Thursday, 13 October 2011

lucy mceachern...

Lucy has recently returned from the USA after being invited to exhibit at the "Birds in Art". Its the second year, Lucy has been asked to attend the exhibition and of course she has been delighted in the experience.
To meet Lucy, she is dynamic - friendly, great sense of humour, a farmer, a committee member, a sculptor, I'm not sure about her cooking abilities, but I'm sure there is much more to this talented person. So, TWAD asks her a few questions:
When, where and who with was your first overseas holiday?
It was awhile ago...I was 5 when my mother and I went to the UK to meet the extended family. I still associate sounds and smells to that trip, such as my great Aunts kitchen.

What do you enjoy or not enjoy about travelling?
I love getting to know a culture and experiencing what a 'local' does, and the way travelling changes your perspective on life when you return.

Your accommodation favourites?
I like to stay somewhere central, where you are surrounded by the culture, if it be stepping outside your apartment in Split and hearing the locals cooking dinner upstairs or peering out a window on safari and seeing a heard of elephants wonder by.

How do people overseas respond to your work and you being Australian?
Generally they all comment on Australia's wildlife and their unique characteristics. So far, I think they respond quite well, we'll see if they invite me for a third time round!

Next stop?
Tough choice, but I've always wanted to go to South America.
Lucy and her Duck sculpture in America 2011

exploring Yosemite National Park

Lucy advises it is well worth the visit - Yosemite National Park

Friday, 7 October 2011

a sailing holiday in tonga...

Nuku'alofa market
Wow, "a holiday", that's how I felt when taking off with Virgin Australia to join friends in Tonga for eight days of sailing. Yes, I get to travel often, but it is for work which means meetings and resort inspections - a job I do love, otherwise I wouldn't do it.  But to take off on a holiday to be with friends to share the laughter, the days activities, a joyful "knock-off" aka gin&tonic at the end of the day and now the photos - is fabulous.

The flight itself to Tonga was intriguing, mostly Tongan's and by the chat, laughter and acknowledgements it would seem, they all new each other.

Tonga is made of three main groups of islands - Tongatapu/Eua, Ha'apai and Vava'u. My interest was to go to Vava'u (which has been said to be paradise) and swim with whales.  Whales sharks is what was on my list...I was told they are there, but it is mostly Humpback Whales that people experience when in Tonga.
exploring another island...

Sailing takes you where the wind takes you - well, maybe not that literally, but we did have to plan our days to the wind. We ended up spending the week sailing the Ha'apai group with no disappointment or regret - I didn't get to sail to Vava'u or swim with the whales.  But what I, we did get to experience was: Whale watching daily from either the catamaran whilst sailing or the zodiac as we explored the islands after anchoring.  Snorkelling over what seemed to be endless can only snorkel so far! Skurfing which become our morning activity. Drinking coconut juice straight from a coconut plucked from the island and amazing fresh fish caught from the ocean. Our days also entailed walking remote islands where we met a couple living ruggedly, to islands with no people but a few wild pigs.

My last day I departed early in the morning which took a bit of organising the day before in order to get me to the airport to catch this DC3 (below) back to Nuku'alofa, whilst my friends sailed on to Vava'u. They said I experienced the pick of what Tonga had to offer.  Vava'u is more touristy, it has more yachts and they sighted less whales. But there are a few whale watching/swimming companies there, so the whales are there.
Flying out of Ha'apai
Like us on FaceBook  to view more images.

For all your holiday arrangements contact us at Travel With A Difference.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

orion cruise deals...

PNG - Papua New Guinea - what a destination. It as always held intrigue, the landscape, the tribal costumes and festivals, the close location to Australia yet the remoteness and ruggedness it portrays.
Recently, I had the opportunity to mingle with expats and locals within the tourism sector, yes, there were many laughs and interesting stories. If you're looking for a holiday experience that offers...
  • expedition cruising
  • culture
  • surfing
  • diving
  • festivals
  • bird watching
  • trekking
PNG is for you.  It is a destination for the well-travelled, wanting an amazingly memorable experience.
Orion Cruises have released a 25% saving on their 11Night departing 9 & 20 March 2012. 
Prices start from $6,745 a saving of $2250pp.
Bookings must be made before 30 November 2011.

For other departure dates and destinations for Orion Cruises  2012 visit our Calendar with SAVINGS available until 30 November.  Call us today.