Page 1

ISSUE TWO

PLAN

Find the best coffee while travelling; finding music in America; take a train trip in Switzerland

CRUISING

Cruise around Hawai‘i; why Antarctica is the dream cruise; what wardrobe to take for a cruise.

DESTINATIONS Bruges, Catalina Island and much more. Be inspired.

Glamp Enjoy the outdoors, indoors!

TASMANIA – BELGIUM – USA – PAPUA NEW GUINEA – HAWAI‘I – MEMPHIS


FUN FACT: FREE DRINKING WATER

Switzerland’s city of Lucerne has provided fresh drinking water since the beginning of the 15th century. Even when you are out and about, you can use one of more than 200 fountains that carry high quality drinking water. Using lucernewater.ch as an online guide will show you the map for access of this water. It will also give you background information of the history of Lucerne's water supply. Make drinking fresh water even more green living by buying the official lucernewater.ch bottle, which is easily refillable at any fountain.

Make one day today

Expert Travel Knowledge Call 1300 404 606 or visit mydiscoveries.com.au

30 Day Booking Gaurantee Get your preferred dates within 30 days or your money back

2 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

Travel Now, Pay Later Enjoy 5 monhtly payment options at no extra cost

Exclusive Discounts Up to 70% off for My Discoveries customers

Save On Travel Insurance Travel stress-free with discounts on travel insurance


12

25

Content PLAN

06 Finding the best coffee 10 Staying well on a ship 12 What to pack for

a cruise

DESTINATIONS 18 Santa Catalina, California

22 American Music Cities 25 Glamping it up

in Australia

INSPIRATION 28 Five reasons why Tasmania is terrific

30 Five reasons to visit Bruges, Belgium

33 Five reason to take the train in Switzerand

CRUISING 34 Antarctica is calling you 42 Hawai‘i, more than one Big Island

46 Cruising Papua New Guinea

34 MY DISCOVERIES TEAM General Manager Janeece Keller Features Editor Bev Malzard Digital Editor Alison Godfrey Staff Writer Sophie Cullen Designer Jon Wolfgang Miller Contributors Bethany Plint, Tiana Templeman, Roderick Eime, Lee Atkinson, Sally Macmillan, Lee Mylne, Caroline Gladstone, Alison Plummer, Bev Malzard, Sophie Cullen, Alison Godfrey, Winsor Dobbin. Contact @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overie s. c o m . au 3

COVER PHOTO: ARKABA STATION

30


PLAN

5 best travel apps TIANA TEMPLEMAN

GOOGLE TRANSLATE FREE. IOS & ANDROID

Google Translate acts as a realtime translator between people speaking different languages. Over 90 foreign languages are detected and immediately translated, both spoken aloud and displayed onscreen. When the user responds in their native tongue, their words are translated to the appropriate foreign language automatically, creating a conversation in real time. Translation works without an internet connection and popular words and phrases can be saved in the app for easy reference. Google Translate also includes image translation. Simply take a photograph of a foreign sign, menu or museum plaque and the app translates it almost immediately into English text.

4 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

FIRST AID FAST $2.99. IOS AND ANDROID.

Save someone’s life (or maybe even your own) with First Aid Fast. Press the one-touch button and you will be put through to the local ambulance service, wherever you are in the world. While you are on the call, your phone’s GPS location is visible so you can tell them exactly where you are so help arrives as quickly as possible. There is also a hospital locator with directions to the closest option from wherever you are. A-Z step-by-step first aid guides and videos are included to provide additional assistance whenever you need it.


SKYPE FREE. IOS & ANDROID

Skype remains one of the most versatile and feature-packed communication apps around with free instant messages, face-toface video and voice calls, low cost calls and text messages and photo and file transfers via wi-fi or any internet service provider. Group chat is also available, so you can stay in touch with everyone back home. If you are going on a world trip, a subscription for unlimited calls to mobile or landline numbers in over 50 countries costs less than A$15 per month. Or you can simply pay as you go with rates starting at just one cent per minute.

WEATHERZONE FREE. IOS & ANDROID

Rain, hail or shine this free weather app delivers with a free version covering 2000+ Australian cities and over 1000 international destinations. Features include three hourly updated forecasts and an interactive Australian weather radar. The app stores favourite cities and includes a daily rainfall graph to help with planning excursions, as well as other useful information such as snow reports, pollen forecasts and a ‘feels like’ temperature indicator so you know what to really expect outside. The app also looks good thanks to beautiful user-submitted landscape and sky photography on the home screen.

ROME2RIO FREE. IOS & ANDROID.

Discover how to get to wherever to need to go by plane, train, bus, ferry or automobile anywhere in the world with Rome2rio. Enter a town, address or landmark as your destination and Rome2rio will display flight, train, bus, ferry and driving options with estimated travel times and fares. Booking details from over 5,000 companies in more than 160 countries are also available so you can shop around to get the best deal on fares to wherever you are going. Suggestions for accommodation options and things to do when you get there are also included. LOOKING FOR MORE TRAVEL TECH TIPS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606 M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 5


PLAN A BREW-TIFUL LAT TE FROM PEEL STREET ESPRESSO, HONG KONG. PHOTO: ALISON GODFREY

Coffee HOW TO FIND GOOD

WHILE TRAVELLING

Australia has one of the most eclectic, thriving food scenes around and a cafe culture to match. So naturally, we don’t mess around when it comes to coffee. BETHANY PLINT 6 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


Whether you’re a long black, cold drip, double strength or macchiato kind of coffee lover, finding a decent brew while travelling can be tricky. So we’re spilling the beans on how to find a great coffee wherever you are in the world.

BEAN HUNTER

This is a great app for intrepid coffee lovers to have in their arsenal. Beanhunter collates hundreds of customer reviews from cafes all around the world. An app like this would have come in handy on my family holidays as a kid. We once spent 2 hours traipsing around Venice in search of a particular café with a half-decent Yelp review. It certainly wasn’t worth the hype, or the trek. With an impressive index of coffee spots in Australia, Beanhunter is building its reputation on a global scale. And it’s not just the major cities that are being covered. Coffee reviews are popping up in countries off the tourist track, such as Israel, Hungary and even Romania. There are now reviews for cafés in over 180 cities so you’ve got a good chance of finding a decent brew near you. Don’t forget to share your coffee experiences on the app so other caffeine fiends can check it out too.

EXPAT FORUMS

If you’re really keen on a good cuppa and don’t mind doing some research, try looking through expat forums online. You can often find detailed reviews and recommendations for coffee shops all over the world from big cities to small country towns. The great thing about these forums is that you can find groups of like-minded people with the same taste in coffee as you. A ‘good coffee’ can mean two very different things to a German and an Australian. Asking an expat will help you find your perfect Australianstyle barista-made dirty chai if that’s what you so desire.

Though a quick google search will churn out thousands of sites, expatforum.com is a good place to start.

SMUDGE

Devoted to food, wine and coffee, the team at Smudge don’t just share generic lists of popular spots. They serve up real stories that delve into some of the world’s biggest foodie destinations. Beautifully bound with quirky illustrations, their specialty coffee books bring the thriving café scenes of Sydney, Melbourne and wider NSW to your coffee table. Now that they’ve got the Australian market cornered, they’re setting their sights on global domination. Well, not quite, but they do intend to expand their coffee knowledge past the southern hemisphere. They’ve already sampled coffee all over Singapore, Bali and Hong Kong, and have some great recommendations for your next cuppa abroad. To check out their collection, visit smudgeeats.com.au M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc over i e s. c o m . au 7


THE ULTIMATE COFFEE GUIDE FOR NEW SOUTH WALES. PHOTO: SMUDGE

BREW IT YOURSELF

If you’ve lost all faith in foreign coffee shops, you might consider buying or putting together a travel coffee kit. For some, this may seem like overkill but you’d be surprised how many of these kits are on the market. The demand for good coffee is high and shows no sign of dropping. There are a few things to remember when putting together your kit: Make sure you get a grinder with a burr, not a blade. It’ll make airport security a lot easier. Avid coffee drinkers will likely already have their brewing weapon of choice. But if you’re in the market for a more suitcase-friendly option, you’ll find all kinds of travel-size French presses, pour overs and gooseneck kettles. Unless you’re going to BYO beans everywhere, you may have to widen your horizons and try the local produce. Swap your familiar Toby’s Estate for something recommended by the locals.

A FEW TIPS

1. Specificity is key. Depending on the country you’re in, when asking for “just a coffee”, your barista could serve up anything from an American-style filter coffee to a punchy Italian espresso. 8 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

2. Personal experience has taught me that, even if you see a big fancy espresso machine on the counter, you’re not necessarily going to get a barista made coffee. Make sure you ask if your coffee is going to be made by an actual human or by a machine at the touch of a button. 3. Stop mindlessly scrolling and put your social media to good use. Follow hashtags such as ‘goodcoffeeinLondon’ or ‘goodcafeinHongKong’ to see where other people are getting their fix. It’s also worth narrowing your search results by location so you don’t get your heart set on one café only to find out it’s a 4-hour drive away. Unless you’re that dedicated to the cause… 4. Don’t be a total coffee snob. While at home, you wouldn’t dare torture your taste buds with a coffee from McDonalds or Starbucks, but that might just be your best option overseas. With the generic Western menu, at least you know what you’re going to get. LOOKING FOR MORE INDULGENCE IDEAS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606


Coffee snob? Think that a latte is the only drink? Think globally. BEV MALZARD

1 ITALIAN CAPPUCCINO

This splendidly evolved cuppa is named after the Capuchin friars’ cloaks. The word ‘cappuccio’ means ‘hood’ in Italian, and the ‘-ino’ ending makes it what’s called the ‘diminutive’. In other words, instead of just meaning ‘hood,’ ‘cappuccino’ means ‘little hood’. It’s because of the hoods worn by a particular order of Franciscan monks which was founded in the early 16th century that they were given this moniker – Capuchin monks, or “Cappuccini” in Italian. The wonderful beverage is: double espresso with steamed milk creating a lovely ‘crema’. (Italians do not drink cappuccino after midday.)

2 GREEK COFFEE

This is a strong brew, served with foam on the top and the grounds in the bottom of the cup Strong ground powdered coffee spooned into a briki (Greek coffee pot), water added with a little sugar, boiled and stirred roughly. The ‘crema’ is a shiny foaming surface. Served in tiny cups and downed in two sips.

3 VIENNA COFFEE

An indulgent traditional drink made with two shots of black espresso in a standard size cup

and infusing the coffee with a generous amount of whipped cream. Swirl the cream and dust with chocolate sprinkles. Expect this elegant coffee to arrive at your table served on a small silver tray accompanied by a glass of water.

4 NOUS-NOUS, MOROCCO

“Nous-Nous’ is Arabic for ‘half-half’, half coffee, half hot milk. A strong, tasty drink served in a little glass tumbler.

5 BALI COFFEE

Or ‘Cat Poo’ coffee. Kopi luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee, produced from the coffee beans which have been digested by a civet cat that selects the finest, ripest coffee cherries to eat. It can’t digest the stone (the coffee bean) and poos them out, its anal glands imparting an elusive musky smoothness to the roasted coffee. And for coffee fiends there’s so much more . . . the heady Turkish coffee, Kahve; the Ethiopian Ceremonial coffee; the Ipoh white coffee of Malaysia . . .and the all-time great Australian flat white. A shot of espresso and hot milk, no adornment. Drink up!

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 9


PLAN

LOCKED DOWN ON A

Cruise Ship Our writer was apprehended, checked out, locked up and kept in isolation. But it’s all procedure – so, stay well. SALLY MACMILLAN 1 0 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


The summer cruise season is almost upon us and it promises to be the biggest ever. However, along with seeing more ships in our ports, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll see a rash of ‘cruise-ship virus’ headlines. The virus in question is norovirus, a highly infectious bug that causes gastroenteritis. It spreads quickly when people are in shared places such as nursing homes, schools, hotels and cruise ships – the reason we hear all about it on ships but not when it erupts anywhere else is that reporting outbreaks on ships is compulsory. A couple of years ago I embarked on Celebrity Solstice in Auckland after lunch with an old friend. By that evening I was feeling distinctly queasy so I skipped dinner and ordered soup from room service instead. Next morning, I dosed myself with anti-nausea pills, drank masses of water and took a stroll on the lawn deck. That worked for a while. But after another day and night of self-imposed exile in my balcony cabin, I had to accept I’d been hit with a gastro bug. The ship’s daily newsletter advised anyone who might be suffering any sort of stomach symptoms to report to the medical facility for a free consultation and treatment (if necessary). The dreaded word ‘Norovirus’ was mentioned so off I went to Deck 2 where an efficient nurse interviewed me. Because my symptoms were consistent with a possible Norovirus, the nurse gave me some Imodium pills and asked me to sign a document stating that I consented to being isolated in my cabin for 24 hours, and possibly longer if the symptoms hadn’t subsided. The documents made it very clear that if I attempted to break out of my isolation I would

be “subject to disembarkation from the ship” and could be reported to the local port’s health authorities if I tried to leave. Not that there was any chance of escaping even if I’d wanted to. My keycard was deactivated on the spot and I was escorted from the medical centre to my cabin. I could do nothing but wait to feel better and it was a great excuse to lie in bed, look at the passing views, read and watch a few movies. I had to call a special number to order my restricted-diet meals. The choice of dishes for passengers isolated for Norovirustype symptoms is simple: white rice, baked potatoes, chicken broth, chicken breast, watermelon, white bread, mint or camomile tea and bottled water. Over the next 24 hours, my cabin steward delivered this Spartan fare on

disposable plates accompanied by plastic cutlery and paper napkins — and while he wasn’t covered in hazmat gear, he didn’t hang around to chat. By the time my isolation period was up I was able to report that all symptoms had abated and I was allowed to leave the ship in Wellington. As far as I know, there had been no massive outbreak of the virus on the ship. And although it’s no fun being sick on holiday, I was impressed by how efficiently I was treated and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the cruise.

LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTH TIPS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606

How to stay healthy on a cruise • Wash your hands before and after eating, after using the toilet, after going ashore and whenever you’ve been in contact with frequently touched surfaces such as lift panels and handrails. • Avoid getting sunburnt and dehydrated – pack sunscreen and drink lots of water. Ship’s water is purified so BYO refillable bottle rather than buying plastic bottles. • Try not to overdo the holiday eating and drinking and ramp up the incidental exercise – take the stairs rather than the lifts.

• Have dental and medical check-ups before you go and check if you need vaccinations for any destinations on your itinerary.

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 1 1


PLAN

Pack WHAT TO

Cruising couture or casual combos? Tips for best-dressed practices. CAROLINE GLADSTONE

1 2 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


In the Golden Age of cruising of the 1920s and ‘30s, first-class passengers donned full-length evening gowns and tuxedos as they steamed across the Atlantic. Dress styles changed as cruising became more egalitarian, although five-star lines maintained strict formal dress policies to allow wellheeled passengers to parade their finery. I clearly remember staring in wonder at the dazzling array of full-length, full-beaded gowns in the boutique on board stylish ship Crystal Symphony in the early 1990s. There was plenty to plunder if one needed a bejewelled outfit for the evening. Dress codes still exist, however sequins and bowties are more an option than a requirement. I’ll go out on a limb and say that most women love to dress up; I know very few who’d sneer at the chance to put on that cocktail outfit that’s been bought and begging for an outing. Conversely men favour the phrase: “I’m on holidays – I don’t want to wear a tie.” To appease all-comers, cruise lines still offer traditional ‘formal’ nights (they may have a different name such as ‘cocktail’ or ‘dress to impress’) but also permit passengers to ‘dress down’ as long as they dine in the casual eateries. As a rule of thumb, cruise lines have a resort/casual code for daytime and two different codes for the evening.

should pack flat rubber-soled shoes to avoid slipping on deck. Swimsuits and sarongs are not allowed in restaurants and lounges during the day time, while some cruise lines also prohibit tank tops (sleeveless T-shirts) and baseball caps. The best advice is check the cruise line website under the Q &A section. Those taking expedition cruises or venturing to cooler climes should pack hiking pants, waterproof over pants, windcheaters, lightweight warm jackets, thermals, beanies and hiking boots.

ONBOARD

Formal: The biggest change in the cruise industry has been the relaxing of this dress code. Ladies can go to town and put on that sparkling evening dress, pantsuit or dressy separates. On most lines men are required to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit with tie or bow tie; P&O Cruises Australia say a tie is optional, while Celebrity

DAY WEAR For summer cruises passengers should pack swimsuits (preferably two), sarong/cover-up, shorts, t-shirts, resort dresses, jeans or light-weight pants, sandals, thongs or ballet flats and gym wear if heading to the fitness centre along with the right footwear. Others

EVENING WEAR Most cruise lines – be they the affordable mass-market companies or the luxury lines – have two dress codes for evening. Smart casual: On most nights the code with be smart casual, although a cruise line might call it ‘elegant casual’, as Seabourn Line does. Here women can wear a good dress (something one would wear out to dinner), pantsuit or separates (top and skirt/pants). Men are required to wear a collared shirt and long trousers and sometimes jeans (depending on cruise line), while jackets and ties are optional. The best choices for women are non-crush, no-iron varieties. There are plenty of jersey fabric dresses and outfits available, while a scarf or two, a pashmina, or a light evening jacket never goes astray.

Cruises allows men to wear ‘pants or designer jeans’ on their ‘evening chic’ nights. These nights are held once or twice during a seven-night cruise. THEME NIGHTS Many lines have these, with the most popular being ‘white’ parties and ‘Gatsby’ nights. Cunard ships also have masquerade and Victoriana balls, while P&O has a ‘Back to School’ party. Shore Excursions Pack the sunscreen, hat, water bottle, lightweight jacket/jumper, rain jacket (or umbrella) into a light day-pack or travel bag and carry local currency for drinks, lunch and tips. The key to stress-free packing is check the cruise line website and choose lightweight, drip-dry outfits than can be mixed and matched and glammed up with a scarf, pashmina and some bling!

LOOKING FOR MORE CRUISE TIPS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606 M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 1 3


1 4 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


DESTINATIONS

Beautiful Bruny WILL BLOW YOU AWAY

Head south from Bruny Island and the next stop is Antarctica. This spectacular Tasmanian wilderness has an incredible food culture and link to Tasmania’s dark history. ALISON GODFREY SOUTH BRUNY LIGHTHOUSE TASMANIA. PICTURE: SHUT TERSTOCK M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 1 5


A CHEESE AND MEAT PLAT TER FROM BRUNY ISLAND. PICTURE: SHUT TERSTOCK

Bruny Island is actually two islands - North and South Island which are separated by a narrow isthmus called "The Neck". Don’t be tempted to think you can come here on a day trip. The islands are nearly 100km long. You will need at least a few days to uncover the island’s secrets. Both islands are a farmer’s paradise with rich soil producing berries, cheese, whisky and wine. The ocean also produces delicious oysters. Bruny's South Island is hilly, timbered, contains large pockets of rainforest. This is where you will find South Bruny Lighthouse, the second-oldest and longest continually staffed lighthouse in Australia, and the townships of Adventure Bay, Alonnah and Lunawanna. The highlight of the South Island has to be South Bruny National Park, which has towering cliffs overlooking white sandy beaches, coastal heathland and underwater kelp gardens. It's also home to several endangered plants and animals including the hooded plover, swift parrot, ground parrot, and forty-spotted pardalote. The coast is dotted with mutton bird (short-tail shearwater) and penguin rookeries. Other residents include echidnas, possums, pademelons, and wallabies. Bruny island was once home to the Nuenonne people. Remnants of their settlements can still be seen on the South Island. The most famous resident was the Indigenous Australian Truganini, often 1 6 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

incorrectly known as the last Indigenous Tasmanian. She was the daughter of the chief Mangana and is believed to have been born sometime around 1812. After the arrival of the Europeans, Truganini’s life of searching for shellfish and hunting in the bush changed forever. By 1829, her mother had been killed by sailors, her uncle shot by a soldier, her sister abducted by sealers, and her fiancé murdered by timber-getters. Truganini died in Hobart in 1874. Her body was on display in the Tasmanian museum until 1951. In 1976, more than a century after she died, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community requested that she be cremated and her ashes scattered in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel near her homeland. The request was granted. Truganini Lookout at The Neck offers some of the best views on the island, a fitting tribute to the Indigenous elder whose life was turned upside down by European settlement. The island also has a fascinating European history. It was partly charted by Abel Tasman in 1642. Tasman sailed the Zeehan and Heenskerck along the coast and briefly entered Adventure Bay but was prevented from landing due to gale force winds. Captain Tobias Furneaux visited with Captain James Cook in 1773. Cook was sailing the HMS Resolution and Furneax the HMS Adventure - after which Adenvture bay was named. The sailors entered the bay replenish their water and wood supplies.


Four years later, in 1777, Cook returned to Bruny on the HMS Bounty with a botanist named Nelson. The pair were said to have planted some seeds which they had brought with them from the Cape of Good Hope. In 1792, Captain Bligh arrived in Bruny Island and found an apple tree had grown from one of the seeds. According to local legend, this is how the apple isle first got its nickname Evidence of whaling stations can still be seen on the islands particularly around Grass Point The name Bruny Island comes from French explorer Bruni D'Entrecasteaux. Originally Bruni, the spelling was changed to Bruny in 1918. The Indigenous name for the islands was Lunawanna-alonna - which is reflected in the names given to the two towns on the South Island. Access to the island is by vehicular ferry departing from Kettering. The trip takes 15 minutes and arrives at Roberts Point on North Bruny. The island has a population of around 620 and is deceptively large being about 100 kilometres in length.

BRUNY ISLAND'S STUNNING WHITE SAND BEACHES. PICTURE: SHUT TERSTOCK

WHAT CAN YOU DO THERE?

The island has several spectacular walks. The challenging three-hour Fluted Cape walk from East Cove carpark to Grass Point offers stunning coastal views and the opportunity to spot White Breasted Sea Eagles. For a shorter, easier option, try the Clennett’s Top Mill Site. This 30 minute walk passes through rainforest on the western side of Coolangatta Road to an old mill where you can see ancient machinery. One of the best things to do is to eat. Bruny Island Tourism have a list of all the delicious options on the islands including Bruny Island House of Whisky, the Get Shucked Oyster Farm and the Bruny Island Cheese Company. This year a new gallery has opened up at Dennes Point, the northernmost tip of the island. The Art at the Point gallery showcases the work of more than 40 artists who live on Bruny Island. MyDiscoveries has a three day long weekend deal to Bruny Island for $1795 per person. The trip includes a visit to the Oyster Farm, wildlife encounters and the opportunity to sample locally produced food and wine.

LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION OR A GREAT AUSSIE HOLIDAY SPOT? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606

THE NECK AT BRUNY ISLAND. PICTURE: SHUT TERSTOCK

BRUNY ISLAND'S CLIFFS NEED TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED. PICTURE: SHUT TERSTOCK M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 1 7


DESTINATIONS

Oh Catalina! A respite from the glitz and noise of the mainland, this little island is a joyful discovery. BEV MALZARD

1 8 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


ALL THE HOLIDAY AND RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS VIE FOR THE BEST VIEW OF THE HARBOUR. M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 1 9


“Twenty-six miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is waiting for me, Santa Catalina, the island of romance” . . . and so starts the old song that turned a holiday island, off the coast of Long Beach in California, into a vacation-spot superstar. The island is one of many in the Channel Islands group. And from the get-go, the island was a popular playground for early inhabitants in 5000BC, Spanish mariners, hunters, smugglers and the military. It became a tourist destination around 1887 with the focal point of the island a little settlement called Avalon – which has since been

designated a city. The Wrigley family purchased the island sight unseen in 1919 for $3 million. Mr Wrigley made his fortune in chewing gum! The island was developed within a small space as much of the terrain is rocky and wild. And the only beach is at Avalon. The massive construction of the island’s most recognisable landmark, the startling art deco structure, is the Casino. The building houses a beautiful theatre (movies are still shown here); a massive ballroom and a museum. The ballroom still has the ghosts of thousands of young dancers

who would come across the sea (a three-hour trip then) to dance the night away during the 30s and 40s. The museum has wonderful images of the crowd that crushed the dance floor. And there was never alcohol served in the building, and the casino has never had any form of gambling on the premises. Take the Catalina Express for a gentle hour’s sail from Long Beach. Lovely hotels and quaint guesthouses provide plenty of rooms for holidaymakers and a day trip isn’t a bad idea either. Funky restaurants, live music venues, ice cream parlours par

STEAK, BEER, SEAFOOD? THERE'S PLENTY OF CHOICE FOR FOODIES HERE.

2 0 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


THE SPLENDID ARCHITECTURE OF SANTA CATALINA’S CASINO. IS THE ISLAND’S FOCAL POINT.

CATALINA ACTIVITIES OR HIGH FIVE 1 All out adventure or slow and steady? The island offers Zip Line Tours starting at 182m above Descanso Beach; off-road exploring in a jeep to visit the local bisons (true), foxes, eagles and deer. Parasail over the Pacific Ocean or hike the rugged hills.

2 Or . . . visit the fabulous Catalina Museum with special exhibitions and the history of the island from the beginning displayed.

3 At Descanso Beach, snorkel and swim the crystal clear waters – and head to the Beach Club for a Catalina Burger.s.

4 excellence, and fun souvenir shopping have the red carpet out for visitors. This is a retro destination that exudes the vibrant ambience of a laid back part of California like no other. GETTING AROUND Catch the Catalina Express from San Pedro, Long Island (a onehour boat ride and up to 30 departures daily). Around Avalon, it’s for walking or you can hire a golf buggy to get

around. No cars here. WHEN TO VISIT Anytime! But in autumn the prices are down, the crowds less frantic and the island slows to a gentle pace. Enjoy the Halloween Parade at the end of October. LOOKING FOR MORE OFF-THE-BEATENTRACK PLACES IN THE USA? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606

At night head to the Casino for a first run movie. Get there an hour early on the weekend nights to hear a stirring performance on the original pipe organ.

5 Plan for an overnight (or two-night) stay and choose between cute inns, boutique hotels and townhouses on the island. Try for waterfront accommodation to soak up the holiday atmosphere. M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 2 1


DESTINATIONS

What's not to love ABOUT AMERICA'S MUSIC CITIES Are your vagabond shoes longing to stray? Are your boots scooting? Or have you opted instead for a blue suede variety? SOPHIE CULLEN

THE FACADES OF THEATRES ON BROADWAY PICTURE: MBPROJEKT_ MACIEJ_BLEDOWSKI 2 2 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


THROW YOURSELF INTO FOOTSTOMPING COUNTRY MUSIC AND AMERICANA IN NASHVILLE PICTURE: F11PHOTO/SHUT TERSTOCK

Regardless of how they are currently clad, traipsing the music trail in the States is a leap your feet should definitely make once in their lifetime. Step into cities such as Nashville and New Orleans, where the twang of country guitar or sweet serenade of saxophones will be the soundtrack to your holiday. Music will become the perfect tool for prying open decades of fascinating and turbulent history, hitting the nail on the head when it comes to capturing the heart and soul of a region. Those feet of yours will soon be tapping along.

TWO TYPES OF MUSIC; COUNTRY AND WESTERN – NASHVILLE Dolly Parton’s big break, at the tender age of 10, was her first encore at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, where she encountered Johnny Cash. Somewhat of a country music institution, the Opry used to be a radio broadcast hosted at the Ryman Auditorium. It is now a weekly live concert, earning Nashville its fame as the “Music City”. You can still experience the southern country charm, rhinestones and all, at the Ryman Auditorium and other honky-tonk hotspots such as The District. Stop in at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

THE SOUNDS OF THE STREETS WILL ECHO IN YOUR THOUGHTS LONG AFTER YOU LEAVE THIS FUNKY TOWN PICTURE: GTS PRODUCTIONS/SHUT TERSTOCK

ALL THAT JAZZ – NEW ORLEANS

Legend has it that jazz was born in New Orleans’ Congo Square, emerging from west African slave rhythms. Congo Square is now dedicated to top-dog trumpeter, Louis Armstrong. On the banks of the Mississippi, the brassy, sultry vibes of New Orleans seduce jazz novices and know-it-alls alike. Bourbon Street is probably the best-known hub of NOLA’s distinctly gritty jazz sound, but for more authentic flavours, stop in at Frenchmen Street and Royal Street.

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 2 3


MUSEUM OF POP CULTURE HAS ONE OR TWO GUITARS! PICTURE: NATASHA KELLER

IT’S GOT TO BE – NEW YORK

Unique New York is made thus by its diversity. Nowhere else in America is there a broader spectrum of genres in so concentrated a space as in this famously arty city. Disco and punk began on its streets. Hip-hop arose from 1970s block parties in Harlem and the Bronx. From musicals on Broadway to jazz bands in clubs, New York is a great host to concerts and shows. Everyone who is anyone plays at the renowned venues of Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Apollo Theatre and the Lincoln Centre. On a side note (pun intended), you can hear the dulcet tones of a conch shell played by staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of musical instruments.

THE LAND OF THE DELTA BLUES – MEMPHIS

Memphis is all about the rock ‘n’ roll. It is said that Sun Studios accidentally recorded the first rock ‘n’ roll song in 1951 when equipment distorted the sound of Ike Turner’s Rocket 88. Visit Sun Studios, Stax Museum, Gibson Guitar Factory and the legendary B.B. King’s Restaurant and Blues Club on Beale Street. Alongside B.B. King, Memphis’ most famous patron is a different King altogether. You can visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion, where he lived his final years, for a tour. LOOKING FOR OTHER CULTURAL EXPERIENCES? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606 2 4 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT – SEATTLE

In the 1990s, grunge crashed on to the music scene out of Seattle. Far from sleepy, this seaside town boasts associations with Pearl Jam and Nirvana, who cut their first demo in a studio on Seattle’s Leary Way. The Washington city was also called home by Jimi Hendrix. At the interactive Museum of Pop Culture, you can trawl through the Hendrix gallery. Worthwhile venues include Moore Theatre and Comet Tavern.


DESTINATIONS

Glamping it Up Go bush in style at one of these luxury back-tonature camping resorts. LEE ATKINSON

BEST FOR WILDLIFE: SAL SALIS, NINGALOO, WA In terms of wildlife encounters swimming with whales is hard to top. Ningaloo on WA’s Coral Coast is one of the best places to swim with whale sharks and humpbacks. And as far as glamping goes it’s just as hard to top Sal Salis, a five-star beach camp in Cape Range National Park. Each of the ‘tents’ feature a ceiling fan to keep you cool, solar powered lights, an ensuite bathroom and views across the dunes to the sea beyond. www.salsalis.com.au M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 2 5


BEST FOR FOOD AND WINE: BALGOWNIE BENDIGO, VIC

Glamping may have been coined to describe ‘glamorous camping’, but at Balgownie Estate near Bendigo the G stands for gourmet as well as glitz. Fifteen luxe tents are dotted throughout the grapevines. Each one has a private deck furnished with a comfy lounge ideal for relaxing with a glass of estate-grown wine while enjoying the views, or perhaps a spot of star gazing after dinner in the vineyard restaurant. www. balgownieestatebendigo.com

2 6 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

BEST FOR BEACHES: PAPERBARK CAMP, NSW

Paperbark Camp, a couple of hours drive south of Sydney on Jervis Bay, was the first of Australia’s ecofriendly luxury camps. Each of the twelve ‘tents’ have open-air private ensuites with a bath and a shower – enjoy some bird watching or kangaroo spotting while you wash. Dining is in the Gunyah, a chic space built high off the ground in the treetops – the deck is a popular place for sundowner cocktails. www.paperbarkcamp.com.au

BEST FOR RELAXING: TRUFFLE LODGE, TAS.

This new glamping spot beside the Derwent River west of Hobart is in the middle of one of the first Black Périgord truffle farms planted in Australia, a one-hectare truffiére under hazelnuts. There are five African-style safari tents strung out along the riverbank, with plans to add three more. Ensuites have been cleverly installed in rainwater tanks, with a handmade wooden bath, separate rain shower and steam-punkish pipe fittings, but it’s the large deck that’s the best bit – choosing between the rocking chair and hammock is often the hardest thing you’ll do all day. www.trufflelodge.com


BEST FOR STARGAZING: ARKABA, SA

Wild Bush Luxury’s Arkaba Conservancy has redefined the idea of swagging out with their bush camps in the Flinders Ranges. Forget about unfurling a scratchy stiff canvas bed roll in the dust with all the bugs – at these luxury camps you sleep on a raised timber deck, between crisp cotton sheets, beneath a soft feather doona and under a canopy of stars. www.arkabaconservancy.com

BEST FOR WALKING: CARNARVON GORGE, QLD

Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge may not be the flashest glamp camp, although safari tents are air-conditioned, have an ensuite and a shady verandah ideal for relaxing with a book, but it’s just 3km from the start of one of the country’s best one-day walking trails. The 14km track winds though Carnarvon Gorge, a steep-sided canyon with side gorges full of hanging gardens of mosses and ferns, icy swimming holes and sinuously curved ravines. The lodge also has a licensed restaurant and a swimming pool, the perfect place to cool off after a long days walk. www.carnarvon-gorge.com

PHOTO: ARKABA STATION

BEST FOR VIEWS: LONGITUDE 131, NT

If money is no object, or you're celebrating a special occasion, the super-luxe Longitude 131 is worth the splurge. It’s the only accommodation option at Ayers Rock where you can see Uluru from your bed! Pavilions are more like a suite than a safari tent with floor-to-ceiling windows, king-sized bed, complimentary mini-bar, marble bathroom and a deck with daybed and fireplace. It doesn't come cheap though – around $3000 a night for two – but it does include all food, drinks and tours. longitude131.com.au M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 2 7


INSPIRATION

Tasmania FIVE REASONS WHY

IS UNLIKE ANYWHERE ELSE

You can drive from the north coast to the deep south of Tasmania in around five hours, and yet you'll need at least a couple of weeks to scratch the surface of Tasmania's attractions. WINSOR DOBBIN

1 DIVERSITY

There is nowhere else on the planet quite like Australia's island state; fun, quirky, diverse and yet ridiculously easy to get around whether you choose to travel by bus, car, camper van or bike. Whether you’re looking for a rugged wilderness adventure, some of Australia's best gourmet experiences, pristine coastline, or a wildlife encounter, in Tassie, you'll find them all.

2 UNPREDICTABILITY

Tasmania is somewhere to expect the unexpected, whether that might mean stumbling across racing Penny Farthing cyclists, a festival of wassailing to bring the apple trees back to life after winter, or a weekend celebration of Tasmania's cultural connections with France. Things move at a slower pace in Tasmania, and the people are trusting. You'll come across roadside stalls packed high with seasonal fruits where you simply decide what you want and pop your cash in an honesty box, 2 8 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

and it is one of the few places where you’ll still find young people hitchhiking. And while Tasmania used to come alive in summer and hibernate in winter, now the cooler months are packed with festivals like Dark MOFO (run by Hobart's ground-breaking MONA museum), the Festival of Voices and Ten Days on the Island.

3 FOOD AND WINE

Dining options range from sophisticated city restaurants and wine bars serving local oysters, beef and cheese to cosy country pubs offering house-made scallop pies. Both Hobart and Launceston have several markets where fresh local produce is sold. Hobart, the revitalised capital with its spectacular waterfront dining and many colonial buildings, and the Tamar Valley wine region, north of laid-back Launceston, are major draw cards, while the East Coast, around Freycinet, is emerging as a wine and food hotspot. There are now over 20 micro distilleries across the state and seven wine sub-regions.

4 CULTURE

Tasmania is alive with festivals, the most popular including the Taste of Tasmania in Hobart and Festivale in Launceston, both featuring local food, wine, ciders and live music. MONA, outside Hobart, is known for its shock factor and is the largest privatelyowned museum in Australia, while the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) offers a fascinating insight into the state's history.

5 EXCITEMENT

Landmark destinations include rustic Bruny Island, from where you can take a wild water cruise, along with historic Strahan and spectacular Cradle Mountain. The Lost Farm complex, outside Bridport, is home to two of the top-20-rated golf courses in Australia. There are unlimited wilderness walks in national parks, and it won't take long for visitors to stumble across possums, wallabies, wombats and Tassie Devils.


LOOKING FOR MORE OF TASMANIA TO DISCOVER? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606 M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 2 9


INSPIRATION

5 REASONS TO VISIT

PHOTO: GLEN CAMERON

Bruges

Belgium’s second largest city, Bruges has an almost fairytale quality to it, with cobblestone streets, meandering canals, lovely stone bridges and medieval buildings. Exploring on foot or by bicycle is easy. There are hundreds of reasons to visit Bruges; here are just some of them. LEE MYLNE 3 0 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


PHOTO: GLEN CAMERON

1. ARCHITECTURE

With the most well preserved medieval city centre in Europe, Bruges is a UNESCO heritage listed city. As well as the unusual step-gabled buildings that are a feature of the city, there are also four remaining medieval town gates. One of these is The Kruispoort, which dates back to 1402, and is just 15 minutes walk from the central Market Square. Close to The Kruispoort are the two remaining 16th century windmills that stand along the Bruges canals (of 23 that once existed). The mostphotographed place in Bruges is the beautiful Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay) – but there are many other quaint canal-side scenes to discover. Take a boat trip on the canals for a different perspective, or climb the 366 stairs to the top of the Belfry for the best views in town.

2 ART

Marvel at works by the Flemish masters at the Groeninge Museum, and at the historic former Hospital of Saint John (Oud St Jan) catch Expo Picasso, featuring 120 works by Picasso and 200 more from his friends including Rodin, Chagall, Renoir and Miro. Among the many art treasures held in The Church of Our Lady is a rare sculpture by Michelangelo, created in 1504. The marble statue known as the Madonna of Bruges was recovered from the Altaussee salt mine in Austria after being stolen by the Nazis during World War II (featured in the 2014 movie The Monuments Men). M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 3 1


3 BEER

Bruges has countless beer halls and taverns in which to celebrate the city’s favourite libation. In the city heart, the Bruges Beer Wall on Wollestraat, housed in a 15th century mayor’s house adjoining an open bar area, holds a glass and bottle representing each of the beers in Belgium – more than 1800 of them - displayed behind floor-to-ceiling glass. The Bruges Beer Museum covers beer history, Belgian beer types, and brewing processes. The Bruges Bierfestival is held each February.

5 LACE

4 CHOCOLATE

Sweet-tooth alert! Chocolate shops abound – at last count there were 55 chocolate shops in Bruges, their clever and eyecatching window displays vying for attention. One of the most famous – for it’s rather saucy designs – is Chocoladehuisje, next to the Belfry. If you visit in winter, hot chocolate is a rich and creamy way to warm up and there are plenty of cosy cafes to try. To learn the history of chocolate-making, head to Choco-Story, the Chocolate Museum, where tours finish with a tasting. 3 2 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

Lace-makers can still be seen working in some of the lace shops of Bruges. This traditional craft has been associated with the city since the 16th century, and you can learn more about it at the Lace Centre, housed in the former lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, which also runs lacemaking demonstrations and courses. Lace shops in the city sell contemporary and antique designs, a delicate souvenir to bring home. www.visitbruges.be LOOKING FOR MORE ABOUT BELGIUM? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606


PHOTO: SWITZERLAND TOURISM

INSPIRATION

Five reasons

TO TRAVEL ON SWISS TRAINS Efficient, excellent and easy to choof along with … take the train! 1 NO NEED TO DRIVE: (also boat and bus) Switzerland’s 29,000km transport network includes a superb rail system around the country and across the mountains. Travel on premium and panoramic trains for breathtaking Swiss lake and mountain scenery, and easy connections between cities and regions.

2 FORGET TRICKY TICKETS: Select from a range of Swiss passes for effortless travel by train

across Switzerland, with extras including entry to 500 museums. Trains run on Swiss precision time, a minute past the hour/ half hour.

3 CLIMB THE ALPS:

The Glacier Express, known as the world’s slowest express, crosses the Alps on an epic eight hour journey over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. The Furka Steam mountain railway trains puff along the same historic route.

4 CATCH THE CHOCOLATE TRAIN: Themed Swiss journeys include a first class trip from Montreux to the Cailler-Nestle factory at Broc. Tip: Easy on the fondue lunch at Gruyeres before the chocolate degustation (just sayin’…)! Cheeselovers choose the Train du Fromage.

5 SUPERLATIVE SWISS SERVICE: Door-to-door luggage delivery is available between 20 destinations

ALISON PLUMMER

so you don’t have to haul bags on and off trains as you travel. Bags can also be checked in at train stations direct to your home destination airport! www.myswitzerland. com/en-au/ getting-around. html?nodeid=77149

LOOKING FOR MORE SWISS LOCO TRIPS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 3 3


CRUISING

3 4 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | ww w. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


Antarctica is waiting for you ARE YOU READY?

What’s all the fuss about? Regular expedition cruiser, Roderick Eime, helps you understand. RODERICK EIME

KING PENGUINS AT SOUTH GEORGIA. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS GATHER AT GOLD HARBOUR FOR AN UNFORGET TABLE SIGHT. M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 3 5


PONANT'S L'AUSTRAL IN PARADISE BAY. THIS NEW WAVE OF MODERN LUXURY VESSELS ADDS A WHOLE OTHER DIMENSION TO YOUR ANTARCTIC EXPERIENCE.

Antarctica is the epitome of the adventure destination. Sailing off the map and to areas only discovered within the last hundred years makes Antarctica an essential itinerary for serious adventure travellers of all ages. Expeditions to the Great Southern Land take several forms. The simplest are short itineraries of perhaps a week to 10 days to the Antarctic Peninsula from Ushuaia at the very bottom of South America. More ambitious journeys will be way below the Antarctic Circle to places like McMurdo Sound and Commonwealth Bay and may be up to a month. Such has been the popularity 3 6 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

of voyages to Antarctica, that the travel industry has responded by launching new hi-tech ships with previously unheard of comforts and amenities. When Scott, Mawson and Shackleton were lucky to get a bath, today’s adventurers can indulge themselves with exotic spa treatments, saunas and haute cuisine aboard ships with the utmost in modern marine technology. And there’s no wondering where you are with satellite tracking and radar. In fact, enjoying and respecting these sensitive and vulnerable environments has never been easier or more satisfying.

Passenger numbers are limited to around 200 or so aboard ships travelling to Antarctica, so you’ll never be fighting the crowds. A far cry from the thousands now travelling on some of the largest cruise ships in the world. Expert expedition guides will ensure a safe and enriching experience when visiting these special locations. Whether you are walking (carefully) among tens of thousands of nesting penguins, tiptoeing past snoozing elephant seals or spying on majestic albatross courting and preening, you will always be under the careful watch of experienced leaders who will share their knowledge.


SILVERSEA GUESTS ENJOY AN ENRICHING HIKE ASHORE FROM SILVER EXPLORER. THE VIEWS ARE STAGGERING AT SO MANY POINTS ALONG THE PENINSULA.

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 3 7


Reliving history is another prime motivator for those wishing to visit Antarctica. Most of us have heard the heroic tales of the likes of Scott, Mawson and Shackleton. Chances are you will also learn about many others you may not have heard of. Hands up if you can tell us about James Clark Ross, Sir Hubert Wilkins, Erich von Drygalski or Otto NordenskjĂśld. True, the

3 8 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

history of Antarctic exploration is vast and colourful with many great, unsung characters who did amazing things - and you will travel in their footsteps.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Recently there has been some passionate debate about tourism in fragile ecosystems and such scrutiny is important. While

travelling to destinations like Antarctica where there are no ports, towns or police force, it’s important that you travel with a cruise line who knows how to do it responsibly - and fortunately that is everyone. How do we know this? All operators in Antarctica are members of IAATO, the formal association of tour operators that


A SEAL BASKS IN THE ANTARCTIC SUN WHILE GUESTS TOUR ABOARD ZODIAC INFLATABLE TENDERS. THESE RUGGED LIT TLE BOATS ARE IDEAL FOR EXCURSIONS AMONG THE ICE FLOES.

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 3 9


PONANT GUESTS ENJOY SOME CRISP AIR AND 'HEROIC' PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES ON A SHORE EXCURSION.

is the only governing body of things down there. IAATO ensures there are strict guidelines for everyone to follow. How close to get to wildlife, how many people ashore at any one time, what to take ashore and what not to. And you’ll find all the ships enforce these rules very carefully because they want to keep coming back to a place that remains beautiful and spell-binding for so many reasons.

ARE YOU READY FOR EXPEDITION CRUISING?

If you are asking questions like “when is the best time to visit a King Penguin colony?” or “what’s the difference between a seal and 4 0 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | ww w. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

a sea lion”, then you are probably the right person for adventure. If you are more concerned about the brand of champagne, the type of spa treatments available or the thread count of your Egyptian cotton sheets, then perhaps you might be best suited to a more conventional luxury cruise. Yes, it’s true, Antarctica and expedition cruising is not for everyone - and just as well too. LOOKING FOR MORE CRUISE IDEAS AND GREAT DEALS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606


PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL REJOICE IN THE ABUNDANT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AMAZING POLAR LIGHT WHILE SAILING THROUGH SPECTACULAR SCENERY

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 4 1


CRUISING

Hawai‘i CRUISING

More than just a beach or city destination, Hawai‘i is the perfect place to cruise - getting the best of both worlds.

PHOTO: HAWAI‘I TOURISM AUTHORITY & TOR JOHNSON

TIANA TEMPLEMAN

COASTLINE OF KAUAI 4 2 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


PHOTO: HAWAI‘I TOURISM AUTHORITY

RAINBOW FALLS

purchased onboard but we have pre-arranged car hire at each port so we can explore at our own pace. Pick up and drop off is easy thanks to the car hire courtesy shuttles which run to and from the ship and we enjoy having the flexibility to go as we please. Our first port is best known as the home of Haleakala, a mighty 3,048 metre high dormant volcano. The Hawai‘ian name means ‘house of the sun’ although you wouldn’t know it today as half the volcano is cloaked in swirling clouds. Science City, the military installation where scientists bounce laser beams off the moon, is also up there somewhere. This legacy of Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars program is the reason the expensive road up the volcano was built. We drive alongside picturesque sugar cane fields and farms with spiky pineapples that form an intricately patterned carpet beside the road. On the way up the volcano we enter the cloud forest and emerge on top of Haleakala to discover clouds blanketing the valley like a fluffy white duvet.

The next stop is Hilo on Hawai‘i’s Big Island where Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to ongoing activity at the Kilauea volcano which, unlike Haleakala, remains active. However, the ports are still open, as are popular sights such as the spectacular 24 metre high Rainbow Falls and Liliuokalani Gardens, the largest Japanese ornamental garden outside Japan. Cruising around Hawai‘i is proving ON TOP OF HALEAKALA

PHOTO: TREVOR TEMPLEMAN

Hawai‘i is the perfect cruise destination for travellers who aren’t sure if cruising is for them. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Hawai‘ibased Pride of America sails mostly at night on its popular seven-day sailing and spends the majority of its time in port, including several overnight stays. With so many things to do onboard and on shore, there is no danger of getting bored on a Hawai‘i cruise. After a couple of days spent soaking up the sun on Waikiki Beach we walk up the gangway and prepare to set sail. Our cabin is well-designed with loads of cupboard and drawer space and a cheerful cabin steward who stops by twice a day to keep it shipshape. Booking a balcony means we can enjoy stellar views of Hawai‘i’s changing coastline from the comfort of our room. Hawai‘i cruises cover the region’s greatest hits on a roundtrip from Honolulu, stopping at Kahului in Maui, Hilo and Kona on the Big Island and Nawiliwili on “The Garden Island” of Kauai. A huge variety of excursions can be

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 4 3


PHOTO: TREVOR TEMPLEMAN

ON TOP OF HALEAKALA

to be a very cruisy holiday. With delicious food available from dusk until dawn, endless onboard entertainment and no need to constantly pack and unpack or catch multiple flights, our biggest decision is where to go for dinner as we are spoilt for choice… mmm, perhaps tepanyaki tonight. The next day we dock at Kona where passengers choose from adventurous activities such as snorkelling, surf lessons and kayaking or simply stroll around the historic Kailua Village. While all these activities sound good we head for the hills high above Kailua-

Kona instead. Kona is famous for its Arabica Kona Typica beans, a coffee unique to the region, and the island’s coffee country is stunning, albeit in a quiet, laid back way. Sleepy villages and artists’ communities are scattered along a single lane highway that seems more like a backroad than the main route around the island. Locals pause to wave as our car climbs higher into the mountains and the distant Pacific Ocean appears as a quick flash of blue between patches of lush green vegetation. It seems almost poetic when our

PHOTO:HAWAI‘I TOURISM AUTHORITY

TUBING IN KAUAI

4 4 M Y D I SCOV ERI ES | ww w. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

favourite plantation turns out to be owned by a retired cruise ship doctor. At our last stop, Nawiliwili on the island of Kauai, our excursion combines soft adventure with the island’s rural history. We feel like kids again as we float down the historic irrigation system of a former sugarcane plantation on giant inner tubes. Splashing and laughing we drift along ditches and tunnels hand dug by plantation workers over a century ago. If we angle our head lamps just right we can see the marks of their picks on the roof of the tunnels, the biggest of which is almost a kilometre long. Laughter gives way to silence as we turn off our head lamps and let the peace of this historic place surround us. Kauai is the oldest island in the Hawai‘ian chain and famous for its natural beauty. On the final afternoon of our cruise, we have a front-row seat for the highlight of our trip. Sitting on our balcony and sipping a glass of wine, we watch the rugged cliffs, lush valleys, and dramatic scenery of the mountainous Napali Coast slip slowly past our room. It’s the perfect finale.


M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 4 5

PHOTO: TREVOR TEMPLEMAN

CATCHING A WAVE IN WAIKIKI


CRUISING

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The island life Seeking sun and relaxation, pampering, a perfect getaway or the history of Australia’s connection to this exotic place? PNG is AOK! BEV MALZARD

4 6 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | ww w. m ydis cover ies. co m . au


BIRDS EYE VIEW OF THE GLORIOUS SHALLOWS OF THE CORAL SEA. M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 4 7


Since P&O Cruises introduced its inaugural Papua New Guinea itinerary five years ago, departures for this special cruise now leave from Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns. Papua New Guinea was not often top of the holiday list but with the advent of cruising out of Australia to this exotic destination that’s pretty much undiscovered is a boon to people who like exploration with a dash of luxury. Leaving from Cairns was smooth sailing with a big wave to the 4 8 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | ww w. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

mountains of the Great Dividing Range behind the sun-drenched city. We were headed into the Coral Sea. Time before dinner to explore the Pacific Eden, with many of the public areas recently refurbished, the ship has a buzzy, modern ambience. It was towards the end of the season in November and the ship was full of excited cruisers, some new to the game and others – seasoned and ship shape. Our first stop was Alotau, capital of the Milne Bay Province where

echoes of WWII can be heard. The Battle of Milne Bay took place here in 1942 and is one of the nostalgic stops along the way on war history tours. Over breakfast we marvel at the beauty of the sheer-walled cliffs that are close to the ship. The bay is so deep we can anchor a stone’s throw (almost) to the shore. We went ashore and were taken to an open field on the bay to be greeted by a sing sing and some traditional dancing. Excursions aren’t organised from the ship, they


PRISTINE SANDS OF THE CONFLICT ISLANDS.

are just sincere welcomes by the locals. After a couple of (hot) hours here it was back to the ship to cool off. In the evening there’s a choice of two specialty restaurants that are free, Dragon Lady for fine Pan-Asian food and Angelo’s for frisky Italian fare (book early as they fill up fast). The mainstream restaurants, and I might add that have fabulous variety are The Waterfront and The Pantry (which are also included in the cruise fare). I went for Dragon Lady and it was

full of tasty, spicy surprises. Next stop as we sail through silky smooth waters is Kitava, a wee island off the side of the larger Trobriand Island of Kiriwana. We are greeted by shy, smiling islanders and we were directed to the village where there were mats laid out selling local basket ware and trinkets, Interesting, it was the men doing the selling. The school put on a dance and the fierce steps by eight-year olds was amusing as the kids liked the attention and lost the choreography plot several

times. There was a woman cooking outside in a makeshift kitchen and boiling up fat, succulent crabs – the queue was long! While some of us gorged on crab others enjoyed a wild ride on a bamboo raft to a tiny island just offshore. The ride cost $AU2.50 and the participants said it was worth every Kina (5 kina). Next stop was in the Conflict Islands. We paid for a walking tour of the island to see the dense and lush gardens. But after landing and M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 4 9


THE BRILLIANT COLOURS OF THE TRADITIONAL COSTUMES OF THE PEOPLES OF ALOTAU, MILNE BAY AS THEY PERFORM A WELCOME DANCE.

spying brilliant white sand and crystal clear water we decided to walk through the gardens to the beach on the north side of the island – and everyone else had discovered this exquisite place too. There’s a little bar set up for cold drinks and hot snacks. Cold beer, hot, salty chips and a gentle breeze coming off the sea – not too shabby at all! People wax lyrical about ‘paradise’ and ‘perfect island beaches’ and I now understand 5 0 M Y D I SCOV ER I ES | www. m ydis cover ies. co m . au

– this place is heaven to visit and having the luxury to stay here in this unspoilt treasure for most of the day was like winning the lottery. And it wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t come here on a cruise ship. As we reluctantly walked along the pier to pick up a tender, children were paddling little, very simple bamboo canoes in the cove and singing as we departed. Such a simple and unaffected farewell but warm and sincere. Back on board for our last dinner

and concert in the bar we met with fellow passengers and related our day’s enjoyment, and they did the same. Papua New Guinea is a special destination and offers wonderful opportunities to meet with and understand our neighbours. LOOKING FOR MORE CRUISE DESTINATIONS AND DEALS? @mydiscoveries @mydiscoveries info@mydiscoveries.com.au www.mydiscoveries.com.au 1300 404 606


ANGELO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT FOR FRISKY ITALIAN FOOD.

TRAVEL TIPS

Take extra Kina (local currency) with you. Visitors pay for goods in Aussie dollars and give $$ to the kids but it’s hard for the locals to exchange the money and they often get ripped off. So, if someone sidles up to you and whispers ‘you have Kina’ – it’s OK to swap money.

PACIFIC EDEN DRAGON LADY

Take some pens and notebooks with you for the kids, the schools are poor.

And everyone has T-shirts at home they don’t wear – take kids sizes and men’s – as I have said, the villages are not flush!

M Y DI S COV E R I E S | w w w.myd i sc overi e s. c o m . au 5 1


www.m ydis coveries. co m . au 1300 404 606

MyDiscoveries #2  

Travel tips, guides and inspiration for seasoned travellers.

MyDiscoveries #2  

Travel tips, guides and inspiration for seasoned travellers.

Advertisement