S E L I N E S .

HOT TIP “With so much out there, seek professional cruise advice to find the right ship for you. Ambience, food and itinerary are all important. If it’s a family gathering or occasion it’s also important to get cabins to suit the group and budget.” YVONNE PAYNE, HOUSE OF TRAVEL OREWA

TYPE 1

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TYPE 3

The anti-cruiser

The family

The couple

T H E T R AV E L L E R / You don’t believe a cruise suits your travel style. THE CRUISE / A floating hotel with endless flexibility, that’s modern cruising. Non-stop activities, or unlimited books and deck chairs. Dinner for two, or family time to discuss your day. From Alaska to Auckland, the Med to the Caribbean, cruises with razzle and cruises with absolutely zero-dazzle, whatever your travel style, there’s a cruise to suit.

T H E T R AV E L L E R / 2.1 children and everyone wants a holiday. T H E C RU I S E / Kids’ clubs are fully supervised with activities aligned for children aged 3 to 17, and late night group babysitting is often available. For teens there’s rock climbing, zip lining, ice skating (and regular skating), surfing and skydiving simulators, swimming pools and sports courts. Every minute they don’t want to spend with mum and dad, they can safely spend elsewhere.

T H E T R AV E L L E R / You have no children in the cavalry. T H E C R U I S E / Selected lines offer an adults-only environment with longer hours in port and more time for exploration. There are cruises with specialty restaurants, spa facilities, cooking schools and cabins designed just for two. Dine privately on your balcony with a four-course meal, personal staff and Champagne, or reserve a cabana in the adults’ area for extra solace.

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The solo traveller

The food lover

The luxury seeker

T H E T R AV E L L E R / You think cruising is all about family dinners and couples getting cosy. T H E C RU I S E / A lonesome dove you are not. Certain lines have hosted parties for the unattached and singles-themed cocktail nights. Providing the perfect foundation to acquire new friends, mix and mingle, meet up at Happy Hour, see a show or watch some comedy. A few cruises also offer single cabins and group social networking prior to departure.

T H E T R AV E L L E R / You love gourmet but disregard cruise food as mere stainless steel buffet stations. T H E C RU I S E / Maine sought lobster, 28-day dry-aged beef and Michelin star meals will dismantle any preconceived ideas you may have about cruise food. Many fleets also boasts executive culinary chefs, cooking classes and itineraries that are solely focused around the region’s cuisine.

T H E T R AV E L L E R / You’re concerned modern cruising is far removed from opulence. T H E C R U I S E / Convinced no one even packs a string of pearls anymore? To the contrary. You can book six-star cruise lines with crystal chandeliers, marble interiors and prestigious artworks from Chagall to Picasso. Five-star cuisine is common across many lines and on some ships, you can choose a premium suite with a personal butler.

Know your type? Still unsure? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and let one of our cruise specialists find the perfect voyage for you.

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CRUISE LINE

B E ST F I T C RU I S E RS

W H Y W E T H I N K YO U ’ L L LOV E I T

Surf simulator / DreamWorks Experience / Adults-only area

Picnic on the lawn (real grass) / Star Chef’s cooking competition

Overnight stays in ports / Destination Immersion dining experience

P&O Edge Adventure Park / Lego® / Adults-only area

Discovery at Sea (with Discovery Channel) / Curtis Stone restaurant / Movies under the Stars

Gentlemen dance hosts for single ladies / White Star Service

Waterslides / Dr Seuss at Sea / Adults-only area

Go-Kart Track / Studio Staterooms (singles) / Adults-only area

SpaClub® private Spa Terrace / The Finest Cuisine at Sea™

The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience™ / Free Specialty Restaurants / All-suite accommodation

Crystal Adventures® shore tours / World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line

1 to 1 Butler Service / Relais & Chateaux dining experience / All seven continents

Children travel free / Cirque du Soleil at Sea / MSC Yatch Club exclusive haven

EXC Tours™ (Explorations Central) / Culinary Council® (celebrity chefs charting course for dining across fleet)

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W AT E R W AY S

Aged 21-45? You should river cruise. Introducing U by Uniworld, created with younger travellers in mind. The perfect way to see the cities of Europe.

WE KNOW YO U ’ L L LOV E Only unpack once and explore multiple places Not one but TWO on-board bars Rooftop lounge Local DJs Luxury Savoir beds Free WiFi Meals inspired by the street food of cities you’re cruising through Bucket-list included experiences as well as additional ‘U Time Optionals’

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS Christmas fairs Chefs’ cooking classes Bike riding

Admit it, you’re intrigued by a river cruise aren’t you? For one, it has the luxury factor. Secondly, it appeals to the modern traveller in search of a more unique way to explore Europe. By water no less. Nod off in one city and wake in another... Flying is so passé! Introducing U by Uniworld. A new concept of river cruising which is geared towards a crowd much younger than you’d expect. Or, if you like hard figures, those aged between 21 and 45. Picture this. A sleek black exterior, silent dance parties, plush sofas, hammocks and beanbags (sounds like a Balinese beach bar, right?) as well as menus inspired by global street food and social hubs with more WiFi than you can shake your Snapchat at. Part boutique-hotel, part yacht and part resort, U by Uniworld travels Europe in style. Staying in a floating boutique-hotel for seven nights, itineraries

soak up the Insta-worthy moments of the Seine, Danube and Rhine rivers, stopping in cities as big as Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt and Budapest as well as small towns like Rouen and Honfleur. You get longer stays in port so you can stay out all day — and well into the night. Some ships don’t even depart until 2am. Chin-chin sailor. A sister company to world-renowned travel brand Contiki, U by Uniworld offers the perfect mix of city adventure with slick on-board amenities. We’re talking five star fittings; bedrooms with marble bathrooms and flat screen TVs, including all the things high flying millennials note on their long list of likes — rooftop morning yoga, cocktail classes and wine tasting. Not forgetting hands-on travel to the world’s most sought after destinations. Departing April 2018. See you starboard! ■

Castle tours DJ nights Mixology classes Bird’s-eye view hiking Foodie tours Sunset experiences

U TIME OPTIONALS Add more fun like this for a nominal fee: Cheese tasting Castle dining Paragliding Parisian rooftops tours

Ready to book in? Have questions? Pop in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit us online.

WHY CRUISE / REASON NO. 18

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because ... we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.” American President John F. Kennedy

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THE USA

A little less conventional. ... A little more action please. If you don’t like the typical, take a fresh look at the USA. It’s called The Land of Opportunity for good reason.

WHAT’S NEW IN NYC / 32

LEAF PEEPING IN NEW ENGLAND / 34

EATING AROUND CALIFORNIA / 36

G R A N D CA N YO N N AT I O N A L PA R K A R I ZO N A , U SA

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HOT TIPS

My NYC BETH ALLISON, House of Travel’s graphic designer, called the NYC area home for most of her life. These are her favourite spots. Fort Tryon Park This quiet park offers gorgeous views of the New Jersey cliffs. Stop in nearby Tryon Public House for a locally made pint after your stroll. 190th St., Inwood

Rocking Horse Café Delicious, refined Mexican. At the right times, you can watch fresh tortillas being made in-house. 182 8th Avenue, Chelsea Brooklyn Academy of Music See what’s on when you’re in town, either theatre or film. The nearby area is full of great bars and cafés. Fulton St., Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Put the new in New York City. Time to visit the same NYC places as the fashion-forward. This is what the very stylish are doing in the Big Apple right now.

Want to be there now? Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and 32   our I N S P experts I R E   |   Hwill OUShave E O F you TRAVon E L   your TH E B way E ST in H OaLIDAYS New York ARE CREATED minute. TOGETHER .


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1 / T H E B OT TO M L E S S C O F F E E

3 / THE LUNCH

A small chain of boutique coffee shops called Joe, the Art of Coffee deliver the perfect shot of espresso for your early morning caffeine hit. This is where the WiFi crew come — armed with Apple laptops, bookish good looks and an air of sophistication. Boasting 11 locations scattered across NYC, the café’s A-grade beans attract an elite crowd of coffee connoisseurs and people so hip they order an “extra hot latte breve”. And if you’re yet to experience a breve, it’s a coffee which substitutes milk for ‘half-and-half’ (literally equal parts whole milk and cream).

The Mercer Kitchen, by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten boasts an A-list clientele including Leonardo Dicaprio. Located in the basement of the Mercer Hotel (in SoHo) it’s a hipster palace spread across two levels. The 40-seat street level overlooks SoHo’s signature cast iron sidewalks. With its enormous glass windows and masculine aesthetics, you’ll feel compelled to sit and read the New York Financial Times. Downstairs there’s a 160 seat master dining room. With exposed brick walls and mahogany leather seats, the ambience suggests you should drink Bourbon. Dining-wise, the menu is an inventive arrangement of upmarket bistro fare. That means your pizza isn’t just pizza, it’s infused with truffle. The New York elite love it.

Mercer Kitchen

Joe Coffee

2 / THE BOUTIQUE

Rick Owens If you’re going to do New York properly (i.e, like a bonafide follower of all things fabulous) you have to step inside at least one sleek boutique. As the world’s fashion powerhouse, there are plenty to be sought in NYC. Try Rick Owens’ boutique on 30 Howard Street in SoHo. The designer’s inner city enclave is more akin to a white washed art gallery. Minimal, modern and very New York, it verges on clinical, with knee high boots lining crisp white shelves and a blackened skull hanging from the wall. It goes without saying, even Rick’s staples will set you back a pretty penny, but it’s open relatively late: 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 6pm on Sundays, so swing by for an evening snoop — before hitting up SoHo’s impeccable bar scene.

horror, they’re free, roughly an hour in length and very in-depth. If you’re dead-set on being part of the NY cool squad, The Gugg has been hosting the First Fridays’ Party Series since 2005: After hours, free flowing booze and music played by world-class musicians. 5 / T H E C O C K TA I L

The Ballroom at The Jane Hotel The punters here are New York’s most achingly beautiful, but you’ll also want to descend on The Ballroom for its old world ambience; a décor replete with antique rugs and grand fireplaces. Order an ostentatious cocktail and marvel at all the other pretty things in this hub of hotness: the big name celebrities and fresh faced models straight off the New York catwalk.

4 / THE MUSEUM

6 / THE DINNER

Guggenheim

Grand Banks Restaurant

Anyone who’s anyone puts in a regular appearance at ‘The Gugg’, or The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as it’s formally known. As much about the exterior as it is the contents, this infamous art museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the 20th century’s architectural icons. Internally you’ll find exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, including performances, film screenings and abstract installations. We recommend you take a guided tour. As much as the fashionistas would recoil in

There’s a yacht docked off Pier 25, around North Moore Street where New Yorkers go to socialise after office hours. Grand Banks Restaurant is a seasonal oyster bar housed on a 72-year-old Sherman Zwicker schooner; the largest wooden vessel in NYC and the last surviving salt bank fishing ​boat in existence. After a hefty refit a few years back, the old gal is now a classy food and wine bar, with stunning views of the New York skyline and equally pleasant views of chefs shucking oysters. ■

DRINK LIKE A LOCAL

caffe breve A New Yorker’s coffee addiction in which the milk is substituted with half-and-half (literally equal parts whole milk and light cream). \ b r ē v, b r e v \

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So you want to be a leaf peeper, do you? From leaf peeping to cider brewing, New England boasts scores of unforgettable experiences. Time to discover the USA’s stunning east side.

L E A F P E E P E R . \ l i : f, p i : p r \ noun. 1. (mainly US) a tourist who visits New England in autumn to see the changing foliage. T H E B E S T P L AC E F O R L E A F P E E P I N G . In New England the autumn leaves change colour with such frequency, one day you’ll awaken to a landscape of gold, and the next it’ll be bathed in red. Maine is generally considered the less-crowded option for foliage lovers, with Acadia National Park showcasing some beautiful, yet relatively quiet areas. There’s also Grafton Notch State Park near New Hampshire’s border. Albeit lesser-known, the easy trails and Screw Auger Falls, which were forged from a glacier, provide the perfect backdrop for a flurry of golden leaves. H OT T I P: The fall leaves are most impressive between late September and late October. M A LT, H O P S , Y E A S T A N D WAT E R . With 80 Maine breweries crafting unique beers, if you have a thirst that needs to be quenched, explore the Maine Beer Trail. Great ale is something this state takes seriously. Even during the prohibition, devoted drinkers didn’t exactly abide by the law. Ask any local beer maker what makes the “Maine” difference and they’ll credit the region’s crystal clear waters,

and more specifically, Sebago Lake. Found northwest of Portland, the glacial sand bed acts as a natural filter. H O T T I P : Penobscot Bay Brewery in Winterport makes beer-flavoured ice-cream, as well as chocolate milk stout, created from Ghana’s richest cocoa beans. A DAY AT T H E O RC H A R D. When you need a digital detox, ditch the gadgets and find a New England orchard. This is apple country, and from August through to late October, working farms open their doors for pick-your-own apples, orchard picnics and cider tasting. And that’s only half of it. Once plucked, these rosy orbs fall into the hands of talented pastry chefs. From apple doughnuts to glazed tarts, if this were a comic, your cartoon self would be floating (nostrils-first) towards an open window; a just-baked pie sitting on the sill. H OT T I P : Maine’s Hope Orchards has an ‘open door’ season from September to October with freshly pressed cider that’s bottled every Friday. Punch 434 Camden Road into Google Maps.

HOT TIP OUR NEW YORK-BORN BETH ALLISON RECOMMENDS BOOKING EARLY

“In the summer, New Yorkers flee the city for the beaches, and in the fall, everyone rushes to book a weekend in New England. Leave it too late, and it will be impossible to find a room. It’s absolutely worth the hype.”

Fall is an incredible time to hit the trails and parks of New England, whether on foot or by bike. (Or take the couch potato’s approach and hire a car...no matter which way you go, the sights are magical).

WHY TRAVEL / REASON NO. 436

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” American author Mark Twain

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S E E I N G S TA R S . Star gazing in New England is an absolute knockout. An absence of light pollution allows for the entire sky to swarm with stars. Maine has bragging rights to the clearest heavens on the entire East Coast, with Acadia National Park offering an unbeatable star-filled night’s sky. Come winter, gazers are treated to views of Jupiter, the Pleiades and Orion’s Belt, while in September the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival is popular for its workshops, presentations and hands-on astronomy experiences. H OT TI P: There are numerous observatories across the state, but the beach is as good a spot as any to admire ​the Milky Way. Pack a blanket, lie back and enjoy the show. A M E R I C A’ S O L D E S T P U B. The oldest tavern building in the United States, the White Horse has been a meeting place, a court house and a city hall. Serving its patrons for over 350 years, if these four walls could talk they’d share whispers from Colonists and British soldiers, mercenaries, pirates and sailors. These days the log fire still roars and the candles burn, while the locals chatter about Trump instead; modern Rhode Island in a distinctly 17th century setting. Sit beneath the wooden beams and nurse a dark pint of ale, before tucking into local New England oysters caught in Narragansett Bay. H OT TI P: Find it at 26 Marlborough Street, Newport, Rhode Island. M T WA S H I N G TO N C O G R A I LWAY. Ascend into the clouds on the world’s first mountain-climbing Cog Railway train. Powered by steam, chug up New England’s highest mountain while animated brakemen detail the train’s 148 year history. Open late April through November, spend an hour at the pinnacle, absorbing the spectacular panoramic views and small mountain-top museum. For novelty, send a postcard (complete with a postmarked stamp) from the summit, and then it’s back on-board for a 45-minute return journey. H OT TI P: The weather can turn expectantly cold at the top. Pack layers and prepare for a drop in temperature. ■

Ready to leaf for New England? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and talk to our travel experts today.

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California Our all-time favourite ​tastes of the gorgeous West Coast state.

You can’t count calories in Cali. With this “must eat” list, you’ll want all the stomach space you can get.

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California ​struck gold when it came t​ o gastronomical merits. With ample sunshine, Mexico on the doorstep (hello guacamole!) and Pacific Ocean seafood…ready, belly, go!

F I N D / F I S H TAC O S

FIND / DRIPPY EGG MUFFINS

F I N D / B R E A K FA S T B A P S

Bear Flag Fish Company, Newport Beach

Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco

Eggslut, Los Angeles

With Mexico in earshot and the Pacific Ocean pounding at the door, fish tacos are a Californian classic. Drive to Newport Beach and discover the Bear Flag Fish Company. There’s enough fresh seafood inside these four walls to keep your Omega 3 topped up ‘til Christmas. White fish tacos come as standard, as does the chilled community vibe. Have yourself a fish taco, a cool beer and a yarn with the locals.

A wizard of all things pastry, Chef William Werner ​is the Creative Director behind Craftsman and Wolves. A hip hangout which serves artisan baked goods with an extra dash of panache. The ‘pièce de résistance’ is the café’s signature ‘Rebel Within’. A crumbly soft muffin hiding an entire boiled egg within its buttery, fluffy sponge. Slice through the muffin and drippy yolk runs out.

If you consider yourself a bonafide egg connoisseur, drop by Eggslut. Defined as a ‘gourmet food concept’, Eggslut is a quirky Cali café inside Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market. Try the classic ‘Slut’ with cage-free coddled egg, potato purée, salt, chives and a super-soft baguette. Sunday morning brunch available every day of the week.

3421 Via Lido, Newport Beach.

746 Valencia Street.

317 South Broadway, Inside Grand Central Market, Stall D.

F I N D / S E R I O U S TOA S T

F I N D / S U R F E R’ S B U RG E R S

FIND / TIPPLES TO WASH IT ALL DOWN

The Mill, San Francisco

Hodad’s Burger Restaurant, San Diego

Brander Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley

Artisanal toast. Hit the road, eggs benny, you’ve been upgraded. Toast now has cult status in San Fran, and “toast menus” are now as common place as tram stops. From almond butter toast topped with fresh fruit and ginger, to a thick two-inch slice slathered in marmalade, it’s practically an art form. The most illustrious toast shop in San Francisco is The Mill, but one piece will set you back a cool US$7.

Beach burgers and tanned surfers go handin-hand in California. Hodad’s Restaurant is a beachside burger joint favoured by the locals. In part because the burgers have been flipped here since the 60s, but also because its flagship restaurant is just steps from the water. Nothing says beach Cali cool like a post-surf burger.

A Sauvignon Blanc with more wine awards than popped corks can be traced to the Santa Ynez Valley, in a vineyard by the name of Brander. Located in the town of Los Olivos, and founded by Fred Brander from Buenos Aires. Fred bottled his debut Sav in 1977 and he’s been winning prestigious titles ever since.

It’s moved a fair few times since 1969, but Hodad’s dine-in now sits at 5010 Newport Avenue.

2401 N Refugio Road, Santa Ynez.

The Mill, 736 Divisadero Street.

Drooling? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and we’ll get you plate-side.


END NOTES

Who knew? Our big old world is jam-packed with curiosities, both old and new. How many of these do you know?

OUCH!

Croatia’s The Museum of Broken Relationships houses various keepsakes from failed courtships. For example, a donated toaster with the annotation, “That’ll show you. How are you going to toast anything now?” Find it in the baroque

Need to work off a few French baguettes? Visitors to the Eiffel Tower have to climb

Tibidabo Amusement Park is an old fashioned amusement park set on a mountain overlooking Barcelona. Its main rollercoaster, Muntanya Russa, enjoys one of the city’s most spectacular views.

1665 steps to reach the top. Lift sounds good.

Kulmer Palace in Zagreb’s Upper Town.

There’s a cereal café in London where you can eat over 100 different types of cereal from around the world. It’s called Cereal Killer Café and you’ll find its flagship store at 139 Brick Lane.

Cine Paris in Athens’ Plaka is a seasonal outdoor cinema attracting punters from May through to September. The best bit is its position, affording sweeping night-time views of the Parthenon.

European Heritage Days Annual national events, currently set up by more than 50 European countries. The public are permitted to visit buildings and places of interest which are not usually open to the public — or museums with reduced entry prices.

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The world’s highest urban craft brewery is inside LeVeL33, a bar located in Singapore’s MBFC Tower 3. Located in the city’s super flash Marina Bay Financial Centre, it also boasts stunning skyline views.


IRELAND R E A L LY I S GREEN. Dublin might be a small city but it boasts the largest enclosed city park in Europe. At 1,750 acres, Dublin’s Phoenix Park is twice the size of New York’s Central Park.

The Gold Coast’s Beenleigh Artisan Rum Distillery is the oldest rum distillery in Australia. Fronting the banks of the Albert River, visitors can take a lively one hour tour and sample seven unique flavours.

The Van Gogh Bicycle Path in Eindhoven, Netherlands, features a pathway of solar powered pebbles. As night descends, the entire route is bathed in a dreamy blue-green glow. You can walk or cycle it. The world’s largest rotating tramcar is in Palm Springs, California. Providing jaw-dropping views across Chino Canyon and the valley floor a whopping 2595 metres below, the pods rotate as they ascend.

THIRSTY? With more than 150 different tea blends, when you’re in Hong Kong and feeling parched, Jrink, a cosy little tea shop tucked away from the bustle, sits at 21 Ormsby Street, Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang.

CHEERS! Possibly the best library experience you’ll ever have, and definitely the loudest, The Wine Library is a Sydney must-do for any wine aficionado. Punch number 18 Oxford Street into your Google maps and pop in for one of their 500 wines.

Ghirardelli, the chocolate synonymous with San Francisco hosts the city’s annual Chocolate Festival. Set up in Ghirardelli Square every September.

THE WORLD’S TALLEST SEA CLIFFS ARE IN MOLOKAI, HAWAI‘I.

Visitors explore them on a hot-hooved mule with the help of a man called Buzzy Sproat. Mr Sproat oversees all mule rides to Kalaupapa, in beautiful Molokai.

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IMAGINE

Profile for House of Travel

Inspire Magazine - October 2017  

This issue is all about looking beyond the obvious. If you're after a travel mag that gives you a lot more than the same-old hot spots and w...

Inspire Magazine - October 2017  

This issue is all about looking beyond the obvious. If you're after a travel mag that gives you a lot more than the same-old hot spots and w...