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Sydney is an amazing place, with the hustle and bustle of Martin place, people taking selfies in front of the Opera House, and the architecture around the Rocks. What better way to escape it all and get a birds eye view of the city to take your own selfies on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (http://www.bridgeclimb.com/)
The hardest part about this walk with BridgeClimb was finding the place, luckily we had a local who showed us right to the front door. I would recommend giving yourself an extra few minutes before your tour to get there, worst case scenario is that you get there super early so you can enjoy a coffee at the in-house cafe or browse the gift store which has plenty of souvenirs.
There are multiple tour options you can do, from samplers, to the full thing, to mandarin speaking trips, and you can even go up at twilight or night to see the city lights. We chose the full tour, it lasted 3 hours, the first being mainly about safety and getting our gear on. With over 3,000,000 people who had walked the steps before hand, we knew safety was in the front of the staffs minds.Once up on the bridge, there were breathtaking views, the walk itself was not taxing at all, and in fact, a 100yr old lady has done the walk, so no excuses!The total walk is about 1.6km, but the views are so breathtaking that you feel like you haven't walked a step!
Our tour guide was Kate, and couldn't recommend her enough. Full of knowledge, enthusiastic, and remembered everyone in the groups names!
Negatives; I found it hard to pick the experience apart too much as it was a well run, well oiled machine. If I was brutally honest, the only negative would be the price which was $258 for the day climb (more expensive for twighlight/dawn climb, and cheaper for the sampler and at night). In saying that, it is one of those things you do once in your life and you will never forget that you've climbed one of the most famous bridges in the world, so it is worth the price.
There's so many inspirational #travelquotes floating around the world wide web that we decided to post a couple of our favorites. Getting out and experiencing the world is an amazing adventure and those memories will never be forgotten. Maybe one of the below travel quotes will inspire you to travel and explore the world, to those who have a favorite quote please feel free to comment and add them to the list.
When you are arranging a business trip or leisure trip today there are a number of things that you want to keep in mind so you can be sure your trip goes well. Beyond just getting the airline tickets at a good price you also need to give serious consideration about the hotel that you plan to stay at. Of course you want to stay at a place that is clean and comfortable with an amenable staff, but you also want one that is in the right location for you and is at an affordable price. Finding all of these characteristics in a hotel might seem unrealistic to you, but when you add in that you are staying in a large city like London it can be even more of a challenge. It is good to know that you can find affordable hotels in Chiswick London that keep you near the airport.
Location Really Matters
Finding hotels in Chiswick may not be that hard for you but finding cheap hotels near Heathrow Airport might seem more difficult. It is important that you try to find a hotel that keeps you near to the airport. This will make travel back and forth to the airport much easier for you. You will not have to spend nearly as much time traveling to or from the hotel to get to the airport, making it more likely that you can be on time for your flight. You also will not have to deal with the stress of sitting in hours of traffic, wondering if you will miss your flight. When you are looking at hotels near London Heathrow make sure you give close consideration to the Best Western Chiswick Palace, one of the best and most affordable Chiswick hotels that are close to the airport.
Great Amenities, Location and Price
The Best Western Chiswick Palace is less than thirty minutes from Heathrow Airport so you will never have an issue getting there for your flight. The location in the western part of London also places you near many of the best tourist attractions in the city. Whether you are looking to take in historical or cultural locations, do some great dining or enjoy shopping in the West End you can have it all right nearby. You also have easy access to the train system to get around the city whenever you would like. The hotel itself features many modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs with satellite, in-room tea and coffee facilities, rooms a various sizes all with comfortable bedding and workspace and much more.
You can have the perfect location near to the airport when you stay at the Best Western Chiswick Palace. Make sure that when you begin planning your trip to London that you look at the room availability at the hotel during the time of your stay so you can be sure to get the room you want. You will be amazed at the reasonable price and once you have experienced a stay here you will always want to come back as the place for you to stay in West London.
Cardiff Bay Hotels
Business and leisure travellers have similarities and differences in their priorities for hotel accommodations. When visiting Cardiff Bay on holiday, visitors often want hotels near Wales Millennium Centre and other tourist attractions, while business travellers are less concerned with proximity to attractions. Both want comfortable accommodations with good amenities at a great price.
Accommodations in Cardiff Bay
Regardless of whether you will be attending business meetings or touring the local sites, you want the best accommodations in your price range. There are a few things you should look for, including the location, comfortable guest rooms, amenities, and affordable guest rates. When you are searching for Cardiff Bay hotels, Holiday Inn Express Cardiff Bay caters to business and leisure guests.
When planning your holiday, hotels near Millennium Stadium and other attractions make sightseeing easily accessible during your visit. Some of the most popular attractions include Millennium Stadium, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Castle, St. Fagans Museum of Welsh Life, Castle Coch, and Cardiff Museum. The area also boasts unique entertainment venues, such as the Doctor Who Experience, shopping and leisure at Mermaid Quay, and outdoor activities, such as white water rafting and paintball.
Comfortable Guest Rooms
Whether you are traveling for business or spending the day sightseeing, your day will be more enjoyable when you have a restful sleep in a clean and comfortable bed. Look for a hotel with spacious guest rooms that will fit your requirements. Some hotels offer added touches with luxurious bedding and a choice of pillows.
The specific amenities offered by hotels in Wales can vary widely, although there are some standard amenities that are found in most places. When comparing hotels, you should make a list of the most important amenities for you. You may want to consider Wi-Fi internet access, en-suite bathrooms, Freeview TV, individual air conditioning controls, and tea and coffee making facilities. Another advantage is a hotel that offers free breakfast for guests in the morning.
The cost of the hotel accommodations is always a factor when you are traveling and hotels can range from very cheap budget hotels to extravagant luxury hotels offering the finest accommodations. It is a good idea to set a budget with a range that you want to spend on your hotel, so you can compare hotels that are in your price range to find the best accommodations for your stay in Cardiff Bay.
Explore Ealing While Holidaying In London
Ealing is a major suburban district of West London and a thriving metropolitan area that is also the administrative centre of the London Borough of Ealing. Located just 12 miles from the city of London, Ealing was historically a rural village that shaped into a suburban area after the shift in the economy due to the opening of the railway station in 1838. Since then, there are various bodies that monitor the management, political structure and development of a corporate and community plan to ensure the steady progress of this third largest borough, located in the heart of West London. According to the Ealing Council, there have been similar efforts undertaken to help the community with affordable and accessible transportation. Moreover, Ealing Community Transport has provided the Plus Bus service that is convenient and has minimal charges, making travelling in London easy on the pocket.
Staying at Ealing For tourists, staying at one of the hotels in Ealing is a good option while holidaying in London. With plenty of budget and cheap hotels in Acton (also part of the London Borough of Ealing), you are sure to find comfortable and conveniently located hotels. A good idea is to say at hotels in Ealing such as Holiday Inn London West, which offers easy access to Central London, Westfield Shopping Centre and even Wembley Stadium.
Year Round Festivals
This district plays host to several annual festivals, each of which is more distinctive than the last. The first festival of the year is the Jazz Festival, held at Walpole Park. The annual Beer Festival, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale, is also held in the park and draws massive crowds. It was previously held at Ealing Town Hall but due to its rising popularity, it outgrew the available space there and was moved to this open air venue. Other popular festivals that you can catch year round at Ealing include the Comedy, Blues and Global festivals and also Opera in the Park. In the movie, Bridget Jones's Diary, Hugh Grant recites a limerick about the wonders of Ealing. This district has also been described as “the nation's hotspot for Polish speaking.”
This bustling suburban area also has a rich legacy of famous musicians due to the area’s keen bent towards good music. It is also been said that members of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, famously first met Brian Jones in 1962 at the Ealing Jazz Club, opposite Ealing Broadway station. This jazz club has since then been renamed The Red Room and regularly sees blues and jazz artists entertain the crowds. An article in the Huffington Post, published in August 2013, went on to claim that this suburban district plays a catalytic role for young British musicians due to the presence of the Ealing Club and may soon turn into the home of rock music in London. Be sure to check the tour plan of the band you like, since they may just be stopping by for an event in West London.
City Centre Hotels in Swindon
Swindon is a large town located in southwest England, approximately midway between Reading and Bristol and 70 miles east of London. The town is frequently described as the area where the Cotswolds meet the West Country. Swindon is a naturally beautiful area with many amenities and attractions that lure visitors to the area.
The location, price, and quality of the accommodations are the most important factors for most travellers when selecting a hotel. You can find comfortable and affordable hotel accommodations near the city centre for your visit. If you are looking for city centre hotels in Swindon, Holiday Inn Express Swindon City Centre offers conveniently situated and comfortable accommodations at affordable rates.
Stay near the Attractions
Selecting a hotel near the attractions and venues that you plan to visit will save travel time and expenses during your stay in Swindon. There are plenty of attractions in the local area to delight every member of your family. When searching for hotels in Swindon, pay attention to the location and select hotels near the city centre to be close to the best attractions, shopping, and dining.
Fun and Educational Attractions
Swindon offers many opportunities for fun and learning. The town is well known for the Steam Museum and Great Western Railway. Other nearby attractions include an adventure park for kids, Longleat House, Safari Park of BBC’s Animal Park, Bowood House and other Heritage sites. If you want to visit Bath, Oxford, or any of the other surrounding towns, the train service is within walking distance of the city centre.
Make time to Relax
Do you want to enjoy some time in a spa? Bath is an historic city that is well known for its natural mineral rich waters, spas and Roman baths. If you want to spend time relaxing and enjoying the outdoors, there are many opportunities for outdoor fun in the local area. Swindon is known for Victorian parks and gardens where you can enjoy lakes, parks, and waterfalls.
Shopping and Dining
Swindon offers a designer outlet centre for your shopping pleasure. The outlet features many of the best known brands in the fashion industry. There are shops for women’s fashion, men’s clothing, children’s boutiques, shops with items for the home, gifts, accessories, and much more. In addition, the town offers several restaurants, cafes, and bars for everything from casual dining to an exciting night out on the town.
Consider the Best Hotels near Burton upon Trent
Anytime you are planning any type of trip, whether it is for business purposes or strictly for leisure and relaxation for you and your family, the first thing you want to think about is the type of accommodations that you are going to look for. In today’s world of tighter budgets, not everyone can afford to stay at a luxury hotel. You really just want a nice, friendly, clean place to stay for your trip that is affordable and near where you need to go and want to visit. In order to find places like this, particularly if you are considering the best hotels near Burton Upon Trent, you may want to make use of Premier Inn to find the quality hotel rooms you can afford the most.
When you look at Premier Inn Burton Upon Trent you will have access to all of the local hotels in the region that are budget conscious but also filled with all of the amenities that you expect and deserve. You will be able to consider the top hotels near Burton, including the Holiday Inn Express Burton. The Holiday Inn Express in Burton was the first Express hotel found in all of England and has everything that you want in a hotel room with clean and comfortable rooms with your choice of pillows for your stay and each room features comfort cooling, tea and coffee making, workspaces and wireless Internet to go along with a 24 hour lounge at the hotel and all kinds of business amenities should you need to do work at the hotel.
You will also find at the Holiday Inn Express that the location is a great spot that has easy access to all kinds of great attractions, sites and cities. The areas of Derby and Birmingham are both nearby with transportation available into both cities. You will also find that there are great attractions nearby, such as St. George’s Park, Alton Towers, the National Memorial Arboretum, the Westfield Shopping Centre and more. This allows you to access all kinds of dining and shopping opportunities, cultural and sporting venues, museums, theaters and much more. The hotel also has its own restaurant on site that offers free complimentary hot buffet breakfast each day and is available for dining for dinner and late night snacks. Finding budget hotels in today’s market is important for business travelers and families alike and when you make use of Premier Inn Burton Upon Trent you will find that the Holiday Inn Express Burton Upon Trent has the best to offer of the hotels near Burton. Take the time to consider the Holiday Inn Express for your next trip and see what the rooms are like and just how reasonable the rates can be for your trip and you will know just where you are going to stay the next time you visit the region.
The Global Highlights of Scotland
Over the course of history, Scotland has gained a unique identity across the world for its diverse culture, ancient traditions, medieval architecture and monster fables. There are several things that people instantly relate with Scotland. According to the official Scotland website, the country has even bred some of the finest Hollywood actors, including Robert Carlyle from Trainspotting, the legendary Sir Thomas Sean Connery, Gerard Butler, Tilda Swinton (better known as the ‘White Witch of Narnia’), Ewan Gordon McGregor from the Star Wars series, Robbie Coltrane or Rebus Hagrid from the Harry Potter series and more. There also are various events, cultural highlights and fables that are instantly identifiable with Scotland. If you are planning a holiday to this part of the UK, make sure you book yourself into one of the best boutique hotels in Edinburgh, near Edinburgh Castle, for easy access to all the major tourist attractions.
The moment someone says Loch Ness, the picture of Scotland and the infamous sea monster immediately pop up into one’s mind. There has been much discussion about this place for centuries now and the excitement over catching a glimpse of the fabled sea creature has not dampened. Loch Ness is essential a 1,000-feet-deep lake with inky black water. The entire area fosters an eerie and other-worldly atmosphere, given its rich legends and stories. This 26 mile lake is the longest in the country and its massive length gives the sea monster ample places to hide (if you believe there is one). The entire lake is dotted with small castles, ancient abbeys and small, quaint villages. The north road of the lake is the famous area where the monster had been first spotted in the 7th century and several “sightings” continue till today. Tourists can stay at some of the most comfortable hotels in Edinburgh Scotland, such as Hotel Indigo Edinburg, and take a moonlight drive to the north road of the Loch Ness gate and figure out the mystery for themselves.
Scotland and Whiskey
It is said that whisky has been around since there have been Scottish people. Drinking fermented beverages in this country is so popular that, at this point, it can even be considered a fine art. Throughout the country, you will find bars, distilleries and small shops that serve you the most exquisite alcoholic beverages. Order a few snacks and do not forget to visit one of the many distilleries to knock back a few great whiskey drinks.
Sky lining the capital for over 800 years, this is probably the most visited tourist spot in the country. Its immense popularity has turned it into a Scottish icon with the name of “Stronghold of Eidyn.” This castle is a symbol of identity for the country folk, since it has played many roles, including being a prison, a royal palace, house of parliament and more. Do not forget to visit this major Scottish attraction on your holiday with accommodation at a hotel near Edinburg Castle.
Country/Town Visited: Hawaii, USA
Date of stay: Late Jan 2015
Where you stayed: Hotels and B&Bs
Travelled with: As a couple
Tour or pre planned: Pre planned
Itinerary: Hawaii in 2 weeks.
A Saturday flight overnight from Brisbane with Hawaiian Airways (approx. 10hrs). 2 hours later we were on a flight to Kona, The Big Island.
On the Big Island, we spent 3 nights at Kona, then drove around to the other side of the island via the Hawaii Volcano Park. We stayed in Hilo for 2 nights before flying back to Oahu from Hilo. Once in Honolulu we picked up a car to head to the North Shore of Oahu (2 nights), before spending the last 7 nights in Waikiki.
The Big Island
Things to do:
Swim with the Manta Rays: Undoubtedly one of the best experiences! We went with Splashers the first night, however with big swell the Manta’s didn’t show. We stayed on an extra night and as Splashers (USD$105) were full booked they organised for us to go out with Wicked Wahine. The Mantas came out in force that evening, dancing and somersaulting through the water, the 8ft beasts came within inches of us! The boys organising the trip, especially Super Dave were amazing and the hot soup and pineapple on the journey back topped off the experience.
Coffee Plantation: Hawai’i is the only place in the US that grows and produces coffee. We visited Thunder Mountain, they run free tours of their small operations. Their choc covered coffee beans are divine. Unfortunately, the American idea of good coffee is brewed/filtered, espresso beans…coffee snobs beware!
Eating and Drinking in Kona:
There are plenty of bars and restaurants down near the Kona Harbour. Check out the Kona Brewing Company for good pizzas and great beer. Also try out some local cuisine including Poke (fresh raw fish served with rice) at Umeke’s Poke Bowls and Local Lunch Plates.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn. Great location, walking distance to restaurants. Ample parking if you hire a car. We booked through their website so check that out for current prices.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
A must do. Make your first stop the Kilauea Visitor Centre and pick up a map. There are bush walks all through the area but for an easy walk try the Thurston lava tube caves (<30mins). Check out Volcano House, a hotel right on the Caldera. There are cane chairs in the café with awesome views over the smoking volcano, sit down with a beverage and take it all in.
We took a 4 hour Ranger led tour from the Kilauea Visitors Centre which took us down into the bowels of the still active Kilauea caldera. We went out beyond the ‘Do not enter’ signs onto the 1974 lava flows with hot steaming vents. Check with the Rangers if this tour is running as its dependant on the wind direction of volcanic gases and volcano activity. The Ranger was quite funny (previously a magician) and very informative.
We spent 2 nights at Hilo Bay Hale Bed and Breakfast. Great location, big breakfasts with fresh baked goodies, fresh fruit and bacon. Check out the Markets for local gifts and souvenirs. While it doesn’t look like much from the outside, try out Lucy’s Tacqueria for nachos, tacos and a big as burrito! Support local business by buying some chocolate treats or stop in for breakfast or lunch at the Hawaiian Crown Plantation and Chocolate Factory. They do the best tasting hot chocolate I have ever had and also offer a range of healthy alternatives!
Things to do
Paradise Helicopters: We took a helicopter ride out over the new lava flows threatening the town of Pahoe and also went over an active crater. Doors off, Volcano and Waterfalls Extreme (45min, USD$282).
North Shore Oahu
Things to do:
Watch a big surf comp: We came to Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline and Sunset specifically to watch the big waves. 20ft+ while we were there. Try and time it so you get to see some of the pro’s out on the water with a surf comp.
Where to Stay and Eat
On the North Shore of Oahu we stayed at Ke Iki Beach Bungalows. Ask for an Ocean front unit and the big waves will be breaking just at your door! Walking distance to the legendary Waimea Bay and Banzai Pipeline surf breaks. The units were self-contained so we got supplies from Foodland (walking distance). There are also a number of food caravans nearby. The Waimea Beachside Galley has the best sourdough toasted sandwiches with mozzarella, pesto and Kailua (smoked Hawaiian style pig). Don’t go past their short rib beef sandwiches either!
Things to do
Diamond Head National Park: Get the heart pumping with a climb up to the top of Diamond Head. Steep walk, try get there early to beat the crowds. Amazing views across Honolulu.
Get some sun on Waikiki: Take your towel down to the beach and swim. There are surf boards and SUPs for hire if you feel like something more strenuous.
Hanaumu Bay: Great nature reserve for snorkelling and quite an important place in Hawaiian native history. You can hire all snorkelling equipment there. Reef was quite bleached when we went. If you are a confident swimmer head further out through the channel, beyond the main reef. There are a lot less tourists, more fish and we even spotted a sea turtle out there. Just be wary of the currents.
Pearl Harbour war memorial: Sobering experience, we did the USS Arizona trip where you can see and smell the oil still leaking from the hull as well as the USS Bowfin submarine.
Shopping: Buyers beware that shopping in the Waikiki area is not as cheap as you would like. We did most of our shopping in the Waikele Outlet mall which was significantly cheaper than Ala Moana Center. For example Levi jeans were USD$40 at the outlet mall and the same pair was USD$118 at the Ala Moana Center.
Where to Stay and Eat
We stayed at the Waikiki Hilton on Hilton points, if it wasn’t for the points I probably would have stayed at another island or the North Shore. The best thing about the Hilton village was the ABC store where you could buy beer from USD$12 a 12-pack (Steinlager Pure).
Try Shorebirds for happy hour cocktails and amazing views of Diamond Head. They also do a huge steak special and all you can eat salad bar for USD$20. Only drawback is you cook it yourself on one of the huge hot plates they have. There are plenty of eating options around, Waikiki is a busy place.
By: Kirk & Kim