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9 must-see locations so as to add to your Great Ocean Road itinerary

9 must-see places to add to your Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is Victoria’s coastal street to journey and the world’s longest struggle memorial. It was constructed by World War One troopers in reminiscence of those that misplaced their lives in struggle. It is likely one of the most iconic street journeys in Australia and the world. It’s no shock then that it’s a preferred route however you’ll be able to nonetheless get pleasure from it away from the crowds when you add these 9 must-see locations to your Great Ocean Road itinerary.

Aeriel view of the Great Ocean Road

Travel 250 kilometres alongside the southwest of Victoria and let your senses be swept away by the sights, sounds and smells. The Great Ocean Road has the surroundings, the seashores, the forests, one of the best spots to hang around, wildlife in its aspect and tradition to embrace. It is the perfect technique to journey via Victoria. Start your journey at Torquay, lower than a two hours drive from Melbourne and uncover one of the best of Australia.

There are many unimaginable stops alongside the way in which; at Bells Beach, expertise surf tradition; at Erskine Falls really feel the sprays of a 30-metre plummeting waterfall; and at Lake Elizabeth, catch glimpses of uncommon platypuses on an eco-tour. Or you can discover the Otways bushland and the well-known 12 Apostles. While each cease is worth it and simply as mesmerising because the final, these 9 locations are a must-see so as to add to your Great Ocean Road itinerary. Take it sluggish and spend three to 4 days experiencing this breathtaking panorama.

Rock formations along the Great Ocean Road

Swing Bridge Cafe, Lorne

Lorne is a down-to-earth, charming little city with markets, outlets and a few unimaginable locations to eat. The Swing Bridge Cafe is considerably of a neighborhood secret as a result of it’s a must to navigate via a campground to achieve the car parking zone. However, it’s the loveliest place to cease for a snack whereas road-tripping and the views are unimaginable. Victoria’s breathtaking South-West shoreline is true in entrance of you. After your chew to eat, cease at Teddy’s Lookout to admire the sweeping views of the rainforest and the ocean’s turquoise waters.

Marriners Lookout, Apollo Bay

Marriners Lookout is within the foothills of Apollo Bay, a standard fishing village well-known for its seafood. It gives a panoramic vantage level with an virtually hen’s eye view of the Great Ocean Road and its shoreline. Don’t go up this hidden treasure, which is just a brief drive from city and a brief stroll from the overlook. If the situations are proper you may even witness a hand-glider take-off from this level.

Triplet Falls and Hopetoun Falls

Avoid the crowds on the Otway Fly by going to Triplet Falls as a substitute. Known as one in all Great Otway Park’s most spectacular waterfalls, Triplet Falls gives a spectacular one-hour loop hike via an outdated rainforest. You can hear the roar of the falls earlier than you even attain the viewing platform. A sequence of elevated viewing platforms provide you with breathtaking views of the three falls.

Hopetoun Falls surrounded by green fern

Feel the spray in your pores and skin because the Hopetoun Falls, situated within the Great Otway National Park, plunges 30 metres into the Aire River. Enjoy the views from the higher platform, or descend 200 stairs to the waterfall’s base amid fern glades. Give your legs a break and relaxation on the bench on the platform whereas admiring the surroundings. After resting on the waterfall you can do the self-guided Maits Rest Rainforest Walk, a boardwalk meandering via valleys of the rainforest with century-old Myrtle Beech timber.

The London Bridge, Port Campbell National Park

The London Bridge rock construction off the Great Ocean Road is a website that almost all guests miss due to the historical past of its surprising collapse in 1990. Now that the commentary platform has been constructed, it’s price seeing the magnificent rock formation and, when you’re fortunate, recognizing a couple of penguins on the shore. As you go the 12 Apostles in your technique to Peterborough or Port Fairy, it’s best to embody this cease in your Great Ocean Road itinerary.

Loch Ard Gorge, 12 Apostles Coast

One of the Great Ocean Road’s most picturesque places is Loch Ard Gorge, a protected, sandy seashore tucked between cliffs. When the swell is excessive, waves thread their approach up the coast and thru the gorge. The inlet additionally turns into clean and turquoise blue when it’s calm. Time your go to for dawn or sundown to keep away from any crowds.

Loch Ard Gorge

The Arch, Port Campbell National Park

This is one other arch creation that many excursions overlook however are price a go to. Two glorious viewing platforms can be found at The Arch alongside the Great Ocean Road, permitting you to get remarkably near the water’s edge and take some distinctive pictures that gaze again in direction of the 12 Apostles. Try to go within the late afternoon when the solar is setting and the arch is bathed by a golden glow. It’s the right photograph alternative.

The Arch Port Campbell

Whale watching, Warrnambool

You can see Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, and even Orcas alongside this “whale corridor,” which runs between Warrnambool, Port Fairy, and Portland. These large marine mammals migrate to the coast of Warrnambool, a shocking city on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, every winter. Get to see these magnificent creatures up shut within the wild.


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Childers Cove, Mepunga

Childers Cove is an undiscovered seashore in direction of the top of the official route and a bit off the same old path however a must-see place in your Great Ocean Road itinerary. If you’re fortunate, you may be the one one within the space. Beautiful sandy seashores with distinctive surrounding rock formations could be discovered at low tide.

Childers Cove at sunset

Port Fairy and Griffiths Island

A fantastic purpose to proceed alongside the Great Ocean Road is the picturesque and generally missed fishing city of Port Fairy. It’s a hub of creative inspiration as a consequence of its status for all issues artisanal, together with its yearly folks competition. After watching a dawn on Griffiths Island, get a espresso on the town and start exploring the tucked-away artwork galleries, historic buildings, and craft outlets that Port Fairy gives.

Port Fairy Lighthouse

Another incredible location to see some native wildlife is Griffiths Island, residence to the Port Fairy lighthouse and its colony of shearwater seabirds. An wonderful hike leads from the mainland to Griffiths Island, which is linked by a causeway. At the very tip of the island stands the charming lighthouse. From May to October, there’s a very good likelihood you’ll see wallabies and generally a Southern Right Whale at sea.

Andrew Morten is Founder of TravelEssence. TravelEssence creates bespoke, tailor-made journeys to Australia and New Zealand.

If you want to be a visitor blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog with the intention to increase your profile, please contact us.

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The greatest journey locations for out of doors fans

The best travel destinations for outdoor enthusiasts

If you’re keen on being outdoor amongst nature, you most likely additionally want holidays that assist you to discover and soak up all of the pure magnificence that the vacation spot has to supply. From unique rice paddies to mountainous areas that take you to cloud 9, listed below are the highest out of doors trip locations you need to put in your journey bucket checklist.

New Zealand

Featuring breathtaking stretches of shoreline and snow-capped mountains to glittering lakes, if you happen to love the outside, one journey to New Zealand gained’t be sufficient. There are few locations on the planet the place one can expertise historical forests, beautiful coastlines, and mountain vistas throughout the area of a day. With loads of nationwide parks to discover, volcanic and geothermal lively areas, and beautiful landscapes that appear to go on for days.

Head to Queenstown to get a little bit of every little thing, from water sports activities to mountain climbing and climbing. It’s additionally the birthplace of bungee leaping, so vacationers in search of an adrenaline rush will be certain they’ll get one.

South Africa

South Africa is really a nature lover’s vacation spot. Offering a number of the most numerous landscapes in the complete African continent – with forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and savannahs simply a number of the surroundings you possibly can anticipate to come across. Besides the unbelievable pure environment, there’s additionally loads of wildlife – with over 700 publicly owned reserves, 200 non-public reserves, and 19 National Parks. Time to tick off “go on an African safari” in your journey bucket checklist.

A visit to South Africa isn’t full with no journey to the most important sport reserve in Africa – the Kruger National Park. Make certain you retain your eye out for the “Big Five” – lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.


The sheer measurement of Argentina virtually ensures there’s unbelievable pure range. Argentina’s pure magnificence has been attracting nature lovers for a few years. From the tropics to the Andes, every area of the nation has a unique ecosystem to expertise. Taking a visit by Argentina is like touring by a number of nations – with its world-famous UNESCO-listed Iguassu Falls to its distinctive jungle-scapes house to an enormous number of totally different wildlife species.

Head to Patagonia, in Southern Argentina, to take pleasure in one of the spectacular hikes on the planet – the W Trek, which incorporates the peaks of Torres del Paine. You can even discover clear lakes, dense forests, and mountain passes on horseback or a bicycle.


Iceland’s pure magnificence is definitely the spotlight of the complete nation. From glittering glacier lagoons to effervescent scorching springs, the island’s unspoiled, otherworldly appeal captivates vacationers at each flip. And whether or not illuminated every season by both the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights – the lighting is assured to up the ante. Iceland provides adventurers loads of alternatives to discover volcanic landscapes, scorching springs, and highly effective waterfalls.

Many folks don’t even know that you would be able to even dive in Iceland, within the Silfra fissure – positioned between the North American and Eurasian plates. How’s that for a once-in-a-lifetime out of doors expertise!

United States

The United States is an unbelievable vacation spot for nature lovers – with the National Park System encompassing 423 nationwide park websites throughout the US. Stretching throughout 84 million acres, with parks in every state and increasing into the US territories (together with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), irrespective of the place within the US you’re headed, you’re assured a bit of slice of out of doors paradise.

Why not head to the notorious nationwide park in California, Yosemite? With over 750 mountain climbing trails to select from, river rafting journeys, and naturally, the beautiful panorama, Yosemite is a spot that each out of doors adventurer ought to see a minimum of as soon as.


Do you need to conquer mountains and valleys, dive into speeding waters, and uncover UNESCO World Heritage websites? Switzerland’s panorama is extra various than virtually some other place on earth. And when you set your sights on its breathtaking pure surroundings – crystalline lakes framed by snow-capped mountain-scapes – you’ll understand that every one the postcards don’t do it justice. Switzerland will take your breath away.

And one of the best half is that it’s an all-year-round vacation spot. Whether you decide to hike within the Jungfrau area, go snowboarding within the alps, or raft down Lütschine Rive – there’s one thing for everybody.


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Costa Rica

Found simply north of the Equator, Costa Rica is likely one of the most bio-diverse spots on the planet (and is a pacesetter in ecotourism). In truth, there are few locations on earth the place you’ll find so many various habitats becoming in such a small place. Over half of Costa Rica is roofed in forests, with a lot of that being major and virgin rainforests. Add onto that the 800 miles of shoreline and the nation’s 28 nationwide parks (three of that are UNESCO World Heritage websites) – and also you’ve acquired a pure haven in your palms.

Costa Rica’s unbelievable nationwide parks give guests an opportunity to take pleasure in some thrilling actions like river rafting, canyoning, and zip lining, in addition to an opportunity to find some unbelievable wildlife.


Another small nation that’s extremely species-rich, Ecuador is understood for its inexperienced sprawling landscapes. In different phrases: a nature lover’s paradise. The tropical nation hosts a higher range than temperate nations, making it a haven for therefore many species. Its ecosystem contains peaks of the Andes mountain vary, mangroves, cloud forests, coastal areas, and the Amazon rainforest. Ecuador is a real paradise for birdwatchers, boasting 1,500 species, with wonderful climate circumstances for birdwatching year-round.

Head to Mindo Cloud Forest simply exterior of Quinto to find lots of or chicken species, experience a cable automobile throughout the valley, or take a hike to one of many many waterfalls the place you possibly can take a refreshing dip.


Indonesia’s measurement, tropical local weather, and archipelagic geography help one of many world’s highest ranges of biodiversity. There is simply a lot to discover on the planet’s largest island nation, from historical temples in Java to enchanting rice paddies in Bali. Over 17,000 islands make up an unbelievable panorama house to volcanoes, jungles, lakes, mangroves, grasslands, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful coral gardens.

One of the highest locations for journey lovers is discovered on the island of Lombok – the lively volcano in Mount Rinjani National Park makes for an thrilling exercise for any adventurer.

From Iceland to Indonesia, the world is full of locations that any nature lover would swoon over. Let me know within the feedback which of those (or different locations) are your favourite out of doors locations.

Efrat Sagi-Ofir is CRO & Founder of Air Doctor. Air Doctor is a startup that connects vacationers to a world community of 20,000 native medical docs by an easy-to-use app, to obtain acceptable medical care from anyplace on the planet.

If you want to be a visitor blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog so as to increase your profile, please contact us.

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Celebrating Christmas and New Year on a yacht constitution

Celebrating Christmas and New Year on a yacht charter

Plan forward to keep away from the chilly, darkish days of winter and as a substitute take your loved ones and associates on the journey of a lifetime to absorb the sunshine beside turquoise blue shores on a tropical luxurious yacht constitution this Christmas and New Year.

What higher technique to see out the ultimate days of 2022 than out of your sundeck Jacuzzi, taken care of by an expert and skilled crew whereas your Captain takes you to the following vacation spot in your itinerary? Spend your free time nonetheless you need; procuring and eating in luxurious areas someday, earlier than climbing, water-skiing and snorkelling away from the remainder of the world the following.

There are loads of vessels to fit your model, together with catamarans massive and small, traditionally-styled motor yachts, opulent artwork deco interiors or minimalist masterpieces replete with leisure choices for per week or extra. Each cruising floor is simply as distinctive and alluring, and listed here are three of the festive favourites to go away behind the winter blues, fulfill your senses and reward an expertise like no different to your self and your group.

Caribbean & Bahamas

The stability between pristine nature and all of the conveniences and indulgences of civilisation makes the Caribbean and Bahamas islands a preferred annual winter vacation spot, significantly for Christmas and New Year.

The Bahamas has the good thing about being near the US mainland, the place Florida’s worldwide airport and close by marinas make sure that constitution teams can simply start and finish their cruise. Grand Bahama and New Providence are probably the most tourist-developed islands and have loads of sights and choices for some last-minute reward procuring, whereas the extra pure and genuine Bahamian islands are often known as the ‘Out Islands’. The Abacos are identified amongst yachting fans for excellent seashores and fishing spots, plus the Fowl Cays National Park for snorkelling and Scuba diving in a biologically wealthy reserve.

The Exumas are one other incredible alternative for constitution company of all ages, with myriad white sand seashores, a transparent and shallow blue sea and distinctive sights together with Pig Beach and Thunderball Grotto. Farther south, the Bight of Acklins is a shallow lagoon the place youngsters can dive for sand {dollars} and play on the water toys. This tranquil location is good for enjoyable to nature’s soundscape, after which eating on the shores at sundown. Wildlife lovers ought to think about a visit to the Inagua Islands for the quite a few uncommon and vibrant birds plus quiet beachside anchorages to spend the day as you please.

The US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands are two of probably the most visited locations within the Caribbean, and it’s simple to fill a week-long constitution with these areas. St. Croix within the USVIs caters to different pursuits, with tremendous eating, procuring and nightlife on the town, museums and historic websites largely to the western facet of the island, coastal climbing trails, and a botanical backyard and zip strains throughout the island inside. St. Thomas and St. John take life at a slower tempo whereas catering to the out of doors way of life with loads of climbing trails and snorkelling spots. Lastly, the reef at Buck Island is an unmissable alternative to swim close to vibrant coral and see black-tipped reef sharks, nurse sharks, eagle rays, barracuda and a lot extra. Be positive to reach early at this common website.

The BVIs have their very own must-see sights, and for divers, the wreck of the RMS RHONE close to Salt Island must be a precedence. It is taken into account among the best dive websites within the area, with loads of artefacts to scope out together with the octopus and the large inexperienced moray that decision the mid-section residence. The Baths on Virgin Gorda make for a shocking and weird setting on your social media snaps, and the bars on Jost Van Dyke entice the yachting group for New Year fireworks and celebrations. Other common Caribbean locations embody Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, Saint Barth’s, Saint Lucia and Antigua & Barbuda for his or her festivals, regattas and cultural sights.


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More than a thousand islands make up the assorted atolls within the Maldives constitution grounds, and fewer than 300 are inhabited, so it’s simple to let your cares slip away as you discover a distant seaside and observe the pure rhythm of every day. The Ari Atoll is nice for fishing, the Male Atoll for windsurfing and the Addu Atoll far to the south has an incredible dive website within the wreck of the BRITISH LOYALTY near Villingili. Head to Hanifaru Bay within the Baa Atoll for the manta rays, nonetheless, the wealthy biodiversity of this area is ready to reward your curiosity wherever you roam.

Australia & the South Pacific

Go Down Under to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for a sunshine-filled summer time for Christmas and New Year. Australia has myriad distinctive landscapes and seascapes: If you’ve already visited the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays Islands, then it’s time to expertise the out of doors way of life in Tasmania or cruise round to Western Australia for Ningaloo Reef and the colourful, highly effective surroundings of the Kimberley area. Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney shouldn’t be missed both: These cosmopolitan locations supply up a vibrant nightlife, loads of indulgences, and cultural sights that give every city centre an atmosphere all of its personal.

A luxurious yacht constitution is a golden alternative to discover among the smaller, extra scattered islands within the South Pacific with a young storage filled with water toys to go along with you wherever you journey. Vanuatu has some unbelievable Scuba diving websites for wrecks and volcanic underwater surroundings, and the Cook Islands and French Polynesia are a spot for high quality time with family members in breath-taking pure environment.

Make cherished reminiscences in magnificent locations with an itinerary personalised to your pursuits, and a stellar crew to supply first-class service as you say goodbye to 2022 and welcome within the New Year.

Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxurious non-public yacht constitution firm that creates excellent holidays with glorious yachts at wonderful costs – worldwide.

If you wish to be a visitor blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog with the intention to increase your profile, please contact us.

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Discover the world’s prime island escapes in Auckland

Discover the world's top island escapes in Auckland

Auckland is a metropolis that have to be visited, principally for its vibrant variety and cultural aptitude. Known because the “City of Sails”, and surrounded by the Hauraki Gulf, it affords a singular expertise. Explore volcanic landscapes, black-sand seashores and award-winning delicacies. Epic adventures are round each nook, and let’s not neglect concerning the stylish procuring. While that in itself is spectacular, nearly a stone’s throw away from Auckland, you’ll really feel as if you’ve escaped into one other world far-off.

Blue water with buildings of the city of Auckland in the background

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is straightforward to achieve with a brief 40-minute ferry journey from Auckland CBD. Once you step on the ferry you’ll instantly really feel the tempo decelerate. In life-style and look it’s worlds other than Auckland. It is an attractive mix of laid-back seashore vibes with a complicated mixture of culinary delights.

World well-known for its vineyards and wineries, olive groves and seashores, it’s one of many prime island escapes on the planet. cause for that might be the 30-plus vineyards nestled into the hilly panorama. Waiheke produces among the greatest pink wines in New Zealand, and there may be nothing higher than having fun with a glass whereas watching an excellent sundown over the ocean.

With a nickname akin to “Island of Wine”, wine-hopping on Waiheke Island is a must-do. There are choices in fact to do that by bike however why not really feel a part of the world you’re having fun with in a basic automobile tour? Let your host accumulate you in a Fifties glamour Cadillac, and all it’s important to do is chill out in fashion and benefit from the panoramic coastal views.

Aerial view of blue waters, yachts and a green island

Waiheke Island is all about having fun with the quintessential good life. There is at all times one thing to see and do with occasions, festivals, and artwork exhibitions. The island exudes a powerful sense of creativity, and plenty of creatives have made it their residence. Every few years there’s a particular out of doors exhibition referred to as Sculpture on the Gulf that transforms the Matiatia Coastal Walkway right into a connective path of strolling and taking part in. Feel the thrill of a kid while you discover a sculpture hidden in nature that makes you assume and replicate. Savour exploring the island on foot with majestic views all alongside the way in which.

The island is as well-known for its wine as it’s for its seashores. Oneroa seashore is wanted for its white sand and calm blue waters. Spend the day swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding. It’s the proper place to chill out with household and buddies with the Pohutukawa timber offering shade and loads of play space for the youngsters.

Onetangi seashore is the longest, whitest and has the biggest Pohutukawa timber. Popular for swimming, fishing and browsing, it’s lined with bars and eating places. On the shores of the seashore is Charlie Farleys, a little bit of a Waiheke Island establishment. Pop in for a tuna poke bowl and unimaginable views.

Red and purple plants with a long stretch of white sand coastline

Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is taken into account Auckland’s most iconic island for its peculiar symmetrical cone and beautiful location. Created from years of volcanic exercise and hardened lava it’s a distinctive place to discover in New Zealand. A fast and scenic 25-minute ferry journey from Auckland, this little piece of paradise is favoured by hikers and nature lovers.

You would anticipate a dormant volcano to have a harsher panorama however Rangitoto Island is surprisingly inexperienced and exquisite. It is residence to over 200 species of flora, and plentiful birdlife and is the world’s largest Pohutukawa forest.

There are mountaineering trails everywhere in the island, however the most well-liked one is the summit of Rangitoto. Walk on paths by means of age-old lava fields (which at instances make you’re feeling as if you’ve landed on mars), and plush forests. Although the summit isn’t far in distance, the terrain is hard so you will need to watch out and concentrate. The panoramic views on the prime are spectacular. You’ll spot islands dotted within the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland within the distance.

For an journey of a distinct form, you can take a slight detour and discover the darkish world of the seven lava caves and tunnels on the way in which to the summit. Or you can make a whole day of it and kayak to Rangitoto Island, and revel in an incredible sundown over the water in your means again to Auckland.

View oof the blue ocean with Rangitoto Isand in the background

Great Barrier Island

The biggest attraction at Great Barrier island is the evening sky. Looking up takes on a distinct that means right here. The island is off the grid and designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. With minimal out of doors lighting, it’s only the billions of stars within the Milky Way that gentle up the dazzling evening skies. There are few locations on the planet the place you possibly can sit again and chill out in silence with the sensation that you’ve got a whole universe to your self.


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Approximately a thousand folks reside on the island and depend on renewable solar energy and the gathering of freshwater. Part of the attraction of travelling to the Great Barrier Island is that you just really feel like you’re experiencing New Zealand because it was a long time in the past. A number of artists are residents right here and you can decide up some stunning pottery or wooden carvings.

Nature reigns supreme and there are lots of strolling tracks with beautiful forest landscapes and breathtaking views. At Great Barrier Island, you disconnect from the world and reconnect to nature. There are so some ways to recharge and rejuvenate the thoughts, physique and spirit.

Explore the numerous sandy seashores or hidden coves and discover a non-public spot for the day. Tackle the waves at Oruawharo or kayak across the dramatic shoreline. Discover mermaid swimming pools and get misplaced in time as you float in your again whereas the solar caresses your face. Go on an journey on the Kaitoke Hotspring Track and take a calming dip within the sizzling springs. Walk to Awana Falls and swim in a pure pool. Visit a neighborhood brewery and pattern some beer or head to Port Fitzroy for the very best burger with a view.

Aerial view of Great Barrier Island

Exclusive experiences and secluded escapes await you a brief distance from Auckland metropolis. Venture off the crushed monitor to search out hidden gems, unparalleled magnificence and pure rest.

Andrew Morten is Founder of TravelEssence. TravelEssence creates bespoke, tailor-made journeys to Australia and New Zealand.

If you want to be a visitor blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog so as to increase your profile, please contact us.

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Sailing The Society Islands, French Polynesia

Sailing The Society Islands, French Polynesia

Society Islands Honeymoon

The Society Islands…jagged mountains, white sand seashores, over-water bungalows, tropical forests, sounds of ukuleles, and smells of gardenia…it’s a honeymoon dreamland. But too usually, {couples} fly from Tahiti to Bora Bora and miss the unbelievable islands in between! Keeping with the seafaring custom of Polynesia, a small ship is palms down one of the simplest ways to discover this beautiful archipelago, so we joined Windstar Cruises for a Society Islands honeymoon journey! Not your typical boat (there’s solely a handful on the planet), the Wind Spirit is a four-masted, motorized crusing yacht that rides the breeze to extend velocity, scale back gas, add romance, and honor the artwork of crusing. Plus, there have been lower than 100 folks on board and simply as many workers (together with their spa specialists, mixologists, water-sport crew, and James-Beard-Foundation-trained cooks) so we knew we’d be in good palms throughout our seven-day crusing. See the place we went, what we did, and why we fell in love with yacht life within the Society Islands.

MSY Wind Spirit

Windstar Wind Spirit Sailing yacht

In Tahiti’s Papeete harbor, we noticed the MSY Wind Spirit with its six sails, picket railings, and pointed bow, and obtained giddy for the week forward. It regarded extra like a basic tall ship than the cruise selection and simply our velocity. At the top of the pier and pink carpet, Captain Lubo and General Manager D’Souza have been ready to personally welcome us aboard. With our baggage already delivered to our room, we got down to discover the 4 decks throughout this 360-foot-long ship. Two eating places, a lounge, espresso bar, library, health middle, spa, boutique, watersports platform, pool bar, sundecks, and 73 staterooms, it had all the things {couples} (learn: no little youngsters allowed) might need whereas conserving a small footprint. We reached our room and our “butler” Yadi was there to present us a tour of our nautical stylish area with a queen mattress, seating space, ample storage, sound system, mini bar, and spacious toilet. He left us with a bottle of champagne to toast our keep and tell us he was out there for something we would have liked.

Setting Sail

society island shoneymoon

Getting dressed for dinner, we heard the cinematic track “Conquest of Paradise” come on the loudspeaker. This is the sound of Windstar’s signature sail-away when everybody gathers on the highest deck to look at the sails unfurl and lift a glass to an important day and people forward. We went upstairs, waved goodbye to Tahiti basking within the sundown glow, then to dinner on the unbelievable Amphora restaurant. Windstar is the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, which implies that every day’s menu options recipes by the inspiration’s award-winning cooks and is ready to their five-star requirements. We sat down at a comfy crescent sales space beneath the glow of a Murano glass chandelier, and Chef and 5x cookbook writer Darin Epp got here to our desk. He knew we have been vegan with out us saying a phrase, and had a protracted listing of suggestions for a scrumptious plant-based meal. He ready a tofu that was the closest factor to sea bass we’ve had since our pescatarian days and a Thai-inspired “Bang-Bang Cauliflower” that introduced us again to Bangkok. As we ate the final chew of our suave dessert and swooned, Darin stated, “Just wait until Friday…I’m creating an eight-course vegan dinner for you.”

Mo’orea: Straight out of Moana

Society island honeymoon

We wakened with the solar and out of our porthole window we noticed the plush inexperienced and jagged peaks of Mo’orea capturing out of the ocean. I rapidly obtained dressed, grabbed a cappuccino and pastry on the espresso bar, and went to the highest deck to look at arguably French Polynesia’s most stunning isle draw nearer. All the islands listed below are volcanic in origin however, being among the many youngest within the chain (at 2 million years outdated) Mo’orea has nothing weathered about it with sheer cliffs, skinny bays, and a placing silhouette. To assist company discover and luxuriate in every island, we might take the Windstar tender to enterprise out on our personal (hire bikes, store the native markets, go to museums, and so on.) or we might join a myriad of excursions—from scuba diving to photograph safaris. For an excellent cultural and geological overview, we did a improbable tour to Belvedere Lookout’s sweeping vista, the oldest European church within the South Pacific, the Gump Research Station for sustainability science, and the sacred Polynesian ruins of Marae Ti’i-rua. In the afternoon, we went dolphin and whale watching with one in every of French Polynesia’s premier marine biologists, Dr. Michael Poole, whose analysis and advocacy has resulted in a lot of the nation’s laws defending these marine mammals. We realized all in regards to the fascinating spinner dolphins and this newly found humpback breeding floor, then noticed each species in motion! When the time got here for the Wind Spirit to unfurl its sails and depart Mo’orea, we have been already planning our return.

Raiatea: The Heart of the Polynesian Triangle

Society Islands Honeymoon

The Islands of Tahiti are the middle of the Polynesian Triangle which stretches from Hawaii to Easter Island to New Zealand, and the island of Raiatea is on the non secular coronary heart of all of it. It’s additionally residence to unbelievable scuba diving and the nation’s solely navigable river (Windstar gives each of these excursions), however its true star is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taputapuātea. This historical marae complicated is the place chiefs, monks, and warriors from throughout the Pacific would journey through canoe to collect for crucial ceremonies. Our native information Tara picked us up, and her ardour for Polynesian tradition was infectious. She regaled us with tales of her childhood spent chasing land crabs and climbing tropical fruit timber. She made stops at a small-family “copra” (aka dried coconut) operations and black pearl farms to assist us perceive these staples of the nation’s economic system. Ultimately, she walked us by way of Taputapuātea for a tour that gave us a deeper appreciation of Polynesia past French borders. To high off our day of cultural immersion, the ship invited an area troupe onboard to show conventional dances, floral-crown making, palm-frond weaving and set the tone for that night time’s Tahitian BBQ beneath the celebs.

Taha’a: The Vanilla Island & Motu Mahea

taha'a society islands

Sailing from Raiatea to Taha’a, the colour of the water appeared to impress. Moving into the shallower depths, navy blue pale to teal to turquoise over the white sand. We had reached “The Vanilla Island,” the place 70% of French Polynesia’s famed beans develop. A neighborhood tour boat pulled as much as our anchorage with a ukulele musician, setting the great island vibes for our day. We walked down the principle road of charming Taha’a and will scent the vanilla within the air, blended with hibiscus and gardenia from the gardens of the few thousand inhabitants. We arrived at a family-run plantation and obtained the lowdown straight from the vanilla farmer’s mouth. The bean comes from a hand-pollinated flower, takes 9 months to develop, dries within the solar for six weeks, then cures for 2 months earlier than it’s the vanilla we all know and love. After the 101 course, we walked the plantation and sampled all kinds of vanilla merchandise, recent from one of many most interesting producers on the planet. On the best way again to the ship, we made a seemingly harmless snorkel cease solely to appreciate it was teeming with blacktip reef sharks and stingrays! Never had we seen so many sharks, however we took the information’s phrase that they have been pleasant and jumped in. It was an unbelievable expertise and we have now all our fingers and toes to indicate for it! For lunch, relatively than return to the ship, the Windstar workforce introduced a full-on BBQ feast, water sports activities, and therapeutic massage tables to the personal island of Motu Mahea for a day of enjoyable.

Activities Aboard The Wind Spirit

society islands honeymoon

We aren’t the kind to sit down nonetheless very lengthy, so we appreciated that tons of actions is also discovered on board. The Wind Spirit’s water sports activities platform had all the things from kayaks, to SUP boards, trampolines, and even wakeboards with a velocity boat to zip you round. They additionally had attention-grabbing applications all through the day, from cocktail-making classes to Polynesian storytelling, stay music (we beloved our resident musician, Alex Mel!), and the large workers expertise present. And once we did wish to sit nonetheless, it could possibly be in a sizzling tub or solar chaise watching the islands go by.

Bora Bora Bliss

bora bora society islands honeymoon

The subsequent morning we wakened and noticed Mount Otemanu framed completely in our porthole…we had reached the legendary Bora Bora. Since everybody needs to know this honeymoon isle just a little higher, we anchored in its lagoon for 2 days and obtained whisked away on an outrigger sooner or later and a dive boat the subsequent. Skimming alongside the water, we handed palm-fringed islets, over-water bungalows, and a lot marine life! We jumped in for a number of snorkeling classes within the coral gardens bursting with coloration and tropical fish. For lunch, we stopped on Pitu Island, the place our guides had a powerful unfold of conventional meals (Poisson cru, taro root, coconut bread, plantains, and poe pumpkin for dessert). No plastic plates right here, they hand-wove palm fronds for eco-friendly serving platters. We ate at picnic tables with the water lapping and curious rays swimming at our ft. To high it off, we left the island with new Tahitian expertise and souvenirs—from studying to open coconuts with a keep on with tie-dying materials for pareo (local-style sarongs). Watch our Instagram Reels from our time in Bora Bora or see extra footage on this Facebook gallery.

Diving French Polynesia

society islands honeymoon diving

French Polynesia is famous for scuba diving, but in some way there are only a few liveaboard outfitters. Windstar turned out to be the most effective of each worlds, with all of the luxuries of a cruise AND all of the dive store connections across the islands. We dove in Bora Bora and Raiatea and possibly ought to have added Mo’orea, the marinelife was so unbelievable. Swimming alongside vibrant coral with faculties of manta rays, numerous blacktip reef sharks, big Napoleon wrasse, and extra tropical fish than we might probably listing, we obtained one thing means higher than a liveaboard.

Renewing Our Vows!

society islands honeymoon

With romance within the air and our Tenth-year on honeymoon on the horizon, what higher place to resume our vows than a crusing yacht in Bora Bora! The Windstar crew reserved the bow of the ship for our ceremony, adorned it with tropical flowers, and met us of their most interesting maritime apparel. We walked down the aisle to our unique wedding ceremony track (“Forever” by Ben Harper) to satisfy our officiant, Captain Lubo. Surrounded by palm-fringed islets, sheer mountains, and water in each shade of blue, we recited our unique vows, minimize the cake, and toasted to the wild romance of our ten years collectively. To add to the celebration, that night time Windstar threw a non-public island celebration, with an elaborate Polynesian feast and cultural spectacular. The Tahitian dance troupe placed on an unbelievable present—from drumming and fire-throwing to hip shakes at unfathomable speeds. We clearly knew this soiree wasn’t only for us, but it surely was such a big day that it felt that means.


Huahine: The Garden Isle

sailing the society islands

Sailing to our final cease within the Societies was bittersweet, however Huahine’s twin islands have been too fairly to let melancholy get in the best way. Huahine Nui is the bigger of the 2 isles with historic fishing villages, artisan markets, sacred marae websites, whereas Huahine Iti has been left principally wild. We’re all about nature so we joined the e-bike tour round Iti. In simply three hours, we pedaled 18 miles by way of the mountains, barely breaking a sweat, and nonetheless needed to time to cease at a powerful marae complicated, take images of the island’s beautiful bays, and stroll its white sand seashores. Back onboard, surrounded by beautiful mountains, we observed that we have been the one ship within the bay…and it had been like that every one week. The Wind Spirit was nimble sufficient to navigate the smaller coves and at all times make us really feel like we had every place to ourselves. With bathing fits on and a pair of Hinano beers in hand, we soaked up the solar and the serenity.

Society Islands Honeymoon and Beyond

Society Island Windstar Cruises

Our final 24 hours aboard, we dined, danced, and laughed with new buddies like there was no tomorrow. Everyone was in good spirits as a result of all of us felt we made the precise transfer for this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Sure, we might have flown to a couple isles and stayed in an over-water bungalow for our Society Islands honeymoon, however this archipelago is totally meant to be explored by small ship. Hugging these beautiful shorelines, snorkeling distant corners of the reef, beachcombing personal islands, exploring with native guides, and eating like kings was all achieved seamlessly and with out spending a fortune. These spread-out and expensive islands may be difficult to navigate by yourself (belief us, we spent seven weeks in French Polynesia) so it simply made sense to wrap up our transportation, lodging, and eating into one fairly bundle. That could possibly be stated of many cruises, however Windstar is totally different in that it nonetheless embraces native tradition, fosters journey, and offers company a ton of independence, all whereas having unbelievable workers on the prepared. We wish to give big props to the Wind Spirit crew. They knew company by identify, remembered dietary quirks, turned something (be it cappuccino foam or tub towels) into artwork, tracked down misplaced cellphones an island away, and made us really feel comfy, be it beneath sail or strolling down the aisle.

Our solely remorse isn’t taking an extended journey on the Wind Spirit. There is a 10-day version of this itinerary that features the Tuamotu Archipelago, with its 76 atoll islands, legendary diving, and distinct Polynesian tradition. That stated, we would simply go anyplace with their crusing yachts and crew…the place to subsequent South America, the Caribbean, Europe? Until subsequent time, Windstar…many thanks and bon voyage!

Want to see extra of our images and movies from our Society Islands journey? Check out our Instagram Highlight reel.

Note: Windstar Cruises invited us to be their company on this Society Islands crusing and compensated us for our storytelling. As at all times, all opinions are our personal…we had such an unforgettable journey!

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The 10-Year Honeymoon: Video Highlights from Our 7-continent Journey

The 10-Year Honeymoon: Video Highlights from Our 7-continent Journey

January 22, 2022 marked TEN YEARS since we left on our HoneyTrek. It was imagined to be a one-year honeymoon to test off all the pieces on our bucket record, however we rapidly realized that’s not what it was about. It is about getting off that monitor, connecting with locals, and discovering (and creating) the great on this planet. 3,650 days, 63 nations, and seven continents later, that also holds true, and our drive to discover is simply as sturdy. That mentioned, it has been a WILD journey and never with out its ups and downs…like that point we slept within the Rio de Janiero bus station throughout the insanity of Carnaval, or when our camper broke down in Canada and it took 4 days by ferry to succeed in a mechanic, or when a mouse chewed by way of our baggage in Thailand. Some days, we don’t understand how we maintain going with no homebase to retreat to, however one factor we do know is that we couldn’t have executed this with out the help of our HoneyTrek household–at house, on the street, and on-line. Thank you a lot for cheering us on for the final 10 years and serving to us chase our goals!

To commemorate our decade on honeymoon and all of the unbelievable locations, folks, and experiences which have touched our lives within the course of, we took on the huge process of turning 10-years price of movies right into a 7-minute highlight reel. It took us a stable month to edit down hundreds of movies and (with the assistance of an unbelievable editor) finesse our 300 finest clips into one thing that advised our story. Starting with leaving our house in New York City and flying into the wilds of the Amazon jungle, like the 2 clueless metropolis children we have been, you see our struggles and triumphs as we transfer from South America, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, The Middle East, Central America, The Caribbean, Antarctica to North America.

Each area is filled with attractive surroundings, historic structure, numerous wildlife, massive adventures, and colourful characters. To get between them, there was no flying first-class, we took each mode of transportation possible–rooster buses, dhow boats, Victorian trains, bush planes, and banana vans. Our lodging, nicely, that ranged from 5-star lodges to 15-person dorms. We even labored for room and board, mucking barn stalls and scraping barnacles off the underside of boats, if it meant we might keep a bit of longer within the locations we beloved. The variety of experiences made us admire the excessive and the low, and notice that there isn’t any such factor as a misadventure. Travel has taught us to maintain an open thoughts and an open coronary heart, and the kindness we’ve acquired in return humbles us day-after-day. Like Chan who took the bus 40 minutes within the unsuitable path to verify we made it to our cease in Beijing, or Todd the renegade mechanic who stayed up tinkering with the camper all evening to assist us get again on the street, or Eva the Polish farmer who took us in for 5 days throughout the top of the pandemic to maintain us heat, fed, and beloved. Every tradition we’ve encountered has been uniquely totally different, however all of us have extra in widespread than you’d assume.

We can’t wait to listen to what you consider this video and the scenes you like most. If there are any areas/folks/actions you wish to know extra about, simply drop a remark with the time & description of the clip, and we’ll reply with the deets. Traveling full-time for the previous decade has been the best expertise of our lives and we hope this video gives a little bit of inspiration for a journey of your individual.

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The Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

The Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

What are we doing for our tenth 12 months on honeymoon? We’re occurring a quest for the ten most romantic and sustainable locations on the planet! Places that aren’t simply making an attempt to be inexperienced, however those that’ve made it their compass. Tourism that actively makes the encompassing surroundings and communities stronger, all whereas inspiring their company to do the identical. We know sustainability and romance are the right pair and we are able to’t wait to see the place this subsequent chapter takes us! If any international locations, areas, accommodations, tour operators, or outfitters come to thoughts, we’d LOVE to listen to them!

First up on our year-long quest to seek out essentially the most romantic and sustainable honeymoon locations…Tetiaroa, French Polynesia! For centuries, this attractive atoll north of Tahiti was a sacred assembly floor for Polynesian royalty. In the Nineteen Sixties, Marlon Brando got here to those coral islets to movie Mutiny on the Bounty, fell in love together with his main woman, and made Tetiaroa their residence.
Tetioroa's conservation and tourism efforts

They had a dream to make use of tourism, science, and the area people to protect the island. Decades later, that has been fulfilled by The Brando Resort & the Tetiaroa Society environmental and cultural nonprofit. The Society’s tasks, from inexperienced sea turtle conservation to The Blue Climate Initiative (a UN Ocean Decade challenge), are 70% funded by the resort and furthered by visiting researchers from around the globe.
most romantic and sustainable destinationsThough sustainability might be not the principle cause Kim Kardashian or Leo DiCaprio stayed right here. It’s a non-public island and one of the vital luxurious resorts on the planet, with ocean-view villas, private infinity swimming pools, a lavish spa, connoisseur delicacies, and five-star service. And all that decadence is supported by solar energy, seawater air con, a permaculture backyard, intensive recycling, and French Polynesia‘s first LEED-Platinum development.

To perceive either side of this gold coin, we spent two days working alongside the researchers on the Tetiaroa Society and two extra residing the luxe life at The Brando. Both have been equally inspiring and the mix took our breath away. Watch this video to see how attractive sustainability might be.

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