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2012 Travel Adventures in Photos

2012 was an epic year for travel adventures. 14 countries and over 10,000 photos. Makes it hard to choose just 12 of our favourites but we have tried!

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Costa Brava Church, Cycling in Costa Brava

2012. What a year it has been.

It’s hard to imagine that the year is nearly over because it feels like only yesterday that we were in Egypts capital city, Cairo, ringing in the New Year.

But since then it has been a whirlwind of travel adventures for us.

2012 Travel Adventures in Photos

This is actually the first time that we have looked back on all the travel adventures we have done this year. We are so fortunate to have been to 14 countries this year. 

So grab a coffee, sit back and take a moment to reflect back on the last 12 months of travel.

January 2012 – Egypt

Egypt Pyramids of Giza, travel adventures,

Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt.

Egypt was the perfect start to the year. It had been a dream of mine to visit the Pyramids of Giza for a longtime and I had huge fears that they wouldn’t live up to my exaggerated expectations. Luckily the Pyramids, and Egypt in general blew my mind.

A truly magnificent country.

February 2012 – Amsterdam

Amsterdam at Night, Red Light District

Red Light District Canals, Amsterdam

We wrote a few risqué posts from our 48 hours in Amsterdam. No surprises that our “How to smoke weed in Amsterdam” and “Visiting a Peep Show” posts continue to drive thousands of visitors to our travel blog each month.

What amazed me the most about Amsterdam was the high number (pun intended) of  Tourists that miss out on the highlights of Amsterdam such as the Anne Frank Museum. I guess they are too busy eating waffles, smoking weed and visiting the Red Light District,

March 2012 – 3 Valleys, France

3 Valleys Peak Panorama, Travel Adventures

3 Valleys Panorama, France

We hadn’t skied in over a year when we made the decision to go skiing in the 3 Valleys. The snowcapped French Alps were endless and we quickly fell in love with the area.

It’s also why we are moving there for this winter season. So you can expect lots more picturesque panoramas to come 🙂

April 2012 – Scottish Highlands

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, Travel Adventures

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

We are so glad that we made the decision to live in Edinburgh rather than London. Scotland continues to grow on us every day with its stunning Scottish Highlands and Castles around every corner.

We did countless drives around Scotland, but the one that stands out the most was our trip to the Isle of Skye. A vast, windswept and rugged Isle that left us wanting more.

If only the weather was a little better.

May 2012 – Turkey

Sail Turkey Busabout Sunset Cruise, Adventure travel

Sail Turkey with Busabout, Turkey

After shivering in Scotland for the winter we knew we had to escape to somewhere warm. Turkey proved to be one of the best decisions in the last 3 years.

We originally planned to just visit Istanbul and attend the incredibly moving ANZAC ceremony in Gallipoli. As an afterthought we tacked on a Sail Turkey cruise with Busabout. In one week lifelong friendships were forged and it has been one of the best travel adventures we have done.

June 2012 – Italy

Colisseum Pictures, Rome Pictures, Colosseum Panorama, Colosseum Pictures

Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy

I get shivers looking at the Colosseum. While others may not agree with me I think it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

But Rome wasn’t the only highlight in Italy. For 4 weeks we toured the northern half. We hiked Cinque Terre, explored Tuscany by scooter, ate copious amounts of Pizza and Pasta, sea kayaked in Naples, visited Ferrari museums and celebrated La Notte Rosa in Rimini.

We could travel around Italy forever.

July 2012 – Running with the Bulls, Spain

Running with the Bulls, San Fermin Bull Fighting Pamplona, travel adventures

San Fermin Bull Fight, Pamplona, Spain

With the blood pumping in our ears and the vibrations of hooves on the cobbles we ran for our lives during the San Fermin Running with the Bulls festival in Pamplona. Never in my life have I been more terrified, excited and pumped up on adrenaline than for those 2 minutes.

The bullfighting wasn’t the only travel adventure we got involved in though. Surfing in San Sebastian for 2 weeks helped me rediscover that passion that I had forgotten while we have been travelling.

August 2012 – Budapest, Hungary

Széchenyi Baths Budapest, travel adventures

Széchenyi Baths, Budapest, Hungary

Budapest turned out to be a real eye opener for us. We hadn’t yet ventured into Eastern Europe on our travels but it had always been in the backs of our minds. It’s funny how one little trip changes everything because now we want to bike around Eastern Europe next summer.

Not only did we get to relax in the local Széchenyi Baths, but we also attended the Sziget Music festival and Adela faced her fears by going caving under Budapest.

September 2012 – Costa Brava, Spain

Ermita de Sant Elm Church, Costa Brava, Spain, Travel Adventures

Ermita de Sant Elm Church, Costa Brava, Spain

This photos sums up Costa Brava for me. Gorgeous. On my second (out of three) trips to Spain this year I had the opportunity to explore the northeast of Spain in depth like a local.

Costa Brava has all sorts of travel adventures from hot air ballooning, remote Castle villages like Besalu and cycling old rail trails. It really is the perfect place to visit.

October 2012 – Oslo, Norway

Oslo Guide Vigeland Park, Crazy Baby Statue Oslo

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Living in the UK has been great but unfortunately I could only obtain a two year visa. Before I got booted out of the country for good we did a quick visa run across the North Sea to Oslo.

In hindsight we could have chosen somewhere cheaper (Oslo is the worlds most expensive city) but it turns out that Oslo in Autumn is spectacular. The fall colours and crazy baby statues make it a really fun city to explore.

We are also planning on returning to Norway in summer because we have heard they have some of the best adventure activities in the world.

November 2012 – Whangamata, New Zealand

Clark Island, Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Clark Island, Whangamata, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

For the first time in over 3 years I nearly quit travelling when I returned home to New Zealand. See the problem with travelling is that you miss out on so much back home. Especially when your home is one of the most talked about countries in the world.

Being able to go diving or surfing in Whangamata and relax on the beach afterwards with views like this are what I miss the most. After family of course. This is what will pull me home sooner than I thought…

December 2012 – Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Wentworth Falls Valley Hiking Trail Bridge, adventure travels

Wentworth Valley, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

And to top off our travel adventures for the year, another photo from New Zealand. This one was taken on the hike up to Wentworth Falls. I don’t think it needs much explanation as to why it joins the 2012 adventure travels list. Who wouldn’t want to hike here!

Lets hope that 2013 brings just as many, if not more, travel adventures as 2012 did.

Tell us your favourite travel memory from 2012 below.

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79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. Dusty Soles

    December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    What a round up! Except for NZ and Amsterdam these are locations I’ve dreamed of but not quite made it to.. and I’m supposed to be bloody European! It’s true that when something is on your doorstep, you’re less likely to take advantage of it.

    Cannot wait to hear what adventures 2013 has for you!!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Well at least you have made it all the way down to NZ! Not many people can claim that 🙂 We hope for lots of adventures too. Going to be hard to beat 2012 but we will give it a shot!

  2. Stephen S.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Man what a year! Looks like great fun. That is an epic picture of Eilean Donan!I saw you did Busabout sail turkey, and seemed like you enjoyed it. I am sailing Croatia with Busabout and debating doing the sail turkey after Oktoberfest to kill some time before TBEX Dublin

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      Sail Turkey was definitely a highlight of this year. Met loads of people we then became friends with long term and travelled with throughout the year. I think it is a lot more chilled out than Sail Croatia to be honest. Not as many parties although nothing to stop you having a good time too.

  3. Jade - OurOyster.com

    December 18, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    Sounds like an awesome year! Can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2013

  4. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    December 18, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    What an amazing year you guys have had! I’ve certainly enjoyed following along and I look forward to seeing what the coming year holds for you. Enjoy the slopes in France!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      Cheers Ellen! We have enjoyed sharing our adventures with you and are stoked you follow us 🙂 So much snow falling here in France at the moment too. Looks like a perfect season!

  5. Jennifer

    December 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    What an amazing year you both had! Here’s to hoping 2013 is even more amazing for you.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      It has been crazy busy but very enjoyable! Mostly because of the people we have met 😉

  6. Salika Jay

    December 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    You guys seem to have had an amazing year. It’s always nice to read your articles. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in the coming year 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      Thank you so much for reading along with us Salika! The adventures are more fun when we share them with people 😉

  7. Jeremy Branham

    December 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    What a great year of travels! I’ve been to many of the countries you’ve visited. However, I am still envious of a few of your adventures. I’ve got a similar photo of the Szechenyi Baths in Budapest. I went there in 2007 when a lot of people didn’t know about them (too bad I didn’t have a blog back then!).

    However, the one I am most envious of is the Scottish Highlands. I’ve covered some Scottish festivals here and have wanted to go there for a few years.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 19, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Haha I have so many places I still have to write about from when I didn’t have a blog 😉 You definitely need to make your way over to Scotland. Lots of places for you to connect with!

  8. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    December 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Another great year. Congratulations you guys! But 14 countries in 12 months makes our heads spin. We managed only three countries in 2012 but BOY do we KNOW Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama by now….

    • Cole Burmester

      December 19, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      We couldn’t believe we had been to 14 either. We spent two months in Spain and Italy so that was good that we managed to get to know them much better than the others! Would love to travel slower if we could afford to.

  9. Ruth (Tanama Tales)

    December 19, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    What ana amazing year. Hope next years bring more awesome adventures!

  10. Laurence

    December 19, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Well, no idea how you’re going to top that lot in 2013, but I’m sure you’ve got a cunning plan 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      December 19, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      Starting with France and then… mind blank. Nothing planned yet 😉

  11. Steven

    December 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Sounds like (or looks like) you’ve had an awesome year! That is a great photo of the Ermita de Sant Elm Church, and what is with that wild statue in Olso..

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Was a fantastic year even if Vigeland park in Oslo was really confusing with the crazy statues haha.

  12. Laura @Travelocafe

    December 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    What a wonderful year! May 2013 be at least as adventure packed as 2012 for you!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Thanks Laura 🙂 We can’t wait to see what it brings!

  13. Pete

    December 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Great photos mate. All the best in 2013 and enjoy the slopes in France 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Thanks Pete. Hopefully this is the year we get to catch up on the road.

  14. Arti

    December 21, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    What a memorable 2012 you had! I was there with you most of the time! My most memorable travel trip of 2012 was my 6 day trip Japan, what a fascinating country.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Thanks for following us in 2012! Hope you enjoy following this year too. We also want to get to Japan towards the end of this year so might have to ask for some travel tips sometime Arti 😉

      • Arti

        January 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

        I will be glad to help you 🙂

  15. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    December 25, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    What a great way to reflect on the past year. I’m totally stealing your idea 🙂

  16. D.J. - The World of Deej

    December 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    A great year and enjoyed tagging along with you here. Here’s to a great 2013!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      Cheers D.J. Been a pleasure having you onboard for our travels! Maybe we get to catch up somewhere on the road this year.

  17. Noah

    December 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Love the photos. Costa Brava, Oslo, and the Scottish Highlands are incredible shots. I really enjoyed my ten-week honeymoon, but if I had to narrow down that collection of awesome snapshots to just one, I would have to say hiking Sapa in the rain. The rice paddies were greener than I could have imagined.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      We haven’t experienced much of Asia yet and can’t wait to get there hopefully this year! I bet there are some amazing photos to be taken 🙂

  18. Cheryl

    December 26, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Wow, that’s one heck of a good year! Loved following your adventures, seeing your photos and look forward to following them even more closely in the new year! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Was great having you along for the ride Cheryl! You don’t realise how much we always appreciate your comments 😛

      • Cheryl

        January 17, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Awww, glad to hear! =)

  19. Suzzane from Travel Universally

    December 27, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Of all your travel pics , the most attractive is Oslo, though it’s the most expensive city, but the nature of the Autumn city attracts me !

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Did you see our Autumn post with all the photos? Stunning! Although I have heard summer is just (if not more) lovely.

  20. kami

    December 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    it truly loks like you’ve had an amazing year! hope that 2013 will be even better for you!
    and since I’m considering booking a flight to Cairo – would you say it’s safe for a solo femal traveler to go there?

  21. Belle

    December 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    What an awesome tribute to 2012, as someone who has only just hit the road, I can’t wait till I can look back at all the places I would have been to over 12 months!!!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Good luck for your travels in 2013 Belle! Look forward to your end of year wrap up post 🙂

  22. Joy

    December 29, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    Great pics! They’re so colorful. You’ve had a great year!

  23. Felicity

    December 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    The photo of Budapest is beautiful. I’ve just recently followed your website and I’m always amazed by your travel. Hope you guys continue to share your travels to us

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Thanks for your comment Felicity! Hope you enjoy the rest of our posts for 2013 😀

  24. Jeremy Branham

    December 31, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I am jealous of your trips to Scotland and Budapest. I went to Hungary years ago and loved it. I think it’s one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. As for Scotland, it tops my bucket list. Awesome photo as well! Best wishes in 2013!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      You loved Ireland so you will LOVE Scotland Jeremy! Let us know if you make it here before the end of the year.

  25. Erik

    January 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    WOW! It looks like you’ve lived four years in that past 12 months 🙂

    As incredible as 2012 was for your guys, I’m hoping 2013 is as equally blessed with adventures and safe travels!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      Sometimes it feels like we did too much to be honest Erik! We hope 2013 is as great for us (AND YOU) as well. Cheers.

  26. Michael

    January 3, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Wow, wonderful pictures. Can’t wait for your latest traveling in 2013.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      We hope that our travels are just as exciting and picturesque 😉

  27. ANGLO/Dale

    January 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    New Zealand has been on the lips of everyone recently, whether it has anything to do with ‘The Hobbit’ coming out at Christmas I couldn’t say, but, it looks every ounce as amazing & scenically beautiful in your pictures.

    Secretly holding out that we’ll make in there this year 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      I really hope you guys make it out there this year too Dale! We hope to be back sometime towards the end of the year too 😉

  28. Matthew Karsten

    January 5, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Love the bullfight ring photo. 14 is a lot of countries in one year!! You guys are travel machines! 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      We were exhausted after it all anyway! Totally burnt out by November. Hopefully things will be just as exciting this year, but also a little slower. No one can keep it up for that long.

  29. Jenna

    January 5, 2013 at 5:17 AM

    This is one of my favorite round-ups of 2012 that I have seen. So many amazing travel destinations and photos! The Scotland photo is particularly great. I also have always wanted to see the Great Pyramids, but many other places on here are on my list, including Scotland and New Zealand.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      We were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to see so many wonderful places in 2012! Hopefully this year will top it, or at least equal it 🙂

  30. Red Hunt

    January 8, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Great travels, wow! The Scottish Highlands shot is super, it makes me want to be there….I love those kind of shots. And Egypt….oh Egypt, one day I’ll get there…have fun in 2013!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Hopefully you can make it to Egypt in 2013! It is a fascinating place with SO much history. Totally blew my mind.

  31. Michael Figueiredo

    January 8, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Beautiful photos! It certainly looks like you had a great year of travel. Best wishes for 2013!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Thank you Michael! We hope that your year of travel goes well too 🙂

  32. memographer

    January 10, 2013 at 5:21 AM

    Seems like a great year. Surprised that you went to Egypt. I am afraid it is still not safe to go there.

  33. Kristy

    January 10, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    I am looking forward for your next travel stories this 2013! Hopefully I can also go to Egypt! I super love all the pictures you’ve posted here about your travel escapades.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Thanks for dropping by Kristy! Appreciate your comments and hope your travels go well in 2013 too. Maybe Egypt will be ticked off for you!

  34. Lady

    January 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Wow! Beautiful pics. I can’t wait to see more of your travels!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Cheers Lady! We hope that our photos at the end of this year can live up to the yours (and our) expectations!

  35. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    January 11, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    So many of these are on our Dream Destination List for 2013. Thanks for the great photo wrap up!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Maybe we should swap travel plans for a year or something! You guys are always on trips we want to do haha.

  36. Dana

    January 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Wow! Those are gorgeous places… and gorgeous photos! What a wonderful year of travel!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      We are hoping that 2013 will be just as beautiful! Good luck for all your travels too 🙂

  37. Laurel

    January 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    You guys have really had an incredible year! New Zealand is still on my list, can’t believe I haven’t gone yet, considering how I keep hearing how good the hiking is.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      Put NZ on your list just before Istanbul 😉 Hiking is world class!

  38. ourjourneytothesea

    January 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    What a beautiful collection. I can only imagine what is contained in the other 9,988 photos!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 20, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      It is tough to take good photos sometimes! Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  39. Simon

    February 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Great photos of 2012. My favorits are: Scotland, Clark Island and Amsterdam. I am looking forward to reading your travel reports of 2013. Take care of you!

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Adventure Travel

Summer Events to check out in Surfers Paradise

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The weather is already heating up on the Gold Coast and everyone is getting ready for some hot days on the beach. Christmas is just around the corner and with it all the big summer events and festivals that happen at this time of year. Surfers Paradise is at the centre of it all and makes a great base for exploring the Gold Coast and attending the events on the Gold Coast’s summer schedule. There is plenty of places to stay in Surfers Paradise, so book yourself a room and check out some of these fantastic summer events.

Australian PGA Championship

Pacific Pines Resort is one of the premier golf courses in Australia. The country’s biggest golf tournament will make its way here from the 30th of November until the 3rd of December, where the best golfers from Australia and overseas will compete for the title. This is a must attend event for golfers, and there will be plenty of food and entertainment on offer across the four days.

Beachfront Markets

The foreshore in Surfers Paradise comes alive every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night, with over 100 market stalls filling up the esplanade. The iconic Beachfront Markets will continue throughout the summer and provides the perfect opportunity to get out and about on those warm summer nights, browse the stalls for some unique buys, and then head out on the town for dinner.

Christmas in Surfers Paradise

Experience Christmas in true Aussie style by attending the popular Christmas in Surfers Paradise event that fills up Cavill Mall from the 13th – 24th of December. The entire mall is transformed into a festive wonderland, Surfers style. Even Santa himself will be wearing boardies and travelling in a surf boat sleigh. The kids will love getting to visit Santa in the mall, and the whole event ends with the popular Carols on the Beach on the 23rd of December. Where else in the world can you experience Christmas Carols on the beach on a hot summer’s night?

New Year’s Carnival

Surfers Paradise is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year in the country. The New Year’s Carnival happens on the foreshore of Surfers Paradise across five days from the 27th of December until the 1st of January. It will be one big celebration with lots of rides and fun filled activities, music and more. On New Year’s Eve, you can enjoy massive fireworks displays over the water, with three different displays lighting up the skies above the Gold Coast. There will even be an earlier fireworks display for the little ones. This is definitely the place to be to bring in the New Year.

Magic Millions Carnival

One of the first big events to check out in 2018 will be the extravagant Magic Millions Carnival. On from the 7th until the 13th of January, the Magic Millions Carnival is the premier event of the summer horse racing season. This is a $10 Million horse race and it is sure to be a huge event, with all the glitz and glamour and socialising that goes with it. On the 9th of January, head to the Surfers Paradise Foreshore for the Barrier Draw, where you can watch the horses on the sand and enjoy food and beverages from the stalls. The big race day will be held on the 13th of January.

Burleigh Pro

Surfing is huge on the Gold Coast and one of the best surf spots is at Burleigh Heads. The Burleigh Pro has grown to become one of the biggest surfing competitions in Australia and will see some of the world’s top surfers compete for the title. Local surfers and visitors should definitely attend this one. The Burleigh Pro will be held from the 25th – 28th of January.

Sand Safari

One of the more unique and interesting events to check out this summer will be the 2018 Sand Safari. This arts festival focuses on Australia’s talented sand sculptors, who will compete in the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships. These sand artists carve out incredible, often life sized sculptures entirely of sand, and you will often be truly awed by what they are able to create. The main sculpture competition takes place on the beach along the Surfers Paradise foreshore, however this is a big event from the 2nd to the 25th of February, and you will be able to find special sand sculpture exhibits all over Surfers Paradise.

Summer of Surf

The Summer of Surf is a massive event which will see the country’s best Ironmen and Ironwomen compete in a gruelling six discipline event across six rounds, including the highlighted IronMan and IronWoman competitions. These athletes are the epitome of endurance, and the competition will hit Surfers Paradise for round five of the competition on the 3rd and 4th of February.

The Village Markets

Burleigh Heads is one of the most picturesque and laid back places on the Gold Coast and well worth heading to for a few hours. A good time to visit is during the twice monthly Village Markets which have become an integral part of the Burleigh atmosphere. This popular and laid back market has a beachy, artsy feel to it, and you will find all kinds of unique buys here from the many stalls on offer. Street food stalls are also a big thing here so you can sample some delicious delicacies while browsing the stalls. Finish the day by relaxing on the beach, or sit down for a drink at the Burleigh Surf Club.

Whether you’re looking for a destination for a family holiday or just wanting a quick getaway to unwind this summer, Surfers Paradise is a great choice. With so much happening from cultural night markets to world class sporting events, you are sure to find something of interest in this iconic Gold Coast location.

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Adventure Travel

Top 5 Adventure Activities for a Vacation to Las Vegas

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Mention a vacation to Las Vegas and one of the first things people think about is the hotels and gambling.  And while these are major attractions to the city, they aren’t the only things you can do in and around Las Vegas.  Here are five ideas for fans of adventure holidays.

Helicopter trips

One of the best ways to see Las Vegas from the air is from one of the helicopter trips on offer around the area.  These offer a unique view of the city and its startling hotels.  It is also a great way to see more of the surrounding area – the Grand Canyon, the red sandstones at the Valley of Fire State Park and even the Hoover Dam.  Helicopter trips are great fun and often come with extras such as rafting tours along the floor of the Grand Canyon or exploring the area on an ATV.

Hiking

Las Vegas may be a largely desert area and pretty flat, but it is surrounded by mountains and that makes for great hiking opportunities.  Mount Charleston is just to the west of the city and has some great locations to hike including Mary Jane Falls for beginners or Mummy Mountain for more experienced hikers.  Look out for Raintree, the 3,000 year old Bristlecone Pine that is believed to be the oldest living thing in the state.  If you want to upgrade the experience, look out for the rock climbing schools around the city that offer climbing for all levels.

Kayaking

As well as kayaking as part of a helicopter tour, you can go for a more comprehensive kayaking experience in a number of spots around the city.  The Colorado River is one where you can visit spots like Emerald Cove that really lives up to its name.  Lake Mead is another ideal kayaking spot and somewhere you can also try stand up paddle boarding.  There are lots of little islands to explore around the lake, but the winds can be testing so don’t forget your safety gear.

Biking

Hire a bike when on vacation in Las Vegas and you get the chance to see some of the best of the area.  The Red Rock Canyon Loop is a 20-mile loop that includes the famous Joshua trees as well as the red rocks that give the area its name.  A lot of the loop is quite flat.  There are also some good routes around Lake Mead including more challenging ones that use the landscape carved out by lava when there was volcanic activity.

Snowboarding

Being in the desert, Las Vegas isn’t a place you would associate with snowboarding.  But for a few months of the year, the Lee Canyon near Mount Charleston becomes a snowboarding heaven.  It offers something for beginners and also some challenging areas for more experienced snowboarders including some good trails above the lift drop off point.  There is even a lodge that offers hot chocolate and other drinks to warm up between runs.

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Adventure Travel

Top 5 Unusual Luxury Cruise Destinations

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If you love the outdoors and wildlife or are an adventure holiday fan, a cruise may not seem like the ideal holiday for you.  But there are a few cruise destinations around the world that offer both luxury and something different.  Here are five ideas to inspire you to book yourself a luxury cruise for your next vacation.

Australia and New Zealand

Tours around Australia and New Zealand offer the chance to see some amazing scenery, wildlife and also visit some of the top spots around these two Southern Hemisphere countries.  Visit cities such as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Dunedin and Auckland in New Zealand as well locations such as the famous Bondi Beach and the island of Tasmania.  For northern areas, April to September is a good time to travel while March to August is best for the more southern locations.  Head to New Zealand in December to March for the driest months.

Japan

The ancient cities of Japan are just part of the attraction of taking a cruise around this country.  Top spots to visit include the capital Tokyo, with its brilliant blend of historic buildings and cutting-edge technology that sums up much of Japan.  Other locations to look to visit include Kagoshima on the southern edge of Kyushu with its palms trees and beautiful sea views.  Hakodate is another popular spot where you can visit the Mount Hakodate Observatory looking out over the sea.

Galapagos

For wildlife fans, the fascinating islands of the Galapagos are one of the dream cruises available.  Here you can see species of animal not found anywhere else in the world including giant tortoises, penguins and hilarious looking blue-footed boobies (a type of bird).  Each island has its own species so there is plenty to see.  December to May are the best times to visit when the seas are calmest and the animals most active.

Central and South America

While many people have experienced a Caribbean cruise, there is also plenty to see and do on the mainland of Central American and down into South America.  You can even find large cruise ships that can travel a distance up the Amazon River, being that it is so wide and deep.  Look for expeditions that allow you to visit Mayan ruins in Mexico or go kayaking in sea caves.  And there is the rich wildlife of the area to enjoy – monkeys, parrots and big cats to name just a few.  You can even find a cruise that takes you through the famous Panama Canal and across to the Pacific coast.

Antarctica

Antarctica might not be somewhere you associated with a cruise, but it is becoming a popular destination for people who want to go somewhere different.  There are places like the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as well as parts of Antarctica itself.  The wildlife is a big draw for people with elephant seals, fur seals and an amazing amount of bird life – who can resist penguins?  It is also a good chance to see historic locations associated with polar exploration.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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