One of the great pleasures of writing a travel blog is that I get to hear from travel lovers all over the world.
Recently I got an email from Aly Cook, a singer/songwriter (and baby boomer) from New Zealand who is particularly well known in Australia. Her music — including three albums and a raft of number one country hits in Australia — combines country with rock, blues, and soul influences.
Among many other awards, she was named New Zealand Female Country Artist of the Year in 2012 and has been nominated five times for that honor.
Aly lives in the town of Nelson, New Zealand, nestled on Tasman Bay on the north coast of the South Island. (Before visiting Nelson some years ago, I had never heard of it. Talk about… Continue reading
Among our far-flung correspondents is Jade Chan, who writes for The Star, an English-language newspaper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Jade was on vacation in New Zealand just days and hours before that country — as well as Malaysia and Australia (where she had to transit) — severely limited travel to combat the coronavirus threat. Getting home was something of a trial — “I was ‘saved by the bell,'” as she puts it — but at least she wasn’t stranded for weeks on a cruise ship.
I’ll let Jade take it from here (note that a somewhat different version of this piece originally appeared in The Star).
By Jade Chan
My family had planned for a holiday in New Zealand more than half a year ago, and departed for the Land of the… Continue reading
My experience with Australian river cruises was something of a mixed bag. When our kids were young, my wife and I took them on a “Crocodile Cruise” on the Daintree River in far north Queensland.
The tropical setting was exotic, the little riverboat was appropriately atmospheric, and breakfast — including frontier-style Billy tea — was included.
The only problem: there were no crocs. Well, we did spot one baby croc toward the end of the day, at which point everyone on board started madly snapping pictures, none of which produced a clear image of the elusive reptile.
On the other hand, the boatman did allow our son, Grael, to play captain and steer the ship for a while, and we met some nice people onboard.
Our guest writer today, Sam Hoffman, lives in Australia and describes… Continue reading