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ISSUE 50 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017

Lets Travel THE MAGAZINE FOR CORPORATE AND LEISURE TRAVELLERS

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ISSUE
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14 Spacious, mid-sized ships
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from the editor

W
elcome to the 50th issue of Lets Travel Magazine. What a journey its been! If you
saw a copy of our very first issue next to this one, youd be amazed at the difference
and how far we have come. All of it thanks to a small group of people who have, over
the years, contributed to putting this publication together.
But there are also big thanks to go out to you, our readers and subscribers, along with many
loyal advertisers - without which we would never have been able to get this far.
Im not really one for massive milestone celebrations and the blowing of ones own trumpet,
but I am certainly proud of what we have achieved and what we have planned for the future. So
cheers to you all!
In this bumper issue Shane Boocock continues his journey along the Silk Road in China, as
does Tim Roxborogh through southern India.
We take an in depth look at The Yasawa Islands in Fiji, as well as Whats New in Perth; plus
we look at the many cruise options available to Kiwis both here and abroad. And whilst I go
walkabout in Atlanta, we also focus on the award-winning The Rees Hotel in Queenstown.

Live long and prosper!

ISSUE 50 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017

Lets Travel
ISSUE 50 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017

THE MAGAZINE FOR CORPORATE AND LEISURE TRAVELLERS

th
THE MAGAZINE FOR CORPORATE AND LEISURE TRAVELLERS

Gary Dickson
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
$9.95 inc GST

ISSUE
461001
771176
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Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy


the journey. Babs Hoffman (1931 - )

2 www.letstravelmag.com From the Editor


India Tourism Sydney,
Level 1, 133 Castlereagh Street (Accessible from 210 pitt Street)
Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: +61 2 9267 2466
Website: www.incredibleindia.org email: info@indiatourism.com.au
contents
7 PACIFIC ISLANDS

40 23 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

39 ASIA

69 AUSTRALIA

79 NEW ZEALAND

91 BEYOND

99 CRUISING

117 BUSINESS SECTION


28

112

16

4 www.letstravelmag.com Contents
Theres more to do
in Vanuatu

2017 Kirkland Photos


VO L C
VE A
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A AND
SP
G & FISH
IN I
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D

A
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A ISLA
Y

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RA
S N Q UI
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PI T
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generated at BeQRious.com
REDRET029
Lets Travel
THE MAGAZINE FOR CORPORATE
AND LEISURE TRAVELLERS

Lets Travel: is published by LT Media Ltd


PO Box 55199, EastRidge, Auckland 1146. New Zealand
Ph: + 64 9 521 4879
www.letstravelmag.com

Editor-In-Chief: Gary Dickson


gary@letstravelmag.com
Mob: + 64 21 523 421

Editor at Large: Shane Boocock


shane@letstravelmag.com
Mob: + 64 21 142 7040

Editor at Large: Gayle Dickson


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Mob: + 64 21 281 7699

Advertising Sales: Cherie Final


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Contributors:
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Tim Roxborogh, Nick Scott and Mark William Sheehan

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Limited. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and not necessarily those of
Lets Travel or LT Media Limited. The publisher accepts no responsibility whatsoever.

ISSN 1176-4619 (Print), ISSN 2463-6754 (Online)

78

70 62

6 www.letstravelmag.com
Pacific Islands
Fiji - Yasawa Islands 8
Niue - Matavai Resort 16
Niue - Fishing 20
Destination
Pacific Islands, Fiji

Surf paddle girls

8 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Fiji


Chris McLennan
The Yasawa Islands
Almost everyone who has even contemplated going to Fiji has heard of Denarau and
The Mamanucas, as well as any number of other resorts the south pacific paradise of
Fiji has to offer. But mention The Yasawas and you might get a different response.
Where are they exactly?

Pacific Islands, Fiji www.letstravelmag.com 9


Chris McLennan
Local Village

Chris McLennan
he remote Yasawa Island
Groupmake up Fijis western
border, and are almost
directly north of Nadi.The groups
statuesque islands are mostly high,
grass-covered islands, with brilliant
porcelain beaches and water painted
in a palette of blues.
You wont find any shops or
banks here, but with so much natural
beauty youll enjoy the break from
civilisation. With gorgeous beaches,
abundant sunshine and a range of
resorts, this is the place to come for
a retreat in paradise.
The British navigator William Bligh
(after which Bligh Water was aptly
named) was the first European to Tropical food

sight The Yasawas in 1789, following


the infamous mutiny on the HMS
Bounty. Captain Barber on the HMS
Arthur visited the islands in 1794,
but they were not charted until
However, that has all changed today
thanks to the Government providing
an ecotourism startup fund and
1 Seaplane:
Pacific Island Air offer
regular 20-30 minute flights to
1840 by a United States expedition the arrival of the Yasawa FlyerThe The Yasawas from Nadi Airport.
commanded by Charles Wilkes. Yasawas are now dotted with small Door-to-door service doesnt get
The Yasawas werent always resorts and backpackers. any better than this. Seaplane
tourism orientated. Visiting the travel lands you right at the
islands was once limited to cruise Getting There: doorstep of your accommodation
ships, with passengers unable to There are two main ways to get to and that first cocktail is going
actually set foot on the islands until the pristine islands - Seaplane (which down sooner than you think.
the 1950s, and land-based tourism I did myself a few years ago) or the www.pacificislandiar.com
ventures restricted until 1987. Yasawa Flyer.

10 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Fiji


Von Wong

Cave diving

Pacific Islands, Fiji www.letstravelmag.com 11


2 Yasawa Flyer:
If you prefer the more casual,
sea-based transfer option then The
Yasawa Flyer is for you. Awesome
Adventures will whisk you out
of Denarau Marina on a huge,
comfortable catamaran aptly named
the Yasawa Flyer. The flyers first
stops are in the Mamanucas, and
then three hours later, the first of the
Yasawa Islands will appear on the
horizon.
You can choose 747 styled
interior, air-conditioned seating or
catch rays and ocean breezes on
the expansive outside decks. Either
way, you enjoy the trip and theres
always another island coming along
to keep your attention. The Flyer
is always on time and youll be sure
to consider your time on it as one of
the highlights in itself.
www.awesomefiji.com

Accommodation:
Like most of Fiji The Yasawas offers
a variety of accommodation options.
Everything from backpackers to
luxuryand everything in between!
Here are just a few for you to choose
from.

1 Blue Lagoon Beach Resort:


located on Nacula Island and
consisting of 45 rooms plus 16
dormitory style beds, Blue Lagoon
is a 30 minute Seaplane trip (25
by helicopter) from Denarau. The
Yasawa Flyer also calls in here daily.
Daily activities are as varied as
the accommodation offered - Cave
Excursions, PADI diving, snorkelling,
cultural activities, church visits and
much, much more.
www.bluelagoonbeachresort.com.fj

2 Paradise Cove Resort:


located on Naukacuvu Island
and consisting of 45 rooms, Paradise
Cove is a 20 minute Seaplane trip
(18 by helicopter) from Denarau. The
Yasawa Flyer also calls in here daily.
Daily activities are as varied as the
accommodation offered - Mountain
hikes, PADI diving, snorkelling,
cultural activities, church visits and
much, much more. There are also
Manta Ray excursions, though this is
seasonal.
www.paradisecoveresortfiji.com
Men's Meke

12 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Fiji


Chris McLennan

Pacific Islands, Fiji www.letstravelmag.com 13


3

Chris McLennan
Octopus Resort:
located on Waya Island and
consisting of 35 rooms plus 14
dormitory style beds, Octopus
Resort is a 20 minute Seaplane
trip from Denarau. The Yasawa
Flyer also calls in here daily.
Daily activities are as varied
as the accommodation offered
- Mountain hikes, PADI diving,
snorkelling, cultural activities,
church visits and much, much
more. There are also Manta
Ray excursions, though this is
seasonal.
www.octopusresort.com

4 Yasawa Island Resort &


Spa:
this is an exclusive, all-inclusive
private, luxury resort of just 18
villas. Yasawa Island Resort is a
25 minute flight from Denarau
(they have their own airstrip).
Daily activities are varied
- Private beach picnics, Blue
Lagoon Caves, guided snorkelling,
cultural activities (including kava
ceremony), church visits, cooking
demonstrations and much, much
more.
Extended family holiday
www.yasawa.com

Derek Henderson

Trying a bowl of kava

14 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Fiji


Chris McLennan
Guests arriving by helicopter

Cruising The Yasawas: Explore the sacred Sawa-I-Lau Or simply laze back on board, sip
Three main cruise companies offer Caves and hear the legends of the that 2nd or 3rd cocktail and relax in
a variety of cruise options in and region as told by your friendly Fijian heavenVinaka!
around The Yasawas. Depending guides. www.awesomefiji.com
on your budget, time available and Visit Nanuya Lailai - an island www.bluelagooncruises.com
where you wish to go - choose from dotted with palm trees and www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com
Blue Lagoon Cruises, Awesome surrounded by a coral lagoon. It truly
Adventures or Captain Cook Cruises. is one of Fijis gems. www.fiji.travel

Derek Henderson

Snorkeling under water

Pacific Islands, Fiji www.letstravelmag.com 15


Destination
Niue

Scenic Matavai Resort


By Gayle Dickson

Okay, so Ill bet youve heard about Niue, the Rock of the Pacific, but much like
me, Ill also bet that not many of you have ever considered visiting. Having visited
just about all our neighbouring Pacific Islands, Niue was one I hadnt ticked off
until recently. Now that I have, I can tell you that I long to return!

16 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Niue


O
ne of the doubts I had
about going was the
accommodation (or lack of
it)but then I heard about Scenic
Hotel Groups offering in Niuethe
Scenic Matavai Resort.
Arriving at your typical island
airport, it literally takes all of half
an hour to grab your bags, meet
the transfer and be at the resort.
Normally, Id shy away from hotels
near an airport as the last thing you
want while on holiday, are planes
buzzing constantly overhead,
destroying the peace and quiet.
However, given that Air New Zealand
are the only airline servicing Niue,
there are at times two flights a week,
at others only one!
It was with much delight that I
alighted from the transfer van at
the hotels reception. My bags were
whisked away to my room while I
and the other newly arrived guests
were treated to a cold drink during
the check-in process. It actually took
a ton of self-control from us all to
complete the required check-inall
we wanted to do was head over to
the deck and take in those views
and hopefully spot a whale or two in
the bay!

Pacific Islands, Niue www.letstravelmag.com 17


everyone on the resort and nearby
attractions. Half way through his talk,
there was an almighty splash in the
bay behind him. He stopped talking,
the guests all gasped, and then there
was stunned silence. A large whale
had just breached, mere metres in
front of us! What a glorious welcome
to Niue in whale season.
It was a Friday, so tonight was
the BBQ Island Semi la Carte
evening - a wonderful opportunity
to experience the Niuean culture.
The local children put on a fabulous
performance and the meal on the
terrace was sensational. Sunday
was Burger & Beer night and the
evening was enhanced by the lyrical
sounds of Glen Jackson strumming
his tunes. Thursday was one of my
favouritesSpit Roast Night! Oh my
lordmore food that you can poke
a stick at, and that local roast pork
was melt-in-your-mouth tender!

I was guided along the wooden


jetty-like walkway to my room,
where the air conditioning was
already on. Delighted would be an
understatement! The room was
extremely spacious, consisting of a
lounge area, king bed and a desk.
There was also a little kitchenette
for making tea and coffee, as well
as a fabulous ensuite with enormous
walk-in shower. Of course, the first
thing I did was turn off the aircon
and slide open the insect screen and
ranchslider to take in the view from
my private deck. And what a view!
As all guests arrive on set days of
the week due to the incoming flights,
Matavai Resort hosts everyone for
a welcome cocktail on the pool
deck just before sunset. During this
cocktail hour, the GM orientates

18 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Niue


Personally, I couldnt think of a
more wonderful place to holiday
or hold a conference than in Niue.
Why? Because its not a hive of
bustling activity, you, your kids
and your conference attendees
will actually get to spend quality
time togetherand isnt that
what holidays and team building
conferences should be all about!
Talking of conferences, thanks to
the brand new Convention Centre
at the resort, you can now host
your corporate event or conference
all year round at Matavai, and not
have to worry about any inclement
weather that might roll through.
This air-conditioned haven is
tucked beside the main dining
There are two pools at Matavai While the resort doesnt currently room and faces out to the terrace,
Resort, both offering great views offer a spa, they do avail themselves allowing guests to mingle from
of the bay, with a handy pool bar of the mobile services of Alana and inside to out. And theres plenty of
close at hand. I thought I would find Jennifer who operate Maulu Massage. accommodation on site!
myself spending hours there, but I Just book in your time and theyll Give this resort and destination
actually found my days packed with visit you in your room. This was an due consideration - Im sure you
things to do, and generally ended up indulgence worth blowing a few bucks wont regret it!
taking a late afternoon dip and then on, I promise! Just ask at reception for www.scenichotelgroup.co.nz
enjoying an ice-cold beer before their details, but get your booking in www.niueconferences.com
dinner. early as these girls are very popular. www.niueisland.com

Pacific Islands, Niue www.letstravelmag.com 19


Destination
Niue

Hooking in to Niue
Nick Scott

Okay, so Ill bet youve heard about Niue, the Rock of the Pacific, but much like me, Ill
also bet that not many of you have ever considered visiting. Having visited just about all
our neighbouring Pacific Islands, Niue was one I hadnt ticked off until recently. Now that
I have, I can tell you that I long to return!

20 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Niue


A
5am wake up call in the
middle of a tropical holiday?
Most people would say you
would have to be more than a little
bit insane. But when you have an
appointment with the tide, and Niue
Charter operator BJ Rex, in a fishing
paradise, you really dont want to be
late.
As we arrived at the wharf in
complete darkness, still bleary
eyed, the place seemed to be abuzz
already. BJ had his boat in the
water, idling away waiting for us as
if to say come on lets get out of
here. We jumped across, stowed
our gear and had a few seconds for
introductions and a safety briefing,
before charging off into the great
wide open.
We were given the option of fishing
the closer FADs (fish aggregation
devices) on the Western side of the
island for smaller fish - jigs, poppers
or smaller lures, or heading out to
the Northern end of the island, where
reports indicated there were some
good Wahoo turning up in numbers.
It was a no-brainer, lets go and chase
the big ones! Huge swells crashed into the cliffs wahoo of around 17kg. We were
As we rounded the Northern end, sending clouds of spray several on the board, and with it came the
and approached spot-X a mere 30 stories high in the air. satisfaction of knowing that fresh
minutes later, the sea resembled a We were only ever a few hundred fish would be on the menu at BJs
washing machine with currents and metres from the edge of the reef familys restaurant, Falala Fa Caf &
swells from different directions. The but we were fishing in water deep Bar, tonight.
knuckles sure got a good workout, enough to cover the Skytower if it The lures hit the water again, and
as did the Sea-legs pills we had stood below us. As we were being bang another good sized Wahoo
taken before the tripthey were now mesmerised by the swells charging engulfed a lure then took off like
starting to prove their worth! at the land like a raging bull, the an express train. Jodie grabbed the
As the suns first morning rays hum of the engine was suddenly rod and readied herself for battle.
peaked over the horizon, the revs overdubbed by the sweet sound of a Standing up playing a large fish
from the engine dropped and the screaming reelgame on! whilst being thrown around the
gear was set, with lures ducking and As line peeled off at a staggering cockpit in a washing machine is
weaving in the boats wake to tease rate, I put the gimble belt on and no mean feat. A real scrap ensued
and tempt any passing fish. The started cranking, slowly gaining as Jodie was gradually able to win
pulse quickened in anticipation as we back what I had lost. A flicker of over the stubborn fish, and bring
approached Niues fishing highway. silver blue colour rose up in the in a Wahoo of almost 20kgs. She
As we waited for action, there was wake, and the thumping nods on the had bragging rights, but I quickly
time to take in the stunning wild, rod became stronger. BJ grabbed reminded her that the day wasnt
untouched beauty of this island. the leader. I had landed a beautiful over yet!

Pacific Islands, Niue www.letstravelmag.com 21


Another couple of smaller Wahoo As we headed for the harbour Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Giant
were landed, and added to the menu we were joined by a small pod Trevally and other species of
before spot X had a breather and of Spinner Dolphinsa brief but game fish. Niue also boasts other
went quiet. Time to find another entertaining visit. The icing on the attractions like Humpback whales
patch of fish! Looking for signs on cake to what had been a unique Niue and Spinner Dolphins which give
and above the water was now the fishing experience. We cruised up to some spectacular displays literally
priority. the wharf, hooked the four strops on only a stones throw from the reef.
Terns swooped and dipped to the crane hook and were winched As we sat there reflecting on our
ahead, shaping to dive but pulling up slowly onto the trailer like royalty. amazing day, watching the aqua
out at the last second. We sensed Talk about making life easy! blue ocean heaving and crashing
that the action was about to erupt in Most local charters charge into the cliffs at the resort, we were
front of us, the sixth fish sense was around $150 per person (max. simply in awe of Niues rugged and
working overtime. 4 people), and from what we tantrum-like beauty. It is simply a
Birds squawked as we went experienced with BJ, I consider it hidden treasure, which we hope not
through them and a school of fish nothing but money well spent. too many people uncover. Our next
like fat silver bullets took off to the As well as the fish we caught, trip is already being planned.
side of us, one grabbing a lure on there is also the chance of catching www.niueisland.com
the way past. Tuna, probably a
Skippy (Skipjack) was the call.
On 24kg tackle the fish was
quickly hauled in, but made a very facts:
welcome addition to the bait supply Fish Niue Charters
for BJ. B J Rex
As if someone flicked a switch, P: + 683 4213
the birds and tuna disappeared. M: + 683 5697
E: fishniue@gmail.com
We headed back in towards the
www.fishniue.com
reef, where a few distant splashes
caught our attention. Tuna or
maybe Mahimahi? We hoped to
find out shortly as we neared the
area. A couple of somersaulting
Mahimahi, lit up with gold and
iridescent green crashed the
lures. We were on a double! These
spectacular fish flipped and
cartwheeled several feet in the air
as they tried to shake the hooks.
BJ casually grabbed the leaders
of each fish and flicked them on
board and into the big ice bin
before they had the chance to go
too crazy, which Mahimahi have the
tendency to do.
A stroppy fish means flying
hooks and other gear, not to
mention the mess flicked to every
corner of the boat.
One further Mahimahi on the way
home capped of incredible days
fishing, and not only meant that we
would dine in style, but there would
be a couple of days fresh fish supply
for the restaurant.
While some anglers might
feel short changed they do not
keep their catch, for us it was a
rewarding feeling to think that in
a small way we were helping to
provide food for other tourists and
at the same time, keep BJs family
business booming.

22 www.letstravelmag.com Pacific Islands, Niue


United States of America
Wyoming 24
New York City 28
Atlanta 34

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 23


Destination
Wyoming, USA

Mid-eclipse

24 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., Wyoming


Image courtesy of Stephen Burt
Riding the Solar
Eclipse Express
By Shane Boocock

On the 21st August 2017, I witnessed, alongside 49 passengers a total


eclipse of the Sun in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I was the designated tour
director/guide on a special Intrepid Adventures Eclipse Tour that started
in San Francisco and ended in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, visiting three major
cities and five National Parks en-route over a 12-day period.

U.S.A., Wyoming www.letstravelmag.com 25


Image Courtesy of Mark Morgan
W
hy, you may ask, does
a director and editor of
Lets Travel Magazine
have any qualifications to lead such
a tour? Well, in a former life I spent
13 years as a tour guide in the USA,
along with stints in Africa (my first
full eclipse guided tour was in 1979)
and across Asia as well. So, I was
asked to come out of retirement and
crisscross the American Southwest
with the aim to deliver all of my
passengers on eclipse day to a
private ranch in Jackson Hole.
Having spent 12 days with a coach
load of umbraphiles (Etymological
Note: from Latin umbra shade
+ Greek philos - now commonly
referred to as avid observers, or
a person with a great interest in,
eclipses) and nighttime stargazers,
here are some observations and
pointers to what you need to
consider, should you decide to
attend the next USA eclipse which
takes place in 2024.
First some background notes
kindly donated to me by one of my
well-informed eclipse passengers on
the 2017 trip, Tim Collins, from the UK.
When our moon passes directly
between the Earth and the Sun we
experience a solar eclipse. Most
people agree a solar eclipse is one of
natures most awe-inspiring events,
which many consider a must attend
event on their astronomical wish list.

Initial planning:
Think ahead, eclipse paths for several
hundred or thousands of years are
known. Look at the path and look
Bryce Canyon National Park
at how to get to the path, consider
pre-eclipse events and post eclipse
travel and logistics. Booking flights Locality: risk of failure of getting to the right
360 days ahead (an airlines furthest A lovely quiet location may seem place at the right time.
out booking date) can be difficult ideal but not if it is cloudy or the
but is usually worth a gamble. suns view is obscured by a hill Conclusion:
Hotels can be difficult and as soon remember 99% is not good enough. An eclipse is a moment, actually
as an eclipse is publicised prices usually a few minutes that pass too
can increase. Recreational vehicles Risk Reduction: quickly, when we stand and witness
and hire cars can offer flexibility for Why an organised tour? An a lucky alignment in the sky. Given
weather conditions, should you need organised tour may not offer RV or much of the surface of the earth is
to change locations. hire car flexibility but overall can water, viewing an eclipse from the
significantly reduce stress and risk as land is not always possible.
Weather Considerations: hotels can be booked and secured, It is fortunate that the USA
Look at weather records for previous viewing sites can be researched, eclipse of 2017 covered a broad
years as this is useful to make an weather analysis made plus pre band from Northwest to the
informed choice, but remember past and post eclipse activities can be Southeast USA and may be the most
performance is not a guarantee of organised by experts, i.e. travelling attended and most photographed
the future. with an expert group can reduce the eclipse everuntil maybe 2024!

26 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., Wyoming


Images Courtesy of Tim Collins
Image Courtesy of Stephen Burt
So there you have it:
Book a tour at least three years in
advance with a reputable company
Check what is included in your
tour such as meals, city tours and
attractions such as planetariums
Try and ensure there is a
professional astronomer or similar
knowledgeable person on board
to give daily briefings
Make sure you have confirmed
hotel reservations with pre and post
hotel transfers from/to the airport
Consider the length of the tour
you will be comfortable with and
try and make sure it lasts 12 to
14 days long and has the sort of
attractions and scenic wonders
that will enhance your trip
Ensure you are carrying the
right photographic and telescope
gear for both nighttime dark sky
viewing and more importantly
the right equipment to record the Partial Eclipse
passing of the moon in front of
the sun on the day of the eclipse The author flew courtesy of award winning Air Tahiti Nui, the international
Prior to the trip or en-route flag-carrier of Tahiti and her islands in the latest-generation Airbus A340-300
remember to pre-order any aircraft from Auckland to Los Angeles via Tahiti for more information visit:
commemorative memorabilia www.airtahitinui.co.nz
such as first day editions, stamps
and souvenirs as these often sell American Adventures:
out very fast. www.americanadventures.com

U.S.A., Wyoming www.letstravelmag.com 27


Destination
USA, New York City

The Fabulous Five!


Boroughs of New York City
By Mark William Sheehan

28 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., New York City


N
o matter how you choose
to bake the Big Apples
five boroughs, the result is
always, pleasantly pleasing. Now,
more than ever before, a visit to
New York City embraces fabulously
creative on the go walking and
eating adventures. Our palates were
constantly pleased, and are already
calling-out for another visit and
significant seconds.
To tell the entire eating-
options-tale of New York would
take monumental volumes, so weve
eaten our way across the Big Apples
landscape, taking small baby-bites
on your behalf. Weve gained
significant knowledge, as well as a
fair few extra kilos, to highlight some
of the sightseeing and eating venues
that tickled our tastebuds.
Summing up the five-borough
banquet would take up way too
much tonnage, and require upping
my pant size by another two notches
for this author. However, a note to
the wise: during my five day blitz for
this feature, I was constantly asking
for that wonderful American icon,
known as the doggy bag at every
eatery we ventured into.

U.S.A., New York City www.letstravelmag.com 29


Manhattans sidewalk vendors
First we indulged in the best food ever eaten
with our fingers, or with wooden spoons or
chopsticks, most of which was created at New
Yorks curbside. We only had to bring along a
belt that could be expanded and an appetite as
my fellow traveller and I happily joined a small,
merry band of other food samplers for a walking
tour of street vendors in middle Manhattan with
The Jewel of the Upper West Side Intrepid Urban Adventures.
Melded into the fabulous strolling narration
was a trip on the streets with Turnstile Tours
about the Vendys (street food wagon vendors)
who take top cooking honours annually and
invade and retreat from Manhattans streets
each day.
We learned the back-of-house-hoops,
sanitarystonewalls and legal requirements these
sidewalk food gurus mount daily to make our
stomachs hum.
Using local guides with gusto and true-grit
enthusiasm brought the street corner culinary
society to life. I hardly had room for the
dessert, but not wanting to offend anyone, I
had to finish off the best Belgium waffle Ive
ever had!
In between eats, we slipped aboard The
Ride, an urban theatre on wheels. Our tour
guide was a card-carrying actor, and the entire
coach was set up with side-facing theatre style
seats, so we could catch the real street-side
vibe while absorbing the best bits of history,
culture, architecture and moreeven the
mid-town traffic moved aside to let us pass.

Walkingvery good for the digestion!


Tours run between four to five hours and
pacing is important. We ate all morning, then
to work off the excess and give us the stretch
to carry five doggie bags about, we joined a
fabulous Hamilton walking tour near the World
Trade Center Memorial in lower Manhattan.
The small group nature of Intrepid Urban
Adventures provided a perfect personal insight
into one of Americas most remarkable, and
independent personalities.
Our guide knew EVERYTHING, and if he
didnt, he jokingly suggested he could make
something up that sounded really, really, cool.
But book early, the block-buster Broadway
play Hamilton, created by a rags-to-riches-
rap singer has driven the Hamilton curious
numbers ballistic and the small group tours sell
out early.

2130 Broadway at 75th Street New York, NY 10023
Macys is Magical
Tel: 001+1+212.787.1100 Fax: 001+1+212.787.8119 First we ran rampant through the worlds largest
www.beaconhotel.com reservations@beaconhotel.com department store buying large luggage with
wheels, and then filled it to the brim with our
International Shoppers discount card purchases.

7137HB-HalfPageVertical_Let'sTravelMagAdFINAL.indd 1 8/6/13 2:42 PM


30 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., New York City
The free card was issued to us on
the spot and offered-up massive
savings, on top of already wonderful
prices. The Pass is not available
to locals so be prepared to show
proof that your visiting from
overseas.
When we were done with our
shopping spree, we decompressed,
and lingered a wee-bit-longer
inside Macys in Herald Square
on 34th Street, where, on the
sixth floor is a world-class dining
experience at Stella 34 Trattoria.
The staff seemed very well
disposed to us parking our new
purchases tableside. From our
table we enjoyed fabulous views
of the Empire State Building, It must be a New York State
basked in handcrafted pizzas from law, which requires eating
one of three ovens and inhaled establishments to serve a singular
iconic Italian cuisine from fresh helping, with enough food to
baked breads to Italian salads. require help in finishing off a meal
The extensive wine list would for a fraction of the cost wed pay
have made Mama Leoni proud. at home. Just remember to leave a
It was the first time, evva (New good tip for the staff. Oh yes and
York-speak) Ive been inspired to may I have a doggie-bag please, Im
take a picture of my own meal. storing up food for winter.

DIRECT AISLE ACCESS FROM EVERY SEAT.


Flasghip Business the American way

American Airlines, Flagship and the Flight Symbol logo are marks of American Airlines, Inc. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC.
Available on certain ights in Business and First Class only. 2017 American Airlines, Inc. All rights reserved.

AA0017_HPH_FB_Lets Travel_175x130_FA.indd 1 11/09/2017 1:27 PM


U.S.A., New York City www.letstravelmag.com 31
facts:
The author flew courtesy of
Air Tahiti Nui, the international
flag-carrier of Tahiti and her
islands in the latest-generation
Airbus A340-300 aircraft from
Auckland to Los Angeles via Tahiti
for more information visit:
www.airtahitinui.co.nz

The author flew Los Angles to


New York City return courtesy
of Delta Airlines. For more
information visit:
www.delta.com

Slice Of Brooklyn
www.asliceofbrooklyn.com/
bus-tours/pizza-tour

Intrepid Urban Adventure Tours


www.urbanadventures.com/
new-york-tour-hamilton-
happy-hour

Macys Department Store


www.macys.com

Patina Restaurant Group/Stella 34


www.patinagroup.com/stella-34

The Ride/The Tour A Spectacular Slice of Brooklyn a subway ride from Manhattan,
www.experiencetheride.com 50 years ago locals might have or a stroll, or a Segway or bike
wanted to abandon Brooklyn, to ride across the iconic Brooklyn
Turnstile Tours: seek out a front lawn of their own Bridge. Theres no toll on the bridge
www.turnstiletours.com to mow the grass in Long Island. nowadays, which was once hailed
Today, chic well-heeled kinfolk are as the longest suspension bridge in
Staten Island Ferry/
just as keen to jump-the-fence and the world. New York dropped the
Statue of Liberty
www.siferry.com/faqtips.html clamber back into Brooklyn by one penny-per-head toll for sheep
the herd-loadif they can afford and cattle crossings over 100 years
Broadway Shows: In need of seats it! Brooklyn is the bees knees, ago.
to a Broadway spectacular?Well for eateries, architecture and At the base of the bridge in
the waiting list for tickets can entertainment. Brooklyn, grab yourself a plate
be around eight months, so plan
And the borough boasts some aboard a Slice Of Brooklyn tour,
ahead, or if you really get stuck on
the day, visit:
of the best parks, open spaces and which merrily traverses the best
www.stubhub.com funky, off the wall accommodation pizza places in the borough,
options on offer in New York. The accompanied by some movie trivia
in-crowd love Brooklyn! Its only and fabulous history.

32 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., New York City


The tour includes terrific
on-board narration, and two slices
of unique New York pizzas at three
very different, and remarkable Italian
Brooklyn eateries, with bottomless
soft drinks tossed into the mix. We
double-dare-you to try and eat it all!

Climb Aboardcruise to
Staten Island
Youre on holiday, so step aboard the
Staten Island Ferry, and stay there all
day if you like. You can grab yourself
a kosher foot-long hot-dowwg
smothered in sauerkraut, with
all the heartburn added on top,
guzzle a Budweiser, get your shoes
shined, and listen to Simon and
Garfunkel sound-alikes strumming
strings along the way. The cost is
a whopping NOTHING! Nada, zero,
zip! Millions of New Yorkers read the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, New admitting defeat, but just suggesting
the New York Times and Wall Street York Harbour and the Hudson River youre going to need a lot more time
Journal as commuters each day, cascades. to cover it all off. Meanwhile, were
but the ride delivers some of the Well we warned you earlier, it still hard at work, finishing-off our
very best Manhattan skyline vistas would be a massive mouthful to Doggie bags!
anywhere. Oh yeah, dont forget to highlight all of the New York eating- And in case Id forgotten to
zoom in on the Statue of Liberty, on-the-move options. Were not remind you, Have a Noice Day!

THE YOUNG NEW DREAMLINER


AMERICAN FLYING SOON TO L.A.

American Airlines and the Flight Symbol logo are marks of American
Airlines, Inc. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC. 2017
American Airlines, Inc. All rights reserved.

AA0017_HPH_YA_Lets Travel_175x130_FA.indd 1 11/09/2017 1:26 PM


U.S.A., New York City www.letstravelmag.com 33
Destination
U.S.A., Atlanta

Delta Air Lines Flight Museum


This 68,000 square-foot facility traces Deltas history and their
development and influence on commercial aviation.

34 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., Atlanta


U.S.A., Atlanta www.letstravelmag.com 35
T
he Delta Flight Museum is a
68,000 square-foot facility
located at the airlines world
headquarters in Atlanta - just one
mile from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
The museum traces Deltas history
and the development of commercial
aviation. The grand opening
event in 2014 marked Deltas 85th
anniversary of passenger service,
dating back to its first passenger
flight from Dallas to Jackson,
Mississippi, on June 17th 1929.
The museum, a nonprofit
organisation, is housed in the airlines
two original maintenance hangars
dating from the 1940s, and is a must
see when visiting Atlanta for any
Airline Junkie. The museum was
designated a Historic Aerospace Site
in 2011.
This museum is a testament to
the rich history and unique culture of
Delta, which has always been deeply
rooted in our people, said Richard
Anderson, Deltas chief executive
officer at the time of opening. The
museum also commemorates Deltas
contributions to passenger aviation,
which influences economic growth
and development and fosters greater
understanding across cultures.
The museum contains displays
and exhibits filled with hundreds
of artifacts, many of which have development of commercial aviation. similar to the one that operated
never been on public display. They The museum houses a permanent Deltas first passenger flight in 1929,
chronicle more than eight decades collection of five historic aircraft, and The Spirit of Delta, a Boeing
of Delta history and the growth and including a Travel Air 6B Sedan 767 purchased for the company by
employees in 1982. Also on display
is a DC-3, Ship 41, that flew for
Delta and was restored by Delta
employees and volunteers.
The museum features a 117-seat
theatre and a 30-seat conference
room located inside the fuselage
of an L-1011 TriStar aircraft. Also on
display is the cockpit of a Convair
880 jet. Additionally, visitors can
have the ultimate aviation experience
and pilot a Boeing 737-200
full-motion simulator, the only
one open to the public in the U.S.,
formerly used to train Delta pilots.
A tour of the museum starts with
Deltas beginnings as a crop-dusting
operation in the rural South and
takes visitors through the early
propeller era of passenger service
and into the jet age. A special exhibit
honours Deltas founder and first
CEO, C.E. Woolman.

36 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., Atlanta


PUT YOURSELF IN A
U.S. STATE OF MIND.
Together with our partner Virgin Australia, Delta flies non-stop to Los Angeles from Sydney,
Brisbane and Melbourne with convenient code-share connections from New Zealand.
With onward flights to over 230 destinations in the U.S., your next great adventure awaits.
The display includes a portrait and other events with state-of- Even pilots who have flown these
of Woolman along with quotes and the-art audio and video capability planes have come to the exhibition
personal items. and full catering services that can to see the internal workings of a
Visitors have the opportunity to accommodate a seated dinner for as plane they have flown many times
explore the museum at their own many as 1,200 guests. to see parts of it they never hoped
pace through a self-guided tour, The most recent addition to the to see whilst in control of it.
though guided tours are available museum has been installed outside Lets face it Atlanta airport is
as well. Special interactive features, the hangars because of its size. A huge (busiest in the world) so
including a pilot pre-flight checklist complete Boeing 747-400 Jumbo has take a little time before your next
for a Boeing 767 as well as a been moved on to the site to enable flight and head to the Delta Flight
scavenger hunt, engage children visitors to see the entire workings of Museumit really is worth spending
touring the museum. There is also a this classic aircraft. Parts of the aircraft as much or as little time as you
retail store with hundreds of Delta- have been taken back to the workings want here.
and aviation-related items for sale, so that visitors can genuinely see how More information, including hours
including aircraft models, clothing this plane is put together. of operation, admission fees, event
and accessories. There is even the opportunity to rentals, simulator fees and directions,
The hangar space also serves as walk on the wing of this beast of a is available on the museums website
a unique public and private rental planewhere else in the world can at www.deltamuseum.org
venue to host meetings, conferences you do that? www.delta.com

38 www.letstravelmag.com U.S.A., Atlanta


Asia
The Silk Road 40
Philippines 48
Bali 52
Myanmar 56
India 62

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 39


Destination
China

40 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, China


The Silk Road Diaries Part 2
(Lanzhou to Xiahe via Linxia)
Words & images by Shane Boocock

Dragon Bridge Statue, Linxia

Asia, China www.letstravelmag.com 41


T
he city of Lanzhou lies
amongst an arid desert shorn
of trees and greenery, a
veritable dustbowl sliced open by
the Yellow River, which appears as
a rusty, muddy coloured waterway
from all the sedimentary silt being
washed down from the Bai Ta
Mountains. This industrialised city of
3. 5 million people is dominated by
concrete houses as desert winds lift
dust and sand into the smog-filled
streets. On the outskirts is a sci-fi
landscape of mini sandstone
pyramids worn down by wind and
time; otherwise it is a featureless
scrubland.
Camel caravans once traversed
the rugged and barren Province
of Gansu, as they threaded their
way along the Silk Road, the main
trading route connecting Rome to Bingling Temple Grotto
China and famously used by Marco
Polo. The capital Lanzhou was one
of the oasis towns the caravans
stopped in along the way. After a
lunch of beef noodles in a Muslim
Restaurant we wandered through
the Gansu Provincial Museum,
home to the Cultural Relics of the
Silk Road exhibition. It displayed
some impressive artefacts from its
collection of 350,000 items including
the skeleton of a giant mammoth.
Once we had ascended out of
Lanzhou, the mountain air became
cleaner as we passed through
beautiful, mountainous scenery
where small villages encapsulate
microcosms of minority life in China.
In most villages the colourful domes
on mosques rise above the buildings,
glinting in the morning sunlight.
We were heading towards Linxia,
one of the main religious, cultural
and commercial centres of Chinas
Muslim community an autonomous
prefecture for the Muslim Hui people
it is currently estimated that 40
million Muslims live in China.
As the afternoon sun started to
dip behind the far off highlands and
mountains, I wandered onto the
Dragon Bridge in Linxia as the last
vestiges of sunlight beamed onto
the tails of two golden reclining
dragon sculptures. Each dragon
came together in the middle with
their heads facing each other, in a
way capturing some of the essence
of China. Bingling Temple Grotto - Maitreya Buddha

42 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, China


Labrang Tibetan Monastry

The following morning we left The monastery covers an area of


our coach to take a boat ride across 866 hectares (about 2,140 acres),
Liujiaxia Reservoir created by a dam with more than 10,000 rooms that
on the Yellow River. Our destination are painted red, yellow and white
was Bingling Temple, which is a according to function and class. It
series of grottos filled with Buddhist is a propitious place in the hearts
sculptures carved into natural caves of the Tibetans, where it stands by
and caverns in an un-flooded section the Daxia River facing the Dragon
of canyon leading away from the Mountain. The monastery is renowned
Yellow River. Over the centuries, for its imposing Buddhist structures
earthquakes, erosion, and looters and boasts the longest corridor of
have damaged or destroyed many of prayer wheels in the world, with over
the caves and the artistic treasures 1,700 scripture wheels. A corridor of
within. Each cave is like a miniature hexagonal wood cylinders encircles
temple filled with Buddhist imagery. the whole monastery, each carved
These caves culminate at a large with different scriptures and patterns
natural cavern where wooden on all sides its distance in total
walkways precariously wind up the stretches 3.5 km.
rock face to cliff-side caves above Outside one of the temples,
the giantMaitreya Buddha built in which are lit on the inside with the
731 AD during the Tang Dynasty it Labrang Tibetan Monastry rancid smell of yak butter lamps,
stands more than 27m tall. I started taking a couple of sly
Back on the road we ascended Tibetan monastery of Labrang, long-range photographs of two
further into the mountains passing a place where over 1,000 monks monks sitting beneath a white
stupas identifying the beginning reside, yet during its heyday, there stupor, when one of the monks, a
of a Tibetan minority area, a huge were once over 4,000 in residence. sumo-sized man gestured to me
sprawling region of wheat and As in the past, every day early in with his index fingers to come over.
orchards bursting with fruit. Our the morning the monks chant sutras As I approached he motioned me
aim was to reach the town of together, as they continue to learn to sit down next to him and then
Xiehe, (pronounced Shar-her), that and appreciate the essence of indicated he wanted to see the
afternoon. Xiehe is known for its Buddhism. images I had taken.

Asia, China www.letstravelmag.com 43


Labrang Tibetan Monastry Children

With a smile on his face he raised leaves onto a smouldering fire on up in a camouflaged army jacket,
his thumb in approval. I thought it top of a plinth set at almost her own and a protective chin and nose
isnt often I get to sit next to a vain height, something under five feet guard but no hat. In the fading light
monk who wants to make sure his tall. it was a dreamlike moment in time.
image is a good one. As she kept the fire smouldering The next morning was an aqua
As the sun dipped out of view she walked around it with a hand blue-sky day. After breakfast we had
I walked up a hillside above the held prayer wheel, which she was half a morning or so to explore the
monasterynot an easy walk as whishing around as she chanted town and monastery. It turned out
the towns altitude is at 2,900m. at the same time. I took some to be a day of celebration as monks
However, away from any buildings photographs with her blessing gathered en-mass to pay homage
or houses I spotted an old woman as the night air ushered in a cold and pray in many of the temple
throwing wooden sticks and green breeze, but she was well wrapped complexes.

44 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, China


Monks on rooftops strode back
and forth banging big gongs against
giant brass cymbals hung from
wooden structures. Other monks
in all their finest clothing wearing
yellow woven or braided woollen
hats that looked like the head of
cockatoos marched into temples to
pray and offer thanks. Locals as well
as people from villages afar came to
pay their respects dressed in their
finest garments it was as though a
Brad Pitt film such as Seven Years in
Tibet was being filmed yet this was
all taking place in real time.
At one stage I just sat on the
outer edge of some temple steps
watching what was happening only
to find myself suddenly surrounded
by children all dressed in bright
claret robes, each one clambering to
Labrang Tibetan Monastry Pray Wheels
see images of themselves as I took
their photographs. It was all surreal
and invigorating as then elder monks
mainly dressed in burnished saffron facts:
coloured robes approached and Shane Boocock flew courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways in their award
joined in the discussion. Elsewhere winning A350-900 Business Class service to Hong Kong and in 777-300
some monks played kick-about with Economy Class Service to Beijing.
www.cathaypacific.com
a soccer ball as others just sat and
watched other monks and people The author travelled on the Silk Road courtesy of World Expeditions. For
crossing the square. At one point a more information about their Silk Road to Samarkand via Kashgar trip and
large family arranged themselves other worldwide tour programs visit World Expeditions:
in front of a temple for a group www.worldexpeditions.com
photograph all dressed in their
best Sunday school outfits.

Jiayuguan, Jaiyu Fort

Asia, China www.letstravelmag.com 45


I stopped for lunch in a local caf
and ordered a big pastry pie filled
with beef, vegetables and potatoes
along with a tall bottle of beer for 50
Yuan, all the while looking out across
the monastery. Outside, the ordinary
lives of locals went about their
business from street corner to street
corner, something that had happened
in this place for over 300 years, as
the monastery had been originally
founded in 1709. Second only in
size to the Potala Palace in Lhasa,
Labrang Monastery also has a library
collection of over 65,000 books.
It was now time to head to lower
elevations and to begin the next
part of our Silk Road adventures as
we caught the overnight train from
Jiayuguan, Jaiyu Fort
Langzhou to Jiayuguan where the
western most point of the Great
Wall of China ends. I was billeted in buttocks of her young child no strange cultures, foreign traditions,
a four-berth bunk-style carriage with need for nappies in this part of experiences and knowledge, unique
two other single men. Also in our the world it reminded me of Inuit foods and different ethnic groups of
berth was a woman in her twenties children on the Arctic Circle who peoples and their religions that were
with a young child. The woman had dress in a similar style. once shared by dynasties long since
braided dreadlocks cascading below It just served to emphasis to forgotten.
her belt line and most noticeable me that travelling the Silk Road (Editor: Silk Road Diaries Part 3 will
was the split pants between the centuries ago brought together be published in Issue 51)

Cathay Pacific:
Cathay Pacific flies daily to Hong Kong using their Airbus A350-900 and
onwards to mainland China
Inside the plane you will find a 3 cabin layout - Business, Premium Economy
and Economy Class
38 Business Class seat, 28 Premium Economy and 214 Economy seats add up
to 280 seats in total
Flights depart Auckland at 1.45pm and arrive (local time) in to Hong Kong at
9.00pm the same day - CX198
Flights depart Hong Kong at 9.05pm and arrive (local time) in to Auckland at
11.55am the next day - CX197

Note: Over the NZ peak summer period Cathay Pacific increases services,
offering a twice daily service into Auckland and dont miss the new seasonal
direct service between Christchurch and Hong Kong that will operate three
times per week. These additional services mean even more connections to
China, Asia and Europe for North and South Islanders.

www.cathaypacific.co.nz

46 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, China


Explore the Silk Road
with World Expeditions.

The extraordinary,
ancient Silk Route
begins in Xian, China
and winds through an
ever changing landscape
to the fabled city of
Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

For more information visit:


www.worldexpeditions.co.nz
Phone: 0800 350 354
enquiries@worldexpeditions.co.nz Asia, China www.letstravelmag.com 47
Destination
Asia, Philippines

Palawan Best Island in the World


The breathtaking islands of Palawan in the Philippines received the coveted prize of being
named, once again, as the Best Island in the World. Palawan features over 2,000 islands,
offering guests stunningly beautiful beaches, secret lagoons, underground rivers and
exotic wildlife to explore and discover. In addition, Boracay Island was named third in the
Best Island in the World category, firmly securing the Philippines as a must-see holiday
destination. Here are just 5 things to do when you visit these pieces of paradise!

48 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Philippines


Coron Island

1 Visit Coron Islands


Lakes & Lagoons:
Colossal and riveting, the black
won accolades as the cleanest lake
in Asia. Cloistered by an array of
jungle-covered limestone hills, the
2 Lounge by the Beach:
Coron may be known for its lakes
and shipwrecks but there are plenty
karst formations erupting from the crystal clear lake enchants even its of white-sand beaches to laze on. The
cobalt blue waters of Coron Island jaded visitors. common choices are Malcapuya Island,
will render you breathless. Hidden And if you think the spectacle Banana Island, Banol and CYC Beach.
among these cliffs are thirteen ends with what is seen above its The secluded Dimakya Island in
mysterious lakes, two of which are brackish waters, wait until you the northern part of Coron has a
open to tourists: Kayangan Lake see the sharp-edged walls and 700m beautiful white-sand beach
and Barracuda Lake. The rest are stalagmite formations underneath. and sparkling turquoise waters, which
protected and considered sacred by The Twin Lagoon, not far from serve as a sanctuary to sea cows and
the indigenous Tagbanuas, who had Kayangan Lake, is just as beautiful. the Green Sea Turtles. The island, which
fought long battles for this ancestral Here, two lagoons converge through hosts the resort Club Paradise, is also
domain. a small cave-like opening, which one home to the White-bellied Sea Eagles,
A short but exhausting trek may swim through during low tide, Rufous Night Herons and seventy
across a steep rainforest will take at the base of a cliff. more exotic animal species thriving in
you to Kayangan Lake, which has its lush vegetation.

Asia, Philippines www.letstravelmag.com 49


Club Paradise Beachfront

Imagine waking up from your


slumber to the rich, whistling songs
of the Black naped Orioles among
the nearby Talisay trees and the
delicate splashes of the sea. You
watch the bright blue skies give
way to stunning sunset hues above
the mountains on the island across
from a hammock in your beachfront
cottage. You know this is exactly
how you want your vacation to be.

3 The WWII Japanese Shipwrecks:


When the US Navy strike force
of fighters and dive-bombers attacked
the Japanese vessels anchored in
Coron Bay and around Busuanga
Island on September 24th 1944, they
left behind a number of burning and
sinking ships. Today the wrecks, heavily
encrusted with sponges and corals,
attract divers from all over the world.
But you dont have to strap on
a tank or even be a certified diver
to see one of the wrecks. The 25m
Lusong Gunboat, located in the
southern end of the Lusong Island,
rests between 5-10m deep. This
provides snorkellers an opportunity
to admire face-to-face the multitude
of colours and the rich diversity of
marine life surrounding the wreck.

50 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Philippines


4 Explore the Coral Gardens:
The dilemma of visiting an
island that abounds with astounding
5 Relax at Maquinit Hot Spring
Is there anything more
comforting than a quick dip in a natural
so dont make a mistake of diving into
the pool right away.
The Maquinit Hot Spring is
coral gardens is deciding where to hot spring after a day of physically said to be the only saltwater hot
go first. The usual choices include exhausting activities? It is best to visit spring in the country. Located
the Twin Peak Reef, Decalve the Maquinit Hot Spring after sunset, around 20 minutes from the Coron
Marine Park, Marile Coral Garden when the cold night air begins to town, the spring rests between a
and Bogor Marine Park but the rustle the tall flowering trees around densely forested hill and the sea,
most popular among them is Siete the pool. Emanating from a nearby whose shores are fringed with lush
Pecados (Seven Deadly Sins in underground volcano, the water here mangrove trees.
Spanish), conveniently located can be as hot as 40 degrees Celcius www.tourism.gov.ph
around two kilometres from the

G Nowak
Coron town.
Rising above the clear emerald
waters are seven rocky islets, which
according to myth sprung up when
seven children, who went swimming
against their mothers wishes,
drowned at the sea. A protected
sanctuary, Siete Pecados has thick
layers of extensive and bizarre-
looking corals carpeting the sea
floor, providing shelter to schools of
angelfish, butterfly fish and lionfish
among others. If its your lucky day,
you may even see green turtles
wandering about.
Dimakya Islands house reef is
also an excellent site to observe
the underwater wildlife. Besides the
vibrant reef fishes and turtles, the
blue-spotted stingrays also frequent
the area.

Sabang underground

Asia, Philippines www.letstravelmag.com 51


Destination
Asia, Bali

Balinese Luxury
Its Ever So Tempting

52 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Bali


Ametis Villas
If you are looking for peace,
tranquillity, privacy and impeccably
personalised service, then look no
further than Ametis Villas, situated in
the seaside town of Canguu, Bali.
With only 14 villas, Ametis makes
up for what they lack in size with
sheer beauty, luxury, exquisite
service and attention to detail.
Everything is designed to create
a feeling of privacy, tranquillity
and a sense that you are the most
important person in the world! As
General Manager Yioko explains
Our focus is on exclusivity, with
a level of personal service beaten
by none. Every villa has its own
personal butler to care for guests.
We want our guests to feel that
their villa is a beautiful home away
from home, with a special added
differencea butler whose primary
aim is to win the heart of the guest.
Here you are not just another
guest. For the duration of your stay,
meeting your needs and exceeding
them, is the primary focus of every
staff member. With a focus on
exclusivity, high standards and a
preference for word of mouth
marketing in place of a mega
marketing budget, Ametis Villas
chooses to invest instead, in guest
service and personal butlers.
Once you step through the
tasteful wooden gate of your
villa garden, you are immediately
cocooned in your own blissful, quiet
and luxurious world. The enormous
swimming pool runs the length
of one side of the garden and is
completely private.
At one end of the garden, there
is an open-sided traditional Balinese
outdoor living area, with a kitchen
(for self catering if you choose),
dining and lounge space. You can
choose a meal from the menu and
have your butler serve it in the
privacy of your villa, or join other
guests in the relaxed Ametis Villas
Restaurant.

Asia, Bali www.letstravelmag.com 53


At the opposite end of the garden
lies the spacious and luxurious
sleeping and bathing area. The
central feature of the bedroom is
a super king sized bed, swathed
in generous folds of white gauzy
cotton. As you slip between the
quality cotton sheets, its hard not to
imagine you are floating, suspended
on a white cloud. Through a sliding
door you will find a marble and
stone bathroom of astonishing
proportions.
Ametis Spa offers a wide range of
pampering and healing services by
highly experienced therapists. I had
the best massage of my Bali holiday
in this amazing spa (and I had seven
other massages to compare it to!).
With a wide range of local tours
to choose from; yoga studios, or a
fabulous surf beach with excellent
dining choices, you will never run out
of things to do during your stay.
www.ametisvilla.com

54 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Bali


Indiana Kenanga
Situated on Jungutbatu, the main
beach of Nusa Lembongan island
(just half an hour from Bali) Indiana
Kenanga has set the standard for
island luxury accommodation since
its completion in 2009. Indiana
has been awarded the Trip Advisor
Certificate of Excellence every year
since 2012, and within hours of
arriving its easy to see why!
The combination of natural
beauty, tropical heat, and the gentle
attentive hospitality of the Balinese
locals, makes this the perfect holiday
destination
There are 16 one bedroom suites
to choose from, each with their
own private garden and patio,
discretely hidden behind a high TV, well stocked fridge and beautiful Step through a beautiful ornate
garden wall. Two bedroom villas, bathroom, provide everything you door into a tranquil cool haven that is
complete with a private swimming could need for your comfort and Indiana Kenanga Spa, where expert
pool, kitchen and two bathrooms, enjoyment. massage therapists offer a wide
are also available. Dining at Indiana Kenanga is the variety of therapeutic options. Choose
Close your eyes and think tropical high point of each day. The beach from Balinese, Swedish, warm stone
island. Do you imagine golden front restaurant spills onto the or Shiatsu massage. Body scrubs
sands, sparkling blue ocean, crashing golden sands of Jungutbatu beach and wraps, facials and manicure and
waves, endless sunshine, palm trees, where you can choose to dine at pedicures are also on the menu.
peace, bliss and the odd cocktail? tables literally on the sand. Roam the island and be prepared
Welcome to Nusa Lembongan! In my With a menu emphasising fresh for breathtaking vistas around every
beautiful villa, stone floors, spacious local produce, and stunning French corner. Boat trips abound and if you
dimensions and an extremely cuisine, Chef Clements Michelin have ever dreamed of learning to
effective air conditioner offered Star restaurant experience brings scuba dive, there is no better place
respite from the mid day sun. A a rare quality of dining to this tiny to do it than Nusa Lembongan.
luxurious king sized bed, flat screen island. www.indiana-kenanga-villas.com

Asia, Bali www.letstravelmag.com 55


Destination
Asia, Myanmar

The Glory of Empire


and Old Rangoon
Words & images by Roderick Eime

56 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Myanmar


Asia, Myanmar www.letstravelmag.com 57
C
reeping inside the entrance the corridors of this old colonial office I can see remnants of the old
way, theres an immediate block, we see a few enterprising Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (IFC)
smell of damp and must. traders still sequestered in the dark vessels, or at least their modern
The darkened walls are stained corners, their makeshift workplaces equivalents, chugging across the
with moss and mould and the partitioned with wire and plywood. turbid waters of the river that is
concertina doors of the old elevator Call me an old romantic, but every still the lifeblood of Rangoon. The
stand forlornly, its carriage rusted time I visit Rangoon (yes, I prefer companys old office building is still
and cobwebbed from decades of that name as I do Burma instead downtown, but I am politely ushered
neglect. of Myanmar) I cant help feeling out the door when I make an
We shuffle cautiously along the myself cast back one hundred years inquisitive inspection of what is now
well-worn passageway and up the or more, imagining the bustle of a government department.
steps, a noticeable depression in the enterprise in the old city where There were once more than IFC
centre of the marble from a century of the farthest reaches of the British 500 boats and steamers plying the
heavy leather boots. As we investigate Empire traded in teak, oil and rice. waters to Mandalay and beyond,
until the entire fleet was scuttled
ahead of the advancing Japanese in
1942.
The famous poet and author,
Rudyard Kipling, is a classic poster
chap for old Burma, but in truth he
only spent one night there in 1889,
at the Pegu Club, then the exclusive
haunt of British high officials and
army men.
Built in 1882, it once rivalled the
great mens clubs of SE Asia such as
the Tanglin of Singapore and Royal
Selangor of Malaysia. The building
is apparently still standing but, like
so many others, in danger of being
consumed by rampant development.
Several blocks along the historic
waterfront, where we conducted our
dank expedition,exude this eerie
character. Many ornate buildings
dating back to the late 19th century,
their facades shielded by a veil of
creepers and vines, sit in limbo as
their fate is decided by bureaucrats
and greedy developers.
But all is not despair, as several
far-sighted financiers have seen the
value in these classic structures.
The famous Strand Hotel is one
shining example and serves as
a template for those wishing to
recreate the colonial splendour of
this once thriving riverside hub.
Kempinski is poised to open its own
229-room property in the palatial
former Police Commissioners
Headquarters, just a couple of
hundred metres along.
Certainly, a modern gleaming
marble and glass hotel would
be glaringly out of place in this
neighbourhood of wide avenues
and Victorian-era architecture. To
this end, a not-for-profit trust has
been set up to lobby to retain this
irreplaceable heritage.

58 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Myanmar


MYANMAR WITH JUDY BAILEY

Join NZ journalist and broadcaster, Judy Bailey, on


this exclusive itinerary to The Golden Land
Step back in time to a place that has changed little
since the British colonial era. The majestic Irrawaddy
River is a gateway to untouched villages, ancient
cities, remarkable culture and captivating panoramas.
This unforgettable adventure combines an Avalon
Waterways river cruise with time in Yangon.

The Yangon Heritage Trust:


This self-styled independent centre of
excellence was founded by Dr. Thant Myint-U
in 2012 along with a group of like-minded
architects, business people and historians all
working to promote and integrate Yangons
unique urban heritage into a 21st century vision
of Yangon as one of Asias most liveable cities.
17 Days / 16 Nights from $11,895pp
According to the mantra on its website, it
advocates for heritage protection, develops
All inclusive Air, Land, Cruise package
clear and sustainable policy options, engages Ex Auckland
with government, business and civil society,
communicates its ideas to the widest possible
audience, undertakes specific conservation
projects, and facilitates research and training.
We stumble on their offices on the first floor
of a suitably historic building on Pansodan
Street. Inside there are old maps, drawings,
photographs, memorabilia as well as modern
renderings outlining proposed development
that retains the fundamental character of the
glamorous old metropolis.
Yangon isone of the best preserved colonial
Phone: 0800 110 108
cityscapes in the world, wroteDr. Thant
Myint-U for the Financial Times, Its unique
architectural heritage has survived decades
of war, dictatorship, isolation and economic
decline. Whether it survives the transition to
democracy and renewed prosperity remains to
be seen.
For those wishing to immerse themselves in
the history of the waterfront and surrounding
streets, the YHT conduct guided tours of the old
streets and buildings.
www.yangonheritagetrust.org
www.mondotravel.co.nz

Asia, Myanmar www.letstravelmag.com 59


So Grand to stay at The Strand
By David Ellis

T
he Strand, built in 1901 by
British entrepreneur John
Darwood a few steps from
Rangoons steamship wharf,
was quickly snapped-up by the
famous Sarkies brother, then the
pre-eminent hoteliers of Asia.
And although quite small at just
50-rooms compared with their
other major properties, the hotel
fast-earned an enviable reputation.
The popular British travel
publication at the time, Murrays
Handbook for Travellers in India,
Burma and Ceylon described it as
patronised by royalty, nobility and
distinguished personages, and the
finest hostelry east of Suezone
of the most luxurious in the British through several indifferently-
Empire. interested owners before being
And the Sarkies, who had been bought 40 years later by a group
born in Persia to Armenian parents, of Burmese investors who gave it a
imposed strict conditions on just multi-million dollar refurbishment.
who would be accepted as a guest Black-lacquered chandeliers were
in their Strand: it would be whites re-installed in vast high-ceilinged
only a rule that bizarrely lasted public areas, teak and marble floors
through subsequent owners until taken back to their original colonial
1945 when Asian guests were finally glory, hand-made mahogany and
allowed into The Strands hallowed colonial-era rattan furnishings
halls for the first time. reintroduced as in a bygone age, and
The Strand continued to flourish the countryside scoured for antique
after the Sarkies sold it in 1925, bathroom fittings to match those still
but when Japan invaded Burma in surviving in the hotel.
1941 its troops took over the hotel, The Strand re-opened in 1993 as
including stabling their horses a once-again treasured national
in the bar. Later after Burmas landmark, its 50 rooms reduced into
independence in 1948 the hotel just 30 king-bed suites ranging from
was virtually neglected, and went 55 to 65 square metres, and with a
palatial Strand Suite of 200 square
metres. Today its boasts being
the only restored colonial hotel in
South East Asia to remain true to
its architectural past, with no added
wings, pools or tennis courts.
Guests have included Prince
Edward, Lord Mountbatten, Peter
Ustinov, George Orwell, Rudyard
Kipling who penned his famous Road
to Mandalay there, Noel Coward who
allegedly was inspired to later write
his Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go
Out In The Midday Sun.
www.hotelthestrand.com

60 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, Myanmar


Destination
India

Adventures In South India -


Wayanad To Fort Kochi
Words & images by Tim Roxborogh

Church of Our Lady of Hope, Fort Kochi

62 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, India


I
think it was a tiger. In an instant
I felt rooted to the spot and my
heart started thudding as I spat
the words out.
Are you sure?, came the sensible
response from my altogether very
sensible guide Maneesh, to which I
had to be honest. No, I wasnt sure,
but something large and about a
metre high had just bolted through
the jungle, causing a crash of
branches and leafs about 20metres
from where we were standing.
Its unlikely to have been a tiger.
Did you see any stripes? Again,
more sensible talk from Maneesh.
Hmm I hadnt seen stripes as
such, but it was the size of a big cat
and if not feline, then what? The
non-panicky response when youre in
the mountainous jungles of southern
India should be, any number of
things. But in that moment, my
favourite animal on the planet was
the only thing on my mind and I was
more than a little terrified.
Maneesh, on the other hand,
was enthralled. A young and
hugely impressive naturalist who
is employed by the Wayanad Wild
eco-lodge, he decided to investigate.
Moving as silently as he could,
Maneesh tracked in the direction of
the animal while my throbbing chest
and I tried not to shake the forest.
With hand held to his mouth as
he crouched in the bushes, Maneesh
started doing different animal calls.
Part of me wanted to laugh, but
another, more dominant part of
me, didnt want to get eaten. So I
watched while I kept an eye and ear
on any more rustles in the trees.
A minute or so passed and
Maneesh returned smiling. It was a
Sambar deer! Well, Id gotten the
size about right, but little else. So
we carried on walking, leech-proof
socks working overtime as Maneesh
pointed out different plants, birds
and mammals (including an adorable
giant Malabar squirrel) in this lush,
remarkable slice of the subcontinent.
Pausing in a clearing, Maneesh
showed me a tree with a series of
deeply gouged scratches.

Asia, India www.letstravelmag.com 63


jungle. Nor is discovering just how
afraid you can be when you feel
that vulnerable. Though the flipside
is that Maneesh let me know a tiger
darting through dense jungle isnt
necessarily going to look as vibrantly
orange and black as they do in
sparse zoos or on beer labels.
The truth as the tree markings
showed is that there are tigers in
these hills and blessedly, in slightly
greater numbers across India and
Asia in the wild than in previous
years. Its just that the likelihood of
seeing one during daylight hours is
extremely small. As fearsome as they
may be, they are still more inclined
to avoid humans, even if youre in
their backyard.
In this case, that backyard is the
region of the southern Indian state of
Kerala known as Wayanad. Located
high in the Western Ghats mountain
range, this is an area reportedly
amongst the most bio-diverse in
the world. Until youve been to
Tea Plantation, Wayanad India it can be hard to comprehend
how substantial green lungs of
Do you know what these are because not only were these rainforest could still exist alongside
from? Id already made a fool of genuine tiger marks, but they were a rapidly expanding population of
myself once with tigers in this forest, less than three months old. well over one billion. The pollution
but while I thought it might be a Though perhaps its more a case and environmental concerns are
trick question, I still answered with of having a paw in both camps. Yes, extremely real, but theres some
a tiger? To which I realised maybe mistaking a deer with a tiger isnt small solace learning approximately
I hadnt been quite so unjustly exactly the coolest thing in the world 21% of the countrys total land area
unsettled by the tiger/deer incident for someone who claims to love the remains forested.

Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Fort Kochi

64 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, India


Having left the cities of Bangalore
and Mysore behind, my two-week
long World Journeys southern Indian
jaunt had now taken me from dry
plains, through rubber, coffee and tea
plantations and now into some of the
best tropical jungles in Asia. For two
nights I was staying in a brand new
eco-lodge where not a single tree has
been chopped down, nor a solitary
boulder removed in its construction.
To get to Wayanad Wild wed
driven along narrow forest roads
where spotted deer roam freely and
signs warn of elephants that may
stray into the path of traffic. Wed
detoured to gigantic rocks where
ancient engravings more than 6,000
years old lie (the Edakkal Caves) and
wed slugged our way through the
cluttered, dusty towns that dot the
otherwise crumpled blanket of green
that defines this part of India.
Complete with an infinity pool
and an open-air restaurant (the
locally sourced food was hands
down the best Ive ever had in India
delicious, healthy and not overly
spicy), My guide, Maneesh

SOUTH INDIA HISTORY, CULTURE


& CUISINE
tailor-made travel by Experience the true heart of
World Journeys South India on one of our
tailor-made itineraries.
Explore Southern Indias
history, eclectic culture,
and delicious cuisine.
Discover opulent palaces,
colonial towns, and leafy
tea plantations, take a
cooking class, or cruise on
a traditional kettuvallam
houseboat through the
backwaters of Kerala.

Contact World Journeys


or your Travel Agent

www.worldjourneys.co.nz

0800 117 311


/worldjourneys

Asia, India www.letstravelmag.com 65


Cricket by the sea, fort Kochi

Wayanad Wild is luxury for people who love adventure.


Singapore Airlines:
Sitting on my balcony and hearing the monsoon rains fall
Singapore Airlines flies daily from Auckland to through the jungle canopy was as relaxed as Ive felt in a
Singapore using their Boeing 777-300ER long time.
Inside the plane you will find a 4 cabin Farewelling the uniformly excellent staff at the lodge
configuration with SQs Next Gen cabin product. with an unbreakable promise to return one day with my
4 x First Class seats, 48 Business Class, 28
wife, it was time to begin a slow descent from out of the
Premium Economy and 184 Economy Class
seats add up to 264 in total.
mountains and the forest and towards the coast.
Flights depart Auckland at 12.25pm and arrive Our destination (six hours by car and rail) was Fort
(local time) in to Singapore at 7.30pm the same Kochi, home to the oldest European church (St Francis
day 1503) in India and a contender for being the countrys
Flights depart Simgapore at 9.15pm and arrive boutique hotel capital.
(local time) in to Auckland at 10.50am the next With its gorgeous alleyways, colonial buildings,
day
churches and famously photogenic fishing nets, Fort
www.singaporeairlines.co.nz
Kochi is like a little fantasy snapshot of southern India
and sits comfortably near the top of my list of must-visit
Indian destinations. The various historical influences from
settlers and traders of every persuasion are all around you,
including Arabic, Dutch, Portugese, British, Jewish and
Chinese.
The ground is flat and the traffic is by Indian standards
positively genteel, making Fort Kochi perfect for walking
and cycling tours.

66 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, India


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info@exoticholidays.co.nz | www.exoticholidays.co.nz
Wayanad Wild eco-lodge

Its also a great place to do a of hotels. Brunton Boatyard has colonial Indian dream from another
cooking class with a local family and been recreated from the remains of time. Once again, a place I left
Marias South Indian Cooking Class a Victorian-era shipbuilding site to promising with absolute sincerity
comes highly recommended. Im resemble with striking authenticity a Id have to return with the wife one
never going to elicit urgings from structure of approximately 150 years day.
family and friends to enter Master of age. The reality is, this quietly www.singaporeair.com
Chef, but Marias lesson about the glorious hotel only dates back to the www.worldjourneys.com
wonders of cumin (as well as a host 1990s.
of other south Indian spices and Though as I opened the doors Tim Roxborogh travelled courtesy of
ingredients) was terrific fun. to my private deck; palm trees, World Journeys, Singapore Airlines
Like in Wayanad, the property I boats, fishing nets and the flurry of and SilkAir. His accommodation was
stayed at in Fort Kochi is owned and on-water commerce right in front of courtesy of CGH Earth
operated by the CGH Earth group me, Brunton Boatyard felt like hazy

Author, Tim Roxborogh Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Fort Kochi

68 www.letstravelmag.com Asia, India


Australia
Perth, Western Australia 70
Byron Bay, NSW 78

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 69


Destination
Australia,
Western Australia

The New Perth... a capital


continuing to transform
People are talking about Perth. Foodies, investors, sun-lovers, entrepreneurs,
creatives (and even some locals) are experiencing the wow factor as
unprecedented investment in Western Australias cosmopolitan capital comes
to fruition.

70 www.letstravelmag.com Australia, Western Australia


L
ong celebrated as one of within just 30 minutes of the city. gum trees and, in Spring, see the
the worlds prettiest and Its also the sunniest state capital, wildflowers in bloom.
most livable cities, Perth is averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine Another city icon is the Swan
now striding confidently on to the per year and boasting a string of Bells attraction, which fill the air
international stage as a leading player 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded with sounds from one of the largest
in Australias cultural, hospitality beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to musical instruments on Earth. From
and events scene. More visitors than the surf hotspot of Scarborough. there, you can hop on the free bus
ever are marvelling at the explosion Situated beside the Swan River, to museums, art galleries and the
in attractions, accommodation and Perth is a living postcard, with the Perth Mint - home to the largest coin
nightlife, which complements the best views of all from Kings Park in the world weighing one tonne of
citys natural beauty delivering an and Botanic Garden - one of the pure gold.
all-round, exceptional destination. So biggest inner-city parks in the world. Theres also plenty of retail
whats hot right now in Perth? Larger than New Yorks Central Park, therapy on offer. The high-end
Perth is Australias sunniest there are so many ways to enjoy fashion boutiques of King Street
capital citywhere you can enjoy its 400-plus hectares of sculpted make it the place to be seen. The
the beach lifestyle, relax in natural gardens and natural bushland. Stroll Murray and Hay Street malls are
bushland, sample world-class local the treetop walk, take an Indigenous where youll find big brands, or
wines and watch an ocean sunset cultural tour, picnic among the for some eclectic vibes, head

Australia, Western Australia www.letstravelmag.com 71


to Northbridge, Mount Lawley, warrior Yagan. Back on land, walking Through an explosion in new
Leederville, Subiaco or Victoria Park. tours with Go Culturals Noongar dining options, the traditional hubs
Take a lazy lunch by the river guides reveal fascinating alignments of Northbridge, East Perth and
or beach and enjoy fresh fusion between modern Perth and ancient Mt Lawley have been joined by
flavours of Perths many cafes, Aboriginal sites and tracks. high-quality suburban and riverfront
restaurants and new small bars. food, such as The Reveley and Isle of
Jump on a ferry to South Perth
to take in that sensational skyline
and Elizabeth Quay. Its spectacular
3 Graze your way through
Perths Restaurants:
Perth has the perfect ingredients
Voyage at Elizabeth Quay. Nearby,
youll find boutique dining at the
beautifully restored State Buildings,
at night, when glittering lights are for even the fussiest foodies top including the award-winning
reflected on the river. local produce, celebrated chefs and rooftop restaurant Wildflower
more restaurants per capita than any and its WA-focused, farmer-and-
Top 10 Things to do in other Australian capital. forager menu revolving around the
Perth & Surrounds

1 Elizabeth Quay:
The vibrant waterfront precinct
of Elizabeth Quay opened in
2016, connecting Perths central
business district to the Swan
River. Its quickly become a focal
point for visitors and locals,
with an ever-expanding range
of attractions. Look out for the
Isle of Voyage restaurant inside a
heritage pavilion, kids frolicking in
the water playground, Go Culturals
Indigenous walking tours and new
river cruises departing from the
Quay and neighbouring Barrack
Square. Multiple development
projects are taking shape, including
the Ritz-Carltons first Western
Australian property in a prime
riverfront location.

2 New Indigenous
Tours in Perth:
New tours are enabling visitors to
discover more about local Aboriginal
lands and culture. Jump on board
a solar electric boat for Indigenous
Experiences Australias two-hour
cruise along the Derbal Yerrigan
(Swan River), learning about ancestral
stories, sacred places and legendary

72 www.letstravelmag.com Australia, Western Australia


Indigenous six seasons. The
newly opened Crown Towers
adds to the Crown riverside
precincts range of fine-dining
options, while a string of
oceanfront restaurants and cafes
serve up quality seafood and
pub fare with a perfect Indian
Ocean backdrop.

4 Get crafty with local


beers:
Fremantle is the birthplace of
Australias flourishing craft beer
scene, with the first big-flavour,
small-production brews poured
at the Sail and Anchor bar,
where you can still sample tasty
local creations. Check out other
unique and seasonal craft beers
at Fremantles Little Creatures
or The Monk or see how local
beers and cold cider are bringing
extra flavour and attitude to
traditional wine regions such as
the Swan Valley (Feral or Mash,
for example) and try out Bootleg
brewery or Eagle Bay Brewery in
Margaret River.

5 Accommodation
Explosion:
Perth now offers some of the
best value accommodation in
Australia following the raft of
new and refurbished properties
that have opened recently in
the CBD and surrounding urban
and coastal areas. Not only are
visitors enjoying more choice
in places to stay, theyre also
saving with Perth hoteliers
offering up some great deals.
Since 2012, 20 new or
redeveloped hotels have opened
in and around Perth, adding
nearly 1,800 new rooms to
the local market. In the next
four years, a further 16 new or
redeveloped hotels will come
online, adding more than 2,800
new rooms. Its about quality
and quantity with a broad
selection of boutique, big name
and luxury accommodation
options coming online including
the Ritz-Carltons first Australian
property in 10 years, The
Westin in the eastern CBD and
three developments from the
DoubleTree group.

Australia, Western Australia www.letstravelmag.com 73


6 Cafs and Laneways:
Formerly disused heritage
buildings and laneways are now
home to bustling bars and funky
street art. Through independent
non-profit group FORM, more
than 80 walls across Perth and
surrounding suburbs have become
a canvas for local, interstate and
international artists.

7 Visit One of the Many


Stunning City Beaches:
Theres 80 kilometres of sun, sea
and sand to be enjoyed on Perths
coastline. There are many beautiful
beaches you can easily visit inside
a day. But, of course, you may just
decide to spend the entire day the chilled-out deck at newly opened
relaxing, playing and soaking up the Odyssea Beach Caf and watching
vibes at one coastal spot. Sip a cool sunsets from Clancys Fish Bar.
beverage while enjoying a spectacular Cottlesloe Beach is another favourite
sunset over the Indian Ocean. spot especially in March during the
Scarborough Beach is on its Sculpture by the Sea exhibition.
way to becoming one of Australias
best beachfronts. A $100 million
foreshore redevelopment is set to
be unveiled in early 2018, including
8 Day trips:
Few cities have such an
impressive range of activities at their
a beachside swimming pool, cafes, doorstep. Journeys between 30
restaurants, kiosks, public art and minutes and two hours from central
a skate park, as well as improved Perth could see you swimming with
transport. dolphins in Rockingham, tasting
Slightly further south, popular City award-winning beverages in the Swan
Beach is home to lush lawns, white Valley wine region, taking a quokka
sand and an expanding range of selfie on Rottnest Island or walking
waterfront dining options including among eerie limestone formations
at the Pinnacles. New tours are also
showcasing the bushland and culinary
creations of the Perth Hills, and its
now possible to do the Margaret
River Region in a day from Perth with
sightseeing packages through Swan
River Seaplanes.

Rottnest Island:
Perths idyllic island playground,
Rottnest is just a short ferry ride from
the mainland and a world away from
city life. For such a tiny island, this
car-free and carefree Class A reserve
packs a lot of pleasure into a day.
Getting to Rotto, as the locals
affectionately call it, is a breeze. Just
19 kilometres off the coast, ferries
depart regularly from Fremantle,
Perths Barrack Street Jetty and
Hillarys Marina.
You can opt to arrive in style by
helicopter or air taxi, or even cruise
across in your own boat.

74 www.letstravelmag.com Australia, Western Australia


colonial cottages, including the Salt
Store and Lomas Cottage, dating
back to the mid-1800s.
Many of the grand buildings
and quaint holiday cottages
commissioned by Perths Governor
in the nineteenth century are still
a favourite among holiday-makers
today, including the restored Hotel
Rottnest and beachside villas.
Alternatively, the old barracks are
a good budget option for camping
and backpacking.

On its shores, 63 stunning island, dropping you off at some of


beaches, 20 beautiful bays and many the more secluded beaches and surf
coral reefs and wrecks invite you breaks.
to enjoy some of Australias finest More family fun in the form of
swimming spots, snorkel trails and golf, tennis, shopping and guided
surf breaks. And on dry land, youll tours can be found in Thomson Bay,
meet the cutest mini marsupial, as well as cafes, restaurants and
found only in Western Australia, takeaway options.
the world famous quokka, as well Tours on land and sea offer
as many unique plant and animal insightful experiences, from wildlife
species. encounters with quokkas, seals,
With no cars on the roads, riding ospreys and whales, to history and
is the best way to get around, with cultural tours bringing Rottnests
bicycle hire available at the ferry colourful maritime, convict, colonial
terminals and on the island. and World War II heritage vividly to life.
If thats too much effort, you can A stroll through the main
hop on and off the Bayseeker Bus settlement is a journey back in time
which regularly runs around the as you pass by some of the early

Australia, Western Australia www.letstravelmag.com 75


still the best place to sample fresh
local seafood, only today you can
wash it down with a locally-brewed
ale or premium West Australian wine.
For shopaholics, the pickings are
just as rich, from high street fashion
to local designers, homewares to
curios and a range of galleries,
including Aboriginal art. And after
sundown, youll see the street cafs,
bars and clubs crank up the pace to
create a buzzing night scene.
If youre making Fremantle your
base, youll find plenty of budget
backpacker accommodation, as well
as boutique bed and breakfasts,
self-catering cottages, apartments
and hotels to choose from. Freo is a
town that is proud of its authenticity,
anything-goes attitude and
creativity. Experience it at its best by
timing your visit to coincide with one
of its many famous cultural festivals.

Swan Valley:
Indulge the senses with a trip to
the Swan Valley. The vineyards of
Western Australias oldest wine
region invite you to sample their
fruits, feast on award-winning local
produce and discover local heritage.
Just 25 minutes east of Perth, the
Swan Valley is a world away from city
life. You can reach it by road, or take
the scenic route aboard a Swan River
cruise from Perths Barrack Street
Jetty. You can even winery-hop in
the back of a horse-drawn wagon or
chauffeured classic car.
Many of the vineyards are still
owned by the descendants of early
European settlers, who may share
their story over a fruity red at the
Fantastic Fremantle: If youre hitting the heritage trail, cellar door. Alongside these charming
The vibrant city of Fremantle blends be sure to include a visit to the family-run wineries youll also find
the old with the new, creating an Western Australian Maritime Museum, some major international players,
eclectic cultural experience. Maritime, World Heritage listed Fremantle not to mention the more recent
convict and colonial history can be Prison and Western Australias oldest emergence of award-winning boutique
explored in one of the best preserved public building, the Roundhouse. breweries and talented artists.
examples of a 19th century port You can even take in some classic Do lunch at one of 70 restaurants
streetscape on Earth, while buzzing colonial architecture as you sip your and cafes, or pack a picnic and take
markets, lively bars and casual street coffee on the Cappuccino Strip or your pick from many natural beauty
cafes give you a taste of 21st century a cool beer at one of many heritage spots. But be sure to leave room for
life with the locals. pubs. And if you venture into the some gourmet local delights, from
As Perths neighbouring port Fremantle Markets, youll experience olives, cheeses and preserves to
town, Fremantle (or Freo as its the exotic aromas, sights and sounds chocolate, nougat and ice creams.
affectionately known) is just a of an icon thats been bustling for Besides fine food and wine, there
30-minute drive or train ride from more than 100 years. are many other passions you can
the city. Or, you can hop on the ferry At its shores, the redeveloped indulge in, from horse riding, cycling,
from Barrack Street for a leisurely Fishing Boat Harbour that has been hiking and golf to wildlife, art, history
cruise down the Swan River. in operation since the early 1900s is and Indigenous culture.

76 www.letstravelmag.com Australia, Western Australia


At the hub of the Swan Valley,
Guildford is brimming with colonial
charm. Follow the heritage trail
passing historic pubs and quaint
cottages, take a stroll down the
antique strip, browse the boutiques
and art galleries or enjoy an afternoon
of live music in the beer gardens.
For some family fun of the furry
variety, head to Caversham Wildlife
Park - home to one of Western
Australias largest collections of
native Australian wildlife where close
encounters with koalas, wombats,
kangaroos and a whole array of farm
animals can be found.
In the rambling countryside of
the Darling Range beyond, you
can explore some of their natural
habitats, walking among tall trees,
granite outcrops, tumbling waterfalls
and dazzling spring wildflowers.

9 Sports Tourism:
With the deluxe 60,000-seat
Perth Stadium due to open early
2018 and impressive international
fixtures already locked in, Perth is
fast becoming a sport lovers dream
destination. Adding to Perths other
quality sports venues such as Perth
Arena and nib Stadium the new
stadium is already shaping up as one
of the worlds most technologically
advanced major venues. Upcoming
events scheduled for Perth Stadium
include:
Chelsea Football Club (July/ and New Zealand All Blacks the New South Wales Blues clash
August 2018). In an Australian teams will play on Australian with the Queensland Maroons in
exclusive, the Premier League soil in 2019 in the lead-up to the a fiercely contested game that
powerhouse will take on local Rugby World Cup. will attract thousands of visitors,
heroes Perth Glory. Rugby League State of Origin particularly from interstate.
Bledisloe Cup (August 2019). The (2019). Regarded as Australias
only time the Australian Wallabies biggest annual sporting event,
10 Getting there:
Air New Zealand operates
its 787-9 Dreamliner to Perth, year
round between Auckland and Perth
and seasonally between Christchurch
and Perth from 09 December 2017
to 28 April 2018. Connections are
available from 22 Air New Zealand
serviced New Zealand Airports.
Qantas flies daily from Auckland,
Christchurch and Wellington to Perth
via Melbourne or Sydney. Qantas
seasonal services also operate
between Auckland and Perth from
09 December 2017 to 28 January
2018 and 31 March 2018 to 29 April
2018.
www.westernaustralia.com

Australia, Western Australia www.letstravelmag.com 77


Destination
Australia, Byron Bay

Tasting
Plate
Tours
Have you been there and
done that when it comes
to wine tours? Are you still
looking for a great day out
with opportunities to taste
great Australian drinks and
eat amazing food but need
something new? Look no
further! Tasting Plate Tours
has created the new tour
for you. The Distiller takes
in 2 of Australias up and
coming DistilleriesCape
Byron and Husk Distillery.

C
ape Byron Distillery is the Learn from the makers themselves,
newest Gin Distillery in what gives Stone and Wood its great
Australia, set in the stunning taste, and try to decide which beer
grounds of Brookfarm in Byron Bay. takes your fancy.
Brookies Gin and Brookies Slow In the afternoon, we head back
Gin are the first gins to be distilled into the Tweed and meet with the
at Cape Byron Distillery, with the team from Husk Distillery. Home to
Dry Gin having been awarded a the now famous Ink Gin, and winner
Gold Medal at the San Francisco of Australias Best Innovation in the
Spirits Competition in its first year. Spirits category for 2016, and their
Take a tour of the plantation and paddock to bottle Husk Rum. Hear
explore the Rainforest plantations, their story, taste their unique Gin
home to 18 of the 26 botanicals and mix a cocktail or two with their
used to make Brookies Gin, before white or dark rum. This is a day you
joining the team in the Distillery and wont forgetor maybe you will!
learning about George the newest Tours depart every Friday and
family member and of course, trying Saturday from Osteria in Casuarina
the gins in their pure forms as well at 9.00am, with picks ups available
as in cocktails. on the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.
From here we head into Byron Cost is $199 per person and includes
Bay for lunch at the Byron Bay all tastings, touring and meals on the
Brewing Co. and a tasting paddle day.
tour of Stone and Wood Brewery. www.tastingplatetours.com.au

78 www.letstravelmag.com Australia, Byron Bay


New Zealand
The Rees, Queenstown 80
Great Rail Journeys 86

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 79


Destination
New Zealand,
Queenstown

The Rees Hotel Queenstown


Sophisticated, unique and friendly, The Rees Hotel Queenstown is a Qualmark rated
five star hotel, superbly situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, with breathtaking
panoramic views of the lake and Remarkables Mountains. Just a gentle lakeside stroll
from Queenstowns town centre, The Rees Hotel boasts a variety of sophisticated
accommodation options, restaurants, a world-class wine cellar, gymnasium, hot tubs,
ski lockers, conference venues, observatory and a private wharf.

Lake Wakitipu

80 www.letstravelmag.com New Zealand, Queenstown


New Zealand, Queenstown www.letstravelmag.com 81
T
he Rees Queenstown offers
62 Hotel Rooms with lake
facing terraces as well as 93
luxury 1-3 bedroom self-contained
Apartments with lake facing terraces.
Additionally there are five private
lakeside Residences featuring
hot tubs on the terrace, personal
concierge and luxury airport
transfers. All accommodation options
are fully serviced every day and
offer custom designed super king
sized Rees beds, complimentary
wireless internet, spacious modern
bathrooms, LCD TVs with 150+
free movies, Sky TV, iPod docking
stations, free local telephone calls
and a lounge area opening onto a
large tiled balcony. Apartments and
Residences also offer gas fireplaces,
fully equipped designer kitchens,
laundry facilities and so much more.

Hotel Features:
Fine dining True South
restaurant onsite, led by award
winning chef
Queenstowns rustic Italian
restaurant - Sasso (located
downtown)
A Wine Spectator awarded wine
cellar featuring a comprehensive
collection of fine wine from
around the world alongside the
best offerings from New Zealand
Conference venues, board and
break out rooms

82 www.letstravelmag.com New Zealand, Queenstown


Complimentary shuttle to/from
Queenstown town centre (5mins)
A fleet of serviced mountain bikes
Complimentary high speed wireless
internet
Mercedes Sprinter and Audi Q7
available for guest services
Fully equipped gymnasium
Art gallery of original paintings/
prints and a library of rare books
Ski lockers with rental and fitting
options
Complimentary underground
secure private car parking
Private jetty, offering jet boat and
water taxi services, airport and golf
transfers and fishing excursions
Observatory to view the southern
star-filled skies
Complimentary concierge team
who are experts on all that is on
offer in our region
The Rees Hotel offers two
award-winning restaurants, one located
in the Rees Hotel Queenstown and
one restaurant located in downtown
Queenstown. The True South Dining
Room epitomises elegant dining, where
their multi-award winning Executive
Chef, Ben Batterbury, creates exquisite
mouth-watering dishes using the best
seasonal ingredients.

New Zealand, Queenstown www.letstravelmag.com 83


Enjoy a taste of Southern
Hospitality at its best with a blend
of sumptuous food, fine wine and
stunning lake views. Maximum
capacity for seated dining is 50
guests.
Sasso Italian Dining, located in
downtown Queenstown, is where
cooking Italian cuisine is a craft. It is
a restaurant where food is created
and served with passion. The chef
insists on using the freshest local
produce with authentic Italian
specialties added to the mix to
create the finest flavours. Whether
its a relaxed pizza and beer with
friends or a five-course meal from
our Sapore di Sasso menu matched
with Italian or Central Otago wine,
youll be sure to enjoy your dining
experience at Sasso, set in one
of Queenstowns oldest heritage
buildings.
Maximum capacity for seated
dining: 100 guests.
The Rees Hotels conference
and meeting venues offer versatile,
multi-use facilities, capable of
supporting a range of functions.
Boasting elegant and comfortable
dcor, sophisticated technology,
spectacular views, exquisite cuisine
and dedicated staff to ensure your
conference or event runs smoothly.
Conference room maximum
capacity: 60 seated theatre style,
40 seated classroom style or seated
dining, 28-seat boardroom.
The Rees Hotel Queenstown
blends chic five-star accommodation gourmet lunch and sample a variety renowned Rippon Vineyard to taste
with all the comforts of home and of award-winning wines from local some of the best organic wines
the service and facilities of an elite regions. This bucket-list experience from this award-winning winery
international hotel.Situated on is for either two or four discerning before a last stop (and drink) at the
the absolute lakefront, The Rees people, includes accommodation historic Cardrona Pub from where
terraced construction delivers at The Rees Hotel and is a rare you will return to Queenstown.
complete privacy and showcases opportunity to literally heighten all Package offerings are for either 2
panoramic views overlooking Lake the senses in a spectacular series of or 4 people and include two nights
Wakatipu and The Remarkables locations. luxurious accommodation at The
Mountains in Queenstown, New The Heli-Wine Tasting Experience Rees Hotel.
Zealand. includes a glass of champagne and Mr. Rose, a passionate wine
a luxury transfer from The Rees expert with extensive knowledge of
An Ultimate Heli-Wine Hotel to Queenstown International wines both locally and globally, has
Tasting Experience: Airport where a six-seater successfully nurtured the strong wine
The latest exclusive wine initiative helicopter from the Helicopter Line and culinary programme at the Hotel.
to be launched by The Rees will provide breathtaking views The property is now well established
Hotel Queenstown is the Ultimate of the renowned Gibbston Valley as having one of the best wine cellars
Heli-Wine Tasting Experience hosted and Kawarau Gorge on the way in New Zealand and offers a prized
by the General Manager, Mark to your first tasting and lunch collection of Bordeaux and Central
Rose. Guests will enjoy 180-degree at Mt. Difficulty Winery. Onward Otago wines and a wine list globally
panoramic views of Queenstown and upward to spectacular views recognised in the annual Wine
from a six-seater helicopter, a of Lake Wanaka and the world Spectator Awards since 2012.

84 www.letstravelmag.com New Zealand, Queenstown


The Ultimate Heli-Wine Tasting
Experience package for two people
includes:
2 nights accommodation in
an Executive Lake View One
Bedroom Apartment
Cooked breakfasts daily
Complimentary late check out
until 12 noon
Complimentary fruit bowl on arrival
Complimentary car parking and
Wi-Fi
Inclusive of all car and heli transfers
Inclusive of lunch at Mt. Difficulty
Winery
Inclusive of all selected wines/
beverages at each Winery and
the Cardrona Pub

Terms & Conditions:


Package designed for a minimum
of 2 people and includes a Wine
Director
$2,485 NZD per person
Bookings: reservations@therees.co.nz
and quote UQHW3

The Ultimate Heli-Wine Tasting


Experience Package for four people
includes:
Accommodation in an Executive
Lake View Two Bedroom
(2 bathroom) Apartment
Inclusions as above
$NZ 1,285.00 per person
Bookings: reservations@therees.co.nz
and quote UQHW4
www.therees.co.nz

New Zealand, Queenstown www.letstravelmag.com 85


Destination
New Zealand

Great NZ Rail Journeys


By Bill Cameron

Can an older person, mobility impaired still plan to travel? Why not!

86 www.letstravelmag.com New Zealand Great Rail Journeys


New Zealand Great Rail Journeys www.letstravelmag.com 87
Once I decided to do the trip I
wanted to go as soon as possible,
the date was setdown to Wellington
on a Monday, back the next day. But,
how would I get to the train, to the
hotel in Wellington and back home in
Aucklandtaxis were ordered.
On checking in I was greeted, by
my first name, by Fiona, our train
captain for the journey. I think my
walking frame was the giveaway!
She then arranged for one of the
crew to show me to my carriage and
used the lift to get me safely onto
the train. Once settled in the time
came to departright on time.
I have travelled on trains since the
early 60s and I was amazed about
the lack of noise. Gone was the
clackety-clack as I travelled along. It

S
trange way to start a story I then started asking myself the felt like we were gliding along on air.
but read on! After my wife following questions. I cant walk None of this jerking and clunking as
passed away, in 2015, I was without a walking frame. Can the each carriage moved forwardjust
in a retirement village by myself. train accommodate this? I cant climb this smooth flow.
I felt comfortable and I began to steps. How would I get on the train? We were now travelling through
hibernate. So I went online to find out if they Auckland suburbs and we were
A few months ago I started asking could help me with these problems. welcomed over the PA system with
myself WHY? Why am I becoming a Iwas amazed with the information the normal notices regarding safety,
loner? Why dont I get out and a lot that I was able to find. All my worries toilet layouts and that the cafe on
of other whys! The answer I came up were baselessKiwi Rail could board was now open.
with was why not. accommodate all of my needs. Am My thoughts turned to how I
Ive always liked to travel, I sure I can do this? Im 71 years old, was going to get to the facilities
especially by rail, so I decided to I have to walk with a walking frame, on a moving train. Within minutes
look at travelling to Wellington with and Im very unsteady on my feet. Mark, one of the cabin crew,
Kiwi Rail on their Northern Explorer The Kiwi Rail website tells me they approached me telling me that if I
journey. can accommodate me. needed anything I just had to ask

88 www.letstravelmag.com New Zealand Great Rail Journeys


and someone would be there to
help. Initially I found myself feeling
guilty,as I would be taking up there
time. I quickly found that the crew
did this for all passengers not just me.
It was then announced that
by using the headphones that
were supplied we could listen to a
commentary of our trip. I consider
myself fairly knowledgeable about
my homeland, but I was surprised
at what I found out about the North
Island as we sped through the
countryside.
I would suggest that guests
on the train that listened to the
commentary would, by the end of
the journey, know more about the
North Island than the average New
Zealander doesit was excellent.
We passed Mercer, south
of Auckland, and soon Taupiri
mountain, the resting place of all
the maori kings and queens and
legendary entertainer, Billy T. James.
Our first stop at Hamilton was just to
pick up a few passengers before we
were on our way again.
Otorohanga, Te Kuiti and
Taumaranui stations all soon followed.
In earlier times we would have
stopped at these for refreshments,
however with full catering on board
this was not necessary. The further
we went the more relaxed I felt.

New Zealand Great Rail Journeys www.letstravelmag.com 89


The Raurimu spiral, which was As I travelled down the country I
built and completed 1898, is an asked for the normal refreshments
amazing feat of civil engineering, coffee, snacks, orange juice, hot
but unfortunately the weather was meal at lunch with a couple of
not kind and we missed seeing the wines, all delightful and tasty and
mountains covered in snow. Trains reasonably priced.
climb the 132 metres of the spiral Would I travel by train again? A
over a distance of two kilometres by definite Yes!
going around a series of spirals and Would I change anything? Yes! I
through a group of tunnelsa great would take someone with me next
experience to behold. time just for a bit of help. While I
At National Park passengers can met some lovely people on board
disembark for a short while for time there are times when you feel alone
in the snow. For those who stretched and company would be nice.
their legs they quickly found out What complaints did I have about
how cold the middle of the country my trip? Nothing! Our crew of Fiona,
can get. Mark and Rodney were the best that
Between Ohakune and Waiouru we you could geta very happy crew
passed Tangiwai the site of the rail who enjoy their jobs.
tragedy that struck on Xmas eve 1953, What next? Well, that was the
killing 151 people, including NZ cricket first of my bucklist done. Next year,
legend, Bob Blairs fiance. A lahar you will see on your journey with Kiwi all going well, I intend to cross Cook
from Mt. Ruapehu took out the railway Rail on the old truck line. Strait on the ferry, travel by road
bridge causing the loss of so many I was on the final legthe Kapiti to Greymouth and then travel on
lives. Coming up on Palmerston North Coast, the views of the Tasman Sea the Tranz Alpine Explorer. Bring on
and the viaducts of the Rangitikei area and as dusk set we arrived in to 2018.
are some of the most amazing sites Wellington. www.greatjourneysofnz.co.nz

Coromandel
Explorers
Retreat

Quail Cottage Holiday Accommodation


Small, sunny, freestanding rustic cottage with total privacy set in a beautiful garden, with undercover carport parking,
only one kilometre from the centre of Coromandel Town. Double bedroom and a lounge with a small kitchenette including
microwave, comfortable couch, breakfast table with two chairs and mini fridge. A small undercover deck leads to separate
hot-water shower unit, flush toilet and sink.

Inquire also about renting Coromandels Explorers Retreat, the owners private, fully furnished, antique inspired,
three-bedroom, two-bathroom house. Accommodates up to six people in three, queen-sized beds.

Coromandel Explorers Retreat 98 Whangapoua Road, Coromandel, 3506 T: 021 142 7040 E: explorersretreat@ihug.co.nz

90 www.letstravelmag.com New Zealand Great Rail Journeys


Beyond
Back Roads Touring 92
AP Touring 98

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 91


Back-Roads Touring
Indulge in soaring mountains, picturesque coastlines and delicious local
wines with Back-Roads Touring.

92 www.letstravelmag.com Beyond, Back Roads Touring


The specialist small group-touring
operator invites you to do more
than just see a destination, but to
experience the scenery, architecture,
cuisine and people that make it truly
unique. Back-Roads Touring offers
unforgettable tours with experienced
tour leaders who are dedicated
to delivering a truly authentic
experience, with their vast collection
of unique personal stories that marry
perfectly with their knowledge
and passion. Treat yourself to
premium transportation in Mercedes
or Mercedes Vito mini-coaches
which have the flexibility to travel
through smaller villages which
larger buses simply cannot access,
and stay in hand-picked boutique
accommodation loaded with
character and local charm. Enrich
your experience abroad by delving
into some of the tastiest culinary
experiences available across Europe,
and enjoy access to exclusive
restaurants and experiences usually
unavailable to tour groups.
Whether you are a history buff,
a passionate foodie, or prefer to
kick back and relax while winding
through breathtaking scenery,
Back-Roads Tourings leisurely
paced itineraries allow you to choose
the way you travel. All itineraries are
designed to be combined with other

Beyond, Back Roads Touring www.letstravelmag.com 93


Back-Roads tours, allowing you to
fully immerse yourself in one region
before moving to the next.
Explore the stunning coastline of
the Adriatic Sea with the Northern
Italy, Slovenia and Croatia tour.
Begin your 7-day discovery in
the charming beauty of the world
famous floating island, Venice where
you can choose to float through
the canals in a traditional Gondola
or explore the city by foot, before
enjoying a unique, traditional
mask decorating experience. With
an abundance of cafes, stunning
architecture, and much more, Venice
is a city you simply cant miss.
As you continue on your tour,
enjoy a boat trip into the horizon
to visit picture perfect Lake Bled, and modern restaurants - youll wish This small island city of marble
Slovenia, with a local guide. A symbol you could stay forever! streets is set within medieval walls
of Slovenia dating back to 1004, Bled For those looking to explore The and filled with history. Continue on
Castle is perched on a steep cliff rising Dalmatian Coast in more depth, to marvel in the wild beauty of Krka
130 metres, overlooking Lake Bled. Back-Roads Tourings 8-day Croatia National Park with its abundance
Fall into pure bliss with truffle and & The Dalmatian Coast tour will have of flora and fauna and breathtaking
wine tasting in Opatija surrounded by you exploring the tranquil waters cascades of waterfalls. Indulge
the charming atmosphere of historic of World Heritage-listed parks and in a blissful afternoon of wine
coastal villages, and be amazed by ancient cities of South Croatia and tasting in a charming family-owned
World Heritage-listed Plitvice National beyond. winery with delicious tapas and
Park with its stunning crystalline This unique journey begins free time to explore. Next, prepare
lakes and waterfalls. Finish off your in gorgeous Trogir, Split, with a to be surrounded by vineyards,
Back-Roads tour experience in Split, walking tour of must-see sights such olive groves and quaint villages on
known for its buzzing city life with a as Diocletians Palace and the St. the island of Korcula, and enjoy
mix of ancient Roman monuments Domnius Cathedral and Bell Tower. two nights in enchanting local

94 www.letstravelmag.com Beyond, Back Roads Touring


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UP TO
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PCEORU P L E
WHEN YOU BOOK A TOUR COUPLE

START/END DESTINATION
START/END DESTINATION
LAKE BLED
ENGLAND ITALY
ISLE OF SKYE INVERNESSSLOVENIA
CAWDOR
CASTLE
START/END DESTINATION
FRANCE NEW
1 CAWDOR
2 LJUBLJANA
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WELLS
ENGLAND
MESTRE
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DARTMOOR WELLS NESS 1PLITVICE LAKES
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SALISBURY LONDON 1 BALLATER 1
SAINT-JEAN- 1 EPERNAY
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FALMOUTH 1 SALISBURY LONDON FORT WILLIAM 1 BALLATER PARIS 1
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ISLE OF IONA STIRLING

Corners of Cornwall Northern Italy, Slovenia & Croatia Champagne & Great War Cruise
EDINBURGH
EDINBURGH

Corners
CornersofofCornwall
Dartmoor | Falmouth | St Ives | Fowey
Cornwall A Scottish
Venice | Ljubljana Journey
| Opatija | Split
A Scottish Journey
A cruise from
Champagne EpernayWar
& Great to Paris
Champagne & Great War Cruise
Cruise
Dartmoor | Falmouth | St Ives | Fowey Inverness | Isle of Skye | Mull | Iona A cruise from Epernay to Paris
Dartmoor | Falmouth | St Ives | Fowey Sample specialities
Inverness | IsleofofCroatias
Skye | Mull Peninsula,
| Iona Join a guided
A cruise tour of the
from Epernay to Paris
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Seafood Restaurant Skye and the striking Isle of Mull Museum of the Great War
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Italian Indulgence Norwegian Fjords & Glaciers


ROME
Iceland Highlights
Authentic Local Experiences Iceland
Skogar GullfossHighlights
|Iceland Highlights
| Langjokull | Reykjavik Italian
Italian
Tuscany Indulgence
Indulgence
| Florence | The Lakes Norwegian
Norwegian
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Skogar | Gullfoss | Langjokull | Reykjavik Tuscany | Florence | The Lakes Grotli | Geiranger | Flam | Bergen
Embark on a Viking sushi boat tour
Take a train journey like no
Boutique Accommodation fromEmbark on a Vikingharbor
Stykkisholmur sushi boat
Embark on a Viking
tour
sushi and
boat feast
tour on
from Stykkisholmur harbor and feast on
Hunt for truffles in Piedmont
Hunt for truffles in Piedmont
Take a train journey like no other
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a train Flm like
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from Stykkisholmur and
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delicious fresh scallops and sea urchins on the Flm Railway
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CALL US 24/7 AND ASK ABOUT 0800 223 369 backroadstouring.com/2018earlybird


OURASKUSABOUTOUR
CALL US 24/7 AND
COMPETITIVE ASK ABOUT
AIRFARES! 1300
or see local677
your0800 405369
Travel223
Agent backroadstouring.com/2018earlybird
backroadstouring.com
COMPETITIVEAIRFARES!
OUR COMPETITIVE AIRFARES! or see your local
or see Travel
your Agent Agent
local Travel
*Terms and Conditions: 10% Early Bird saving is valid for tours listed in the new 2018 brochure when booked & paid in full by 31 August 2017. 10% offer is not combinable with any other
discount. Offer cannot be extended. Subject to availability. Per Couple Save Up To $1440 amount is based on Norway: Fjords & Glaciers departing in 2018. All pricing is inclusive of
*Terms and Conditions: 10% Early 10% off saving
Bird saving.isBack-Roads Touring
valid for tours listedreserves the 2018
in the new right brochure
to ammend or withdraw
when booked &this offer
paid at any
in full by time. For full
31 August terms
2017. 10%and conditions
offer see www.backroadstouring.com
is not combinable with any other discount. Offer cannot be extended. Subject
to availability. Per*Terms
Coupleand
SaveConditions:
Up To $1340$200
amountFlight Voucher
is based is valid
on Norway: per person
Fjords with
& Glaciers new Europe
departing in 2018.flights booked
All pricing through
is inclusive Back-Roads
of 10% Touring with
off saving. Back-Roads available
Touring airlines
reserves between
the right 1 October
to ammend this offer at any
or withdraw
time. For full terms30and
November
conditions2017 by calling Back-Roads Touring. Must be in direct conjunction with a new Europe 2018 tour booked between 1 October 30 November 2017. Can be
see www.backroadstouring.com
combined with the 5% Early Bird saving only, when booked & paid in full by 15th January 2018. $200 flight voucher is deemed invalid if the tour is cancelled by guest. Valid for
NZD bookings only. Must quote promo code at time of booking: BRTEB5%2018 for 5% Early Bird Saving & BRTFLIGHT for $200 flight voucher. Per Couple Save Up To $720
amount is based on Norway: Fjords & Glaciers departing in 2018. All pricing is inclusive of 5% off saving. Offer cannot be extended. Subject to availability. Additional booking
conditions apply. Back-Roads Touring reserves the right to amend or withdraw this offer at any time. For full terms and conditions see www.backroadstouring.com
suggested tours:
Northern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia
tour starts at NZ$4,179 per person,
twin share.

Croatia & The Dalmatian Coast tour


starts at NZ$3,894 per person, twin
share.

Croatian Sailing Tour starts at


NZ$3,856 per person, twin share

accommodation. The beauty of Before completing the tour in


Back-Roads tours is the perfect Dubrovnik, enjoy a guided tour from
balance of group activities and the Franciscan Monastery to the
free time, and on this particular Cathedral of Our Lady complimented
tour guests are invited to spend an by a final group dinner.
entire day and night as they wish on While in Croatia, treat yourself to
Korcula, enjoying the local beaches, a relaxing 8-day cruise to some of
cafes or taking a short taxi boat the countrys most remote islands on
to visit a nearby island such as Vis the Croatian Sailing Tour. Arguably
with its spectacular Stiniva Beach the most beautiful and diverse part
(voted the best beach in Europe), of Croatia, Central Dalmatia features
or the turquoise blue salt lakes in stunning islands, crystal blue water
Mijet National Park. Leave Korcula and a backdrop of rocky mountains
to discover the stunning waters and that appear as though they if they
historic cobbled streets in the Bay of have been painted into the sky.
Kotor, Montenegro. This unmissable Enjoy wine tasting, swimming,
destination is surrounded by the snorkelling and olive picking as you
beauty of medieval towns, cliffs and cruise the coastline, stopping at new
gulfs which will leave you lost for island destinations each day.
words. www.backroadstouring.com

96 www.letstravelmag.com Beyond, Back Roads Touring


BEST RIVER CRUISE BEST INTERNATIONAL BEST DOMESTIC
OPERATOR TOUR OPERATOR TOUR OPERATOR
2015-2017 2014-2015 2012-2016

Discover Europe your way


With up to 14 different Freedom of Choice inclusions to choose from on your Portugal & Spain with
Rhne Treasures cruise and tour, you can make Europe truly yours with APT. While we take care of all the
minor details, we leave the exciting choices up to you. Whether its cultural, gourmet, active or relaxing,
select your sightseeing experience and leave the rest to us. Thats Europe your way, with APT.

Portugal & Spain with Rhne Treasures Lisbon to Lyon


All-inclusive Luxury River Cruise and Land Journey
21 days from $14,790* pp twin share, Companion Fly Free*

Visit aptouring.co.nz/Europe2018 or call 0800 278 687 or see your local travel agent

*Conditions apply. SEE: aptouring.co.nz/SpecialDeals for full conditions. Prices are per person (pp), NZD, twin share and include port charges. Prices are correct as at 4 September 2017. Price based on EUPCRSP21: 25 May 2018 (Cat. E). ALL OFFERS: Limited suites and offers on set departures are available
and are subject to availability. DEPOSITS: A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 pp is due within 7 days of booking. Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd. ABN 44 004 684 619. APT6107
APTtouring Europe 2018
Experience centuries of history, legend and enchantment as you discover Europe
with APT. From cruising along tranquil estuaries and mighty rivers to traversing
storybook scenery by land and rail, weve left no course uncharted in creating our
range of unforgettable European journeys.

F
ine dining, unforgettable imperial Europe. Join us and
sightseeing, the highest embrace the legacy of the
levels of personal attention, mighty Habsburg Empire on an
stunning accommodation; weve imperial rail adventure aboard
considered and included every our privately chartered train, the
last detail. Evenif you have visited Majestic Imperator.
Europe before, new experiences Princess Heide von
and fresh perspectives beckon. Hohenzollern welcomes guests
Nothing quite compares to travelling on our Magnificent
travelling with APT. Europe river cruises into
On APT Collection cruises, her home, Namedy Castle.
an APT Cruise Director will be Be whisked away to the
on board at all times. On land, a magnificent City Palace in the
dedicated APT Tour Director is heart of Vienna for a Cocktail
with you every step of the way. Reception and private concert,
Local experts will also join you, featuring classical masterpieces
showcasing the history, culture by Strauss and Mozart, as
and traditions of their home well as a performance from
towns. members of the acclaimed
Whether travelling by land or Mozart Boys Choir.
river, you will delight in the array We understand that different
of sensational dining experiences travellers have different tastes.
that celebrate the local produce Thats why in many places,
and culinary traditions for which we help you personalise your
Europe is renowned. Additionally, a Youll enjoy a wealth of choice you European journey to suit you with a
range of special dining events will simply wont find with anyone else. varied selection of sightseeing and
enhance your insight into the region Youll determine where, when and dining experiences. Whats even
youre visiting. for how long youd like to go. Youll better is theyre all included. With
Whether its from the comfort of choose what to do each day and the freedom of flexibility, you can
a luxurious river ship, travelling in an tailor the culinary experiences youll select the experience that best suits
intimate small group or exploring by have. And, as always, youll select your interests.
coach or rail, APT delivers the best just how youd like to travel, with And with our various themes of:
of Europe. Each destination presents a choice of: Luxury River Cruising; Cultural Insight; Gourmet Delight;
a remarkable new encounter at Classic Journeys; Small Group Relax and Revive; and Active
every turn, as you explore a land Discoveries; Expedition Cruising; and Exploration, its even easier to select
that is steeped in legendary history Luxury Small Ship Cruising. the inclusion that ensures your
and cultural diversity. With an all-inclusive range of holiday is just that, yours.
In 2018, were making it easier for sightseeing, APT offers you the most Given the expertise, insight and
you to match your style of travel to immersive exploration of Europe. experience weve gained over more
your personal interests. We offer a Designed Exclusively for APT guests, than 20 years on Europes waterways,
number of ways to explore Europe, Signature Experiences are exclusive or theres no better company to take
all of which bear the award-winning unique events are designed to deepen travellers on a dream European cruise
hallmarks of travel the APT way. We your experience, taking you on an than APT. And given the abundance
dont believe in regimented daily inspiring journey beneath the surface of choice and the amazing value
itineraries or making your decisions of local history, culture and traditions. available now for a limited time
for you. We do organise every last Our Royal Signature Experiences, theres never been a better time to
detail, but in a manner that ensures meanwhile, offer you incomparable book.
you can experience Europe your way. once-in-a-lifetime moments of www.aptouring.co.nz

98 www.letstravelmag.com Beyond, Europe


Cruising
Aqua Expeditions 100
Carnival Cruise Line 102
Holland America Line 104
Windstar Cruises 106
American Queen Steamboat Company 108
Seabourn 112

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 99


Aqua Expeditions
Celebrating a decade of success in 2017, Aqua Expeditions has achieved global recognition
as a leader in luxury small ship river cruising. Architect-designed, custom-built 16-Suite Aria
Amazon, plys Perus legendary Amazon River, and their newest luxury vessel, the 20-suite Aqua
Mekong sails the historic Mekong River between timeless Cambodia and contemporary Vietnam.
Launching a series of special-edition departures and collaborations, Aqua Expeditions aim to
provide their guests with unique opportunities for interaction and inspiration.

Join Jean-Michel Cousteau onboard


for a series of special luxury
cruises featuring world-renowned
champion of ocean conservation
and environmental protection. Enjoy
exclusive access to the explorer,
filmmaker and educator. Learn about
his extensive knowledge regarding
projects aimed at environmental
protection, listen to his stories and
watch his films.
The Aqua Mekong is host to
WWF Experts for a Nature and
Conservation focused departure.
Members of WWF, together with
Conservation Director for the
WWFs Greater Mekong Programme
Stuart Chapman, and professor,
author, biologist and birder,
Gordon Orians, will be on board for
departures October 20-27, 2017.

100 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Aqua Expeditions


guests the rare chance to learn and
practice new skills as they explore
photographic opportunities in the
historically and culturally rich area of
Southeast Asia.
David Thompson, consulting
chef on the Aqua Mekong, is an
internationally-acclaimed chef and
owner of award-winning restaurants
in Sydney, Perth, Bangkok,
Singapore and London. On the other
side of the globe, another culinary
master is at work, consulting chef
Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, owner of
Limas Malabar and infamous for
his authentic and unique cuisine
using creations made from local
plants, vegetables, fruits and meats
indigenous to the Peruvian Amazon.
Limited-edition 2017 and 2018
chef-hosted departures will offer an
abundance of unique opportunities
for guests aboard the Aqua
Mekong and Aria Amazon including
customised market tours, master
cooking class, kitchen tour hosted
by the chefs walking you through
their secrets of recipe planning,
preparation and execution, meet
and converse with them one on one
about their extraordinary vision for
culinary creativity.
Join Francesco Galli Zugaro,
Founder and CEO of Aqua
Expeditions on board the Aria
Amazon and Aqua Mekong on
selected departures in 2017 and
2018. Once youve met him, youll
understand what makes these
Brand Ambassador for Lululemon departures so special. Francesco
and founder of LEVEL fitness, Galli Zugaro will share his creative
Alex Salihin, will be offering vision for launching Aqua
private training sessions, yoga and Expeditions, as you explore his
meditation classes on board the favourite excursions together.
Aqua Mekong in December 2017. Aqua Expeditions offer the
This unique collaboration offers ultimate in luxury river cruising
guests an exclusive opportunity to with their custom designed suites;
experience professionally-delivered, 5-star guest service with a 1:1 staff to
personalised fitness and wellness guest ratio offering a personalised
instruction surrounded by the service 24-7; small group excursions;
beautiful countryside of Cambodia, gastronomic journeys with
to return home feeling energised, chef-guided trips to local markets,
relaxed and prepared to tackle cooking classes and 5-star cuisine
lifes challenges with a whole new which incorporate local fresh
outlook. produce and regional specialities.
Also in December 2017, Francisco To top it off, guests can indulge
Marin, a talented fine art and with a treatment at the on-board
architectural photographer and spa or simply enjoy drifting past the
videographer shares his talents riverside views whilst taking a dip in
on board the Aqua Mekong. This the infinity pool.
very special departure offers www.aquaexpeditions.com

Cruising, Aqua Expeditions www.letstravelmag.com 101


Carnival Cruise Line
Your Kind of Fun

This award-winning cruise line are


all about fun holidays at sea and
ashore! Every cruise features day
and nighttime entertainment like
stage shows, musical performances,
deck parties, casinos and more. (Like
waterslides!) They invite guests to
come as they are fun for all, all for
fun is their mottoand they make
everyone feel right at home with
comfy staterooms, attentive service,
casual and elegant dining, plus a
variety of bars and gathering places
indoors and out.
24 ships operate 3- to 16-day
voyages, departing from every
coast in the U.S. While theyre best
known for Caribbean cruises, they
sail to other amazing destinations
like Mexico, Alaska, The Bahamas,
Cuba, Hawaii and the Mediterranean
as well.

102 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Carnival Cruise Line


Cuban-themed bar and pool.
Plus a variety of unique dining
and bar concepts and spectacular
outdoor spaces found only on
Carnival Horizon will be offered and
revealed in the near future!
For the ships inaugural season,
debuting in April 2018, Carnival
Cruise Line has assembled four
exciting itineraries featuring
breathtaking destinations throughout
the Mediterranean.
Carnival Horizon is scheduled to
make its maiden voyage April 2, 2018,
with a 13-day Mediterranean voyage
operating round-trip from Barcelona
and calling at Livorno, Rome
(Civitavecchia) and Naples (Capri and
Pompeii), Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia;
Corfu, Greece; Messina (Sicily), Italy;
Valletta, Malta; and Cagliari (Sardinia),
Italy the first of four round-trip
departures from this Spanish port.
Carnival Horizon will also operate
two seven-day cruises departing April
15 and 22, 2018, and featuring Cagliari
(Sardinia), Naples (Capri and Pompeii),
Rome (Civitavecchia), Livorno and
Marseilles, and a 10-day voyage
departing April 29, 2018, with stops at
Livorno, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples
(Capri and Pompeii), Dubrovnik, Corfu
and Messina (Sicily).
A 14-day transatlantic crossing
will reposition the ship to the U.S.
departing Barcelona May 9 and
arriving in New York on May 23,
2018. Five stunning European and
Canadian ports will be featured:
Founded in 1972, Carnival Cruise cabins offering exclusive privileges Malaga, Spain; Gibraltar; Lisbon,
Line The Worlds Most Popular at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, Portugal; and Vigo, Spain Carnivals
Cruise Line - carries millions of extra-roomy staterooms in Family first visit to the centuries-old seaside
passengers every year. Their newest Harbour, and tropically inspired town along with a stop at Halifax,
ship, Carnival Vista, debuted in 2016 Havana staterooms and suites Nova Scotia, Canada.
while Carnival Horizon is scheduled with exclusive daytime access to a www.carnival.com
to enter service in 2018 and a third
133,500-ton Vista-class ship set to
debut in 2019.
Currently under construction in
Italy, Carnival Horizon will offer many
of the hugely popular indoor and
outdoor dining, bar, entertainment
and activity options that debuted
on Carnival Vista. Among those is a
groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky
attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX
Theatre and a massive WaterWorks
aqua park featuring a water tube
slide called Kaleid-o-slide.
A wide range of accommodations
will also be offered, including spa

Cruising, Carnival Cruise Line www.letstravelmag.com 103


Holland America Line
Share the gift of cruising

What could make the holidays


more relaxing, festive and fun than
spending them with the people
you love on a Holland America Line
cruise! Whether you love the warm,
powdery beaches of the Caribbean,
Mexicos ancient Mayan ruins, a
Panama Canal transit or an epic
voyage in the Far East, Australia &
the South Pacific or South America
& Antarctica, Holland America Lines
holiday cruises are sure to please.
This year, 13 ships will be sailing 17
fascinating 7- to 22-day itineraries,
so why not relax and enjoy the
holidays in fine stylewithout lifting
a finger! Holland America Line will
take care of everything while you
have the time of your life!
Relax your way through the
holidays on a 17-night, Auckland to
Auckland cruise onboard the elegant
ms Maasdam.

104 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Holland America Line


With only 1,250 guests, you and cooking class at the Culinary Arts Or you can simply bond with the
your loved ones can rejuvenate, Centre. Learn more about the region people you love.
reconnect and rejoice as you youre visiting from local experts. For more than 140 years, Holland
celebrate your most fabulous holiday Get pro tips for editing your holiday America Line has been a recognised
ever. Imagine leaving the cooking, travel photos and videos at a Digital leader in cruising, taking guests
cleaning, decorating and hosting Workshop powered by Windows. to exotic destinations around the
guests to Holland America Line,
while you have the time of your life,
both on board and ashore, without
having to take an international flight!
After each memorable day in port,
youll return to the elegant comfort of
ms Maasdam, for the ultimate holiday
celebration. Youll dine on traditional
delicacies with all the trimmings
and enjoy special holiday-themed
dinners in the ships vast selection
of restaurants. There will be caroling
and festive sing-alongs, holiday crafts
and a visit from Santa Claus to delight
the kids, as well as a very special
performance by the international crew
choir. The celebratory dcor, including
massed poinsettias, holiday wreaths,
and gingerbread villages, will add to
the magic, culminating in a Christmas
tree lighting ceremony. A Catholic
priest and Protestant minister will be
on hand to lead religious services for
guests to celebrate according to their
faith tradition.
New Years Eve will feature a
gala party on Maasdams Lido Deck,
complete with a champagne toast
and the ceremonial lowering of the
ball as the clock strikes midnight.
What better way to greet the New
Year than with your loved ones
under a canopy of stars!
In addition to celebrating, youll
find theres a wide array of activities
to explore onboard. You can take a

world on a cruise experience that is


modern, fresh and appealing in
an ambiance that is timeless and
refined. If you are looking for one of
the most spacious and comfortable
ships at sea, award-winning service,
elegant dining, extensive activities
and enrichment programmes, youve
come to the right place. The line are
committed to their mission: Through
excellence, we create once-in-a-
lifetime experiences, every time.
For more information on this
17-night cruise, departing 19
December 2017, and other Holland
America Line voyages, please
contact your Travel Agent.
www.hollandamerica.com

Cruising, Holland America Line www.letstravelmag.com 105


Windstar Cruises
180 degrees from ordinary

A voyage on Windstar feels like


you are on a private yacht where
you mingle wth a select group of
148 to 310 pampered friends.You
will enjoy lavish, newly redesigned
staterooms and suites, savour
gourmet cuisine with open-seat
dining and get closer to the worlds
most engaging places.
Beautiful contemporary designs
with a warm welcoming vibe invite
guests to leave their coat and tie at
home.Always elegant, never stuffy.
Enjoy being pampered with
personalised service by a crew who
quickly learn your name and delights
in surprising you with thoughtful
gestures.
Windstar gets their guests closer
to the world they want to see. They
visit places larger ships cant go and
enjoy a more authentic on-shore
experience with small group
excursions.
Guests are welcome to visit the
Captain on the Open Bridge, dine
under the stars and listen to the
swell of music as your beautiful
yacht leaves port.On a Windstar
yacht, magical moments are
everywhereand in endless supply.

106 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Windstar Cruises


Windstar Cruises small ships are Wind Surf: Travel the world spending more
exactly the right sizelarge enough The worlds largest sailing time sampling exotic cuisines,
to pamper and entertain guests, yet yacht,Wind Surfsails with just immersing yourself in new cultures,
small enough to tuck into the tiny 310 pampered guests in 154 total and discovering perspectives that
harbours and hidden coves other staterooms. 31 Ocean View suites open your heart and return home
larger ships cant reach. With only with his and her bathrooms, 2 Bridge with a soul fulfilled.
148 to 310 guests sailing on board, Suites and 123 deluxe oceanview Windstar is proud to have been
each moment is all about the guest staterooms. recognised with top honours from
experience, yours to enjoy, yours to Star Collector Voyages combine some of the most respected leaders
explore. some of their most popular in our industry, and each year we
itineraries for a more in-depth bring home more of these prestigious
Star Pride: exploration of each region. Featuring awards. So take it from the experts
The first of Windstars all-suite longer voyages of 14+ days and few it doesnt get any better than this.
power yachts,Star Pridefollows repeated ports, take advantage of Windstar. Extraordinary.
suit of the sailing yachtsproviding your time and unpack only once. www.windstarcruises.com
ample deck space but common
areas that promote Windstars
intimate, private yacht experience.
At most 212 pampered guests enjoy
106 suites, including two deluxe
Owners Suites, four beautiful Classic
Suites, and 100 Balcony and Ocean
View suites.

Star Breeze:
Star Breezemotorised yacht is
elegant, intimate and magical
enough to be called Windstar. At
most 212 pampered guests enjoy 106
suites, including two deluxe Owners
Suites, four beautiful Classic Suites
and 100 Balcony and Ocean View
suites.

Star Legend:
What else can be said about
Windstars legendary all-suite
motorised yachts? Star
Legendfollows her sister all-suite
yachts in class and in style. 212
pampered guests enjoy 106 suites,
including two deluxe Owners Suites,
four beautiful Classic Suites and 100
Balcony and Ocean View suites.

Wind Spirit:
Wind Spiritsails with just 148
pampered guests in 74 total
staterooms. 73 deluxe, Ocean View
staterooms and 1 deluxe Owners
Suite with queen beds and a dining/
sitting area.

Wind Star:
Her namsake ship,Wind Staralso
sails with just 148 pampered guests
in 74 total staterooms: 73 deluxe,
Ocean View staterooms and 1 deluxe
Owners Suite with queen beds and
a dining/sitting area.

Cruising, Windstar Cruises www.letstravelmag.com 107


American Queen Steamboat Company
Indulge in luxury on the American Duchess

108 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, American Queen Steamboat Company


TheAmerican Duchessis the
first all-suite paddlewheeler on
U.S. rivers, a floating, intimate
masterpiece that can carry up to 166
guests through Americas heartland.
The paddlewheeler, created
from a 1995 hull, was completely
reconstructed to become one of
the most luxurious river cruising
vessels in the country, featuring
single-seating main dining and
entertainment venues, soaring
ceilings, and all of the features
guests have come to expect on
other American Queen Steamboat
Company cruises.
Her suites range from 180 sq.ft
to 550 sq.ft., allowing guests
to stay in some of the largest
accommodations on the rivers.
Unique to theAmerican Duchessare
her spacious Loft Suites, that
measure at 550 sq.ft..

Cruising, American Queen Steamboat Company www.letstravelmag.com 109


The lower level features a full Club and Terrace, which can host accommodations, vaulted ceilings,
bathroom, small dining area, a over 80 guests who wish to dine at fine dining options, beautiful decks
beautiful lounge section furnished their own pace. for strolling and luxury amenities.
with a queen sofa-bed and desk Combining the best of the old Embark in one of the river cruise
area, along with sliding doors to and the new, this beautiful lady ships airy suites, including the Loft
access a private balcony. The loft of the river epitomises the grace Suites that feature two stories of
area upstairs is a tranquil retreat and grandeur that has madeRiver pure luxury: a full bathroom, small
with its semi-private bedroom, a full Cruisinga cherished American dining area, beautiful lounge with
bathroom and gracious closet space. tradition for more than two a queen sofa-bed and desk area,
Featuring a single-seating centuries. One voyage and youll see a private balcony and an upstairs
schedule in the beautiful Grand why. loft area. Stop by the Grand Dining
Dining Room, dining onboard is an Spacious luxury awaits Room or The River Club & Terrace
experience. Enjoy 5-star cuisine aboard the floating masterpiece, for delicious and fresh fine dining
that blends local flavours and fine theAmerican Duchess. As the first options, and enjoy Broadway
culinary traditions. A more casual all-suite paddlewheeler in the US, caliber entertainment each night.
atmosphere is offered at The River the riverboat offers guests large Let our courteous staff and luxury

110 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, American Queen Steamboat Company


furnishings welcome you aboard each evening and spotlight guest tapestry that blankets this land have
theAmerican Duchess. performances been in the making for countless
American Queen Steamboat Daily lectures by the Riverlorian, generations. Regardless of which
Company is strongly committed to our resident history and culture riverboat captures your imagination
preserving the marine environment expert and regardless of which region
and continually strives to do our Gracious service from a friendly, wins your heart, a vacation aboard
part in keeping Americas waterways all-American staff the American Queen, American
clean. The Passenger Vessel Association Empress or American Duchess is
recognizes American Queen one unlike any other.
Distinctions: Steamboat Company as a member Each voyage offers unique
First all-suite U.S. Paddlewheeler of its Green WATERS Program perspectives on Americas history,
Private Veranda Suites to Loft and for the vessels dedication and culture and landscape that you
Owners Suites from 240 to 550 commitment to a cleaner, greener cant get anywhere else: up-close,
sq.ft. marine environment. in-depth and unforgettable.
Included boutique hotel stay Natures beauty and the historical americanqueensteamboatcompany.com
before most voyages (includes
breakfast, taxes, porterage and
vessel transfer)
Single-seating dining and
entertainment venues
Regionally inspired, epicurean
cuisine tailored from the finest,
local ingredients
Complimentary wine and beer
with dinner
Complimentary cappuccino,
espresso, bottled water and soft
drinks throughout your voyage
Included shore excursions in
every port of call
Our own dedicated fleet of deluxe
motorcoaches
Broadway-caliber entertainment

Cruising, American Queen Steamboat Company www.letstravelmag.com 111


Sailing Away for Christmas
- Antarctica or The South Pacific
If you are thinking you would like to indulge yourself with a real Christmas treat, it is not too
late to consider the ultra-luxury of the beautiful Seabourn Encore, setting sail from Auckland
on the 20th Dec 2017 on a 16-day Christmas cruise around the South Pacific Islands.

This is not just another South Island, Fiji and even fire walking. This With the newest ultra-luxury fleet
Pacific cruise. Seabourn is the only could be a Christmas to remember! in the industry, Seabourns intimate
ultra-luxury cruise line to offer an For those new to cruise, if you like ships offer key elements that set the
Auckland to Auckland sailing during luxury resorts, travelling well and line apart - spacious, thoughtfully
her down-under season. Seabourns exploring fascinating destinations, appointed suites, many with
newest ship Seabourn Encore will sail then you should consider Seabourn. verandas, superb dining in a choice of
to the islands where island time is the This is a boutique and luxury venues, The Grill by Thomas Keller
local pace - relaxed, uncomplicated travel product, not a regular cruise world renowned Michelin star chef
and sun-soaked. Enjoy excursions offering. Their focus is bespoke, of French Laundry fame, evening
with some joie de vie in French New personal and on providing great experiences in partnership with
Caledonia, orchid gardens, jungle experiences for their guests famous musical lyricist Sir Tim Rice,
walks, catamaran rides out to Yanuca onboard, and at the destination. open bars throughout the ship; fine

112 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Seabourn


wines poured at lunch and dinner, announced a range of new Partner experiences with Ventures by
a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that Tours at World Heritage Sites. The Seabourn - exciting, adventurous
makes guests feel right at home, and Seabourn World Heritage Tours, and activities that are escorted by
award-winning service where tipping Seabourn Discovery Tours boast skilled and knowledgeable guides.
is not required, nor expected. privileged access to restricted areas and Increasingly Seabourn guests
Seabourn ships travel the globe to sequestered collections, explorations relish the opportunity to engage
many of the worlds most desirable of culture, history and science with with destinations in an interactive,
destinations, including marquee cities, custom interpretation by special experiential way. Ventures by Seabourn
UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and authorised experts ensuring remarkable is an optional for-charge excursion
lesser-known ports and hideaways. and extraordinary travel experiences. program on many itineraries, including
Seabourn is proud of their exclusive Active travellers can choose to Alaska, Antarctica, Europe, Australia
partnership with UNESCO and has enhance and extend their destination and Southeast Asia.

Cruising, Seabourn www.letstravelmag.com 113


For Alaska in 2018, a programme
of 11,12 and 14 night cruises highlight
the grandeur of the destination,
exciting adventures, towns, cities
and small native communities,
scenic bays and byways, including
Glacier Bay a designated UNESCO
World Heritage site.
The Ultimate Antarctica &
Patagonia 21 & 24 night cruises
are also unique to Seabourn. A full
6 day expedition of the Antarctic
Peninsula, complete with ice
landings, zodiacs, expert expedition
team, complimentary parkas and
gumboots, is bookended by two
great cities of Buenos Aires and
Valparaiso, and the flora, fauna and
mountainous regions of Patagonia.
Northern European cruises
have been expanded in 2018 to
include incredible itineraries for
Scandinavia, the Baltics and Iceland.
They make the most of the
Scandinavian summer, cruising via
quiet fjords, quaint villages and
lesser-known ports of call. Itineraries
include the Baltic with 3 night stays
in St Petersburg, cruises up the
Norwegian coast to the Arctic Circle,
and Iceland is a show-stopper with
multiple ports of call to really see
this island country.
A warm welcome awaits you
If a luxury Christmas holiday is not the longer Seabourn Extended wherever you wish to join a
in the diary for you this year, then Explorations, ensure opportunities Seabourn ship. Relax and enjoy
Seabourns global cruise program to experience the world from the the extraordinary World of
for 2018-2019, will be tempting. luxurious base that is your Seabourn Seabourn.
Regionally focused itineraries, and ship. www.seabourn.com

114 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Seabourn


Christmas South Pacific Isles
16 nights Auckland Return
Seabourn Encore
20 Dec 2017
from A$9,499pp share twin

SEABOURN Ultimate Alaska & Inside Passage


12 nights Vancouver Return
Seabourn Sojourn
A WORLD OF EXTRAORDINARY PLACES 04 June & 25 Sep 2018
from A$8,499pp share twin
Each Seabourn cruise is a hand-picked selection
of must-see ports and hidden gems.
From the high Arctic to the Antarctic continent,
and from Southeast Asia to Europe and the Greek Ultimate Scandinavia
Isles, our intimate ships, because of their size can 14 nights Copenhagen to Dover
cruise to the worlds most desirable destinations on Seabourn Ovation
all seven continents, sailing to the heart of marquee 01 Sep 2018
cities and small, picturesque harbours, including from A$12,499pp share twin
many UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Explore extraordinary places in a
personal and meaningful way. Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia
21 nights Buenos Aires to Valparaiso
Seabourn Quest
29 Nov 2017, 13 Jan & 03 Feb 2018
from A$17,799pp share twin

Contact Cruise World on 0800 500 732 email info@cruiseworld.co.nz


visit www.cruiseworld.co.nz or see your travel agent
Terms & Conditions: From fare quoted is AUD, per person share twin/double, cruise only, including port charges and taxes, based on A ocean view suite for Alaska, and Antarctica cruises, V1 veranda suite for
Scandinavia and Christmas cruises. Fares are based on current promotional fares and subject to availability and change without notice. Special conditions apply. Refer current Seabourn brochure for conditions
of carriage. See your travel agent, or call Seabourn on 09 9174440, 0800 500 732 or visit www.cruiseworld.co.nz.
Expert Tips for a Comfortable Cruise
Cruising is becoming an increasingly popular activity, with more people set to go on a cruise
this year than ever before. However, cruising has its own unique set of travel challenges,
explains Allianz Worldwide Partners New Zealands Chief Sales Officer, Will Ashcroft.

1 Cancellation of Cruise:
A typhoon is about to hit and
severe weather warnings have been
3 Miss the Boat:
Youre out enjoying a day trip
on shore but something goes wrong
each item is specified in your travel
insurance policy and that the value
specified matches the current
issued, forcing your cruise ship to and you dont manage to make market value of the item. You should
delay and potentially cancel the it back in time before the cruise also take advantage of the room
upcoming trip the one youre departs. safe.
already en-route for. What to do: If the fault is
What to do: This will depend on
your individual circumstances and
your specific travel insurance policy.
yours, and not as a result of any
special, unique or unexpected
circumstances, then it is up to you to
5 Illness at Sea:
Theres nothing worse than
being sick on a holiday, let alone
Ashcroft recommends that you make the necessary arrangements to being sick on a boat and stuck in the
familiarise yourself with your policy get to the next port of call and rejoin middle of the ocean.
wording and contact your travel the cruise. What to do: If you have a minor
insurer to establish how your travel If, on the other hand, there was ailment affecting you, such as sea
insurance policy will respond to the a significant factor that resulted in sickness, food poisoning, a general
incident. you missing the boat, such as an cold or flu, or you have fallen and
If youre already waiting to emergency causing you to receive injured yourself, make a request to
board the cruise at the departure medical treatment, or if your bag see the on-board doctor. They may
point, you may be able to claim and passport were stolen meaning be able to treat you immediately.
for additional accommodation or you are unable to pass through If your symptoms are more
flight changes resulting from the customs, you may be eligible for serious, and you require hospital
interruption to your plans and a cover from your travel insurance or specialist treatment back on
refund on your cruise if applicable. provider. land, your travel insurance provider
In this instance, your policy might arrange this through their

2 Lost Suitcase:
You have flown to your cruise
departure point, but your suitcase
may cover your transport to
the boat, or the next port,
whichever is determined to be
emergency assistance team and
in consultation with the doctors
on board, even going as far as to
goes missing during the journey. It the most appropriate, as well as re-connect you with the cruise once
is going to take a few days for your accommodation if there is an youre well enough and have been
airline to return your bag, leaving overnight delay. accepted back on board by the
you without the essentials for your Captain.
cruise.
What to do: A travel insurance
policy will usually include a luggage
4 Theft on Board:
On the rare occasion that
something is stolen from you on
Depending on the cost of your
medical illness, your insurer might
decide to pay for your medical
and personal effects benefit which board your cruise ship, the fact treatment directly with the provider.
will allow you to buy emergency that youre at sea, possibly in If not, keep a record of your medical
supplies, such as toiletries and international waters, can pose a reports and receipts so that these
clothing. However, the amount you problem. can be used in the event that you
are covered for depends on your What to do: You will need need to make a claim on your return
excess, the level of cover available to report the theft to a suitable home.
under the benefit, the value of the authority on board the ship, who Travelling can exacerbate
possessions and how long the bag is will provide you with written pre-existing conditions, so make
missing. documentation detailing the incident sure youre honest and thorough
If your luggage is not found and a so that you have evidence in order when declaring these at the time of
claim is made for lost baggage, the to make a claim. purchasing travel insurance to ensure
covered costs of the items already If youre travelling with expensive theres no dispute or added stress
purchased to buy emergency items like laptops, cameras, heirloom in the event that you might need
supplies will be deducted from the jewellery or other costly personal emergency assistance.
total luggage amount payable. possessions, you will need to ensure

116 www.letstravelmag.com Cruising, Cruise Tips


Business Section
Como Hotels & Resorts 118
Silk Air 126
American Airlines 130
Hong Kong Airlines 132
China Airlines 134
Where in the World 136

Australia, Hamilton Island www.letstravelmag.com 117

New Caledonia
COMO Hotels and Resorts
COMO Hotels and Resorts develops and manages hand-picked, individually curated properties
at the very top of the luxury market, founded 26 years ago by Christina Ong. Accurate and
intuitive service, sympathetic and elegant design befitting each location, and outstanding
cuisine are hallmarks of the COMO experience.

Como Point Yamu, Thailand

Each hotel has been designed by The Halkin, London, three COMO Every hotel features a COMO
some of the worlds leading talent, Metropolitans in London, Bangkok Shambhala wellness retreat
such as Paola Navone and Koichiro and Miami, lauded Island Resorts, and COMO Shambhala cuisine,
Ikebuchi. including COMO Parrot Cay in the promoting a healthy way of living,
The portfolio of 13 hotels and Turks and Caicos, COMO Cocoa learning and eating well. Facilities are
resorts including COMO The Island and COMO Maalifushi in state-of-the-art and usually include
Treasury in Perth - ranges from the Maldives, COMO Point Yamu yoga rooms, Pilates equipment,
the pinnacle of Wellness Resorts, in Phuket and three COMO Uma hydrotherapy and Ayurveda.
COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, Adventure Retreats in Bali and Here are just three of their luxury
to Urban Hotels including COMO Bhutan. resorts around the globe.

118 www.letstravelmag.com Business, COMO Hotels and Resorts


1
Como Point Yamu,
Thailand:
COMO Point Yamu features 79 guest
rooms and suites and 27 private pool
villas. All rooms, suites and villas
at Point Yamu offer views of the
sparkling waters of Phang Nga Bay.
Point Yamu has two dining
options: The Italian restaurant,
La Sirena, features a terrace with
sweeping views over the bay as
well as COMO Shambhala Cuisine.
Nahmyaa offers dishes inspired by
Thai street food. In keeping with
COMOs focus on wellbeing, COMO
Shambhala Retreat offers holistic,
Asian-inspired therapies in its eight
treatment rooms.
Point Yamus location, a peninsula
on the coast of Phuket, gives
guests the chance to experience
the lesser-known side of the island.
Htel du Marc
Activities and excursions include
private boat trips from Marina Pier
to the stunning nearby beaches and
islands. Cultural activities such as
Thai cooking classes and island tours
of Phuket and its old town are also
available to Point Yamu guests.

Accommodation: (partial)
12 Bay Rooms (45sq.m/484sq.ft):
The twelve Bay Rooms maximise
natural light, which floods in from
the Andaman Sea or from the
Capes green hinterland.

Business, COMO Hotels and Resorts www.letstravelmag.com 119


Each room has a king or twin bed
draped in crisp white Egyptian
cotton linen
15 Verandah Rooms
(60sq.m/646sq.ft): The Verandah
Rooms command either sea
or Cape views. They are full of
sun and sea breezes with large
floor-to-ceiling windows that
open onto a private verandah and
Phang Nga Bay beyond
2 Verandah Rooms with Pool
(97sq.m/1,044sq.ft): The Verandah
Rooms with Pool offer all the
outside-in space and easygoing
feel of their ocean-facing
Verandah Rooms with the added
benefit of their own private pool
and deck
21 Bay Suites (100sq.m/1,076sq.
ft): The Bay Suites have an indoor
dining table with two chairs,
a guest bathroom, separate
living room and bedrooms with
balconies overlooking both Phang
Nga and Yamu Bay
7 Verandah Suites
(120sq.m/1,292sq.ft): The
Verandah Suites have a large
balcony with a queen daybed and
outdoor table. Inside, the extra
Como Point Yamu, Thailand
space allows for indoor dining for
four, and a guest powder room

2
Como The Treasury, Perth, feature custom-made beds
Restaurants and Bars: Australia: dressed in Egyptian cotton
La Sirena is open for breakfast, COMO The Treasury, located at the 18 Heritage Rooms (average size:
lunch and dinner and benefits heart of Perths central business 60sq.m): Oversized windows
from views of aquamarine Phang district, is one of Western Australias soak these generous rooms in an
Nga Bay. The restaurant offers most eminent new hotels. Set abundance of natural light, with
a selection of simple, wood- red within the citys renowned State views of either Cathedral Square,
Italian cuisine including wood Buildingsa city landmark used Stirling Gardens or the city
baked pizza, seafood and a range variously for over 100 years as a 10 Heritage Balcony Rooms
of fresh and inventive salads seat of government, post office and (average size: 55sq.m plus
Open for lunch and dinner, treasurythe property has been balcony): These east-facing rooms
Nahmyaas cuisine is inspired by meticulously restored by Kerry Hill feature French doors leading to
Thai street cooking. Snacks might Architects to reflect its heritage. It either Juliet or walk-out balconies
include fish cakes and satays, now features COMOs trademark overlooking Cathedral Square. Two
while more substantial offerings imprint, which is entirely modern. of these rooms have replaces
include noodle soups, curries and This sanctuary from urban bustle is 6 Treasury Rooms (average size:
stir-fried dishes. Tastes combine complemented by COMO Shambhala 75sq.m): These spacious rooms
the hot, salty, sweet and sour Urban Escape, which offers yoga overlook Cathedral Square,
notes that define this distinct and Asian-inspired therapies. Stirling Gardens or the city. A
culinary tradition number of rooms offer views of
Lobby Lounge - open from 11am Accommodation: the Swan River, and each one has
until 8pm, serving refreshments The hotel occupies three historic a generous sitting area that can
and light snacks buildings, now interconnected, accommodate either an additional
Aqua Bar - open from 9am until featuring 48 rooms and suites. bed or a cot
midnight, Aqua Bar offers an 6 City Rooms (average size: 2 Treasury Balcony Rooms
inventive selection of cocktails and 55sq.m): These airy, peaceful (average size: 70sq.m plus
serves light snacks rooms overlook Perths cityscape balcony): These spacious corner
www.comohotels.com/pointyamu or The Treasury courtyard and rooms feature five sets of French

120 www.letstravelmag.com Business, COMO Hotels and Resorts


doors opening onto north and
east facing balconies. These
rooms have generous sitting
areas and oversized ensuite
bathrooms
3 Studio Suites (average size:
80sq.m): With an abundance of
space, these rooms give you the
feeling of a home away from
home. Each room has unique
features and styling, such as
truss ceilings, dormer windows
and wood detailing. Two of these
rooms have Swan River views
2 Treasury Suites (average
size: 80sq.m): These two
suites offer a residential feel
within our contemporary hotel.

Business, COMO Hotels and Resorts www.letstravelmag.com 121


Large light-filled bedrooms are
complemented by a separate
sitting room. Features vary
between the two suites: there is a
replace in one and a truss ceiling
in the other
1 COMO Suite (120sq.m): The
COMO Suite represents the
ultimate in luxury accommodation.
Overlooking St Georges Terrace
and Stirling Gardens, this vast
space includes a living area
separate from the bedroom
ideal for entertaining. The stylish
bedroom and sitting room offer
views of the Swan River

Restaurants & Bars:


Wild Flower - set within a rooftop
area, Wild Flower occupies an
elegant, contemporary space on
the hotels fourth floor. Against
a backdrop of both city and the
Swan River, the restaurant serves
a farmer-and forager-driven menu
of dishes revolving around the
indigenous six seasons
Post is a modern Australian
neo-bistro serving breakfast,
lunch and dinner. Menus are
constantly evolving, guided by
the seasons bounty and the
best Western Australian produce
available. The COMO Shambhala
Cuisine menu provides lighter,
healthful options
The Treasury Lounge and Bar -
spread over three snug, stylish
rooms with high ceilings and
timber shuttered windows, The
Treasury Lounge and Bar is open
daily from 11am until late. On
Saturdays and Sundays, afternoon
tea is served between 2pm and
5pm
COMO Shambhala Menu - this
healthy cuisine includes food rich
in living enzymes, vitamins and

3
minerals, raw food menu items Como Uma Ubud, Bali, those seeking greater health through
and predominantly vegetarian Indonesia: yoga and Asian-inspired therapies.
selections. The dishes are available COMO Uma Ubud is an intimate Cuisine focuses on fresh ingredients
at Post and from in-room dining resort, encircled by emerald forests, reflecting Balis rich gourmet
Private Dining - for ultimate rice paddies and rivers. To this, the heritage.
intimacy when dining with friends, resort provides intelligent access to
family or colleagues, COMO The the local area, with mountain biking, Accommodation:
Treasury offers a number of rafting and guided walks. Rooms 4 Ubud Rooms (55sq.m/592sq.ft).
options. Post has two secluded and suites are pared-back, with large Located on the upper floor, the four
rooms seating eight and 12, while windows and carved panels that light and airy Ubud Rooms feature
Wild Flower has a larger space open up to incorporate the view, their own conservatories, each with
seating up to 20 letting light flood the interiors. COMO a relaxing daybed and seating area
www.comohotels.com/thetreasury Shambhala Retreat is designed for beneath a thatched roof.

122 www.letstravelmag.com Business, COMO Hotels and Resorts


pool with a sprawling sundeck
and spectacular views across the
Balinese jungle or Tjampuhan
Valley. The bedroom features
a king-size bed draped in crisp
white linens. The bathroom has
double vanity units, an oversized
shower and a freestanding
bathtub
1 COMO Villa (95sq.m/1,023sq.
ft): The COMO Villa has a
separate bedroom, sitting area
and bathroom as well as private
treatment area, spacious sundeck
and infinity pool overlooking the
Tjampuhan Valley and the River
Oos. The bedroom features a
comfortable four-poster bed and
an en suite open-air bathroom

Restaurants & Bars:


Uma Cucina - their Italian-
inspired restaurant and lounge
bar enjoys a street-side setting
Inside, bedrooms have hand-carved feature a sundeck with outdoor at the front of COMO Uma Ubud.
king-size beds draped in fresh white furniture and garden views, as Uma Cucina sources the freshest
linens, and a desk area. Bathrooms well as a plunge pool. Generous ingredients, serving food for
offer oversized baths and separate bathrooms have separate showers lunch and dinner, with live music
showers and bathtubs on Saturdays and brunch every
18 Terrace Rooms (45sq.m/484sq. 1 Uma Villa (94sq m/ 1,012sq ft): Sunday
ft): The 18 Terrace Rooms have This spacious villa has a sitting Kemiri Restaurant showcases the
large French doors opening onto and dining room as well as a various cooking techniques of
a private terrace overlooking our comfortable bedroom featuring Southeast Asia, surrounded by
gardens, while windows, covered a four-poster bed. The private tropical gardens in the heart of
with carved wood panels, open terrace also has a sitting area, COMO Uma Ubud
to let in the sights and scents of with daybeds and sweeping Uma Bar - this is a relaxed
the forest. Inside, white cotton views across the Tjampuhan poolside environment and
voile hangs from four-poster Valley popular gathering place for
beds. Some bathrooms feature a 8 Uma Pool Villas (from enjoying ne wines, cocktails and
freestanding bathtub, and all have 77sq.m/990sq.ft): These villas healthy juices
a semi-outdoor shower and ornate each feature a private swimming www.comohotels.com/umaubud
mirror. One Terrace Room features
a private pool (additional charge
applies)
10 Garden Pool Villas
(54sq.m/570sq.ft): The Garden
Pool Villas are defined by their
lushly planted open-air courtyards.
Inside, light-filled interiors are
set off by four-poster king-sized
beds draped in airy white
fabric. Spacious bathrooms with
freestanding bathtubs look out
across a fish pool or traditional
water feature, while the bedroom
connects to a private plunge pool
and terrace
4 Pool Suites (55sq.m/592sq.ft):
These four suites include a second
room, perfect as a sitting room or
as an extra bedroom. They also

Business, COMO Hotels and Resorts www.letstravelmag.com 123


Fly like a celebrity
from New Zealand to
Hong Kong and over 30
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Hong Kong Airlines brings new ight
options for New Zealanders travelling
to Hong Kong and beyond.

Welcome aboard one of the worlds newest eets


and enjoy award winning service, cuisine and
inight entertainment. Experience true value like no
other - so you can y like a celebrity.
With daily direct services from Auckland to Hong Kong
(twice daily between 11 Dec 2017 - 05 Mar 2018) and
connections to over 30 Asia Pacic destinations, you
can explore our backyard like never before.

Book now at
or visit your preferred travel agent.

W W W W W W W
A R DS 201 A R DS 201 A R DS 201 A R DS 201 A R DS 201 A R DS 201 A R DS 201
A

A
1

REDHXR1
Mr Jackie Chan
Hong Kong Airlines Ambassador
Silk Air, connecting Asia
By Tim Roxborogh

126 www.letstravelmag.com Airline, Silk Air


Htel du Marc

Im in the mountainous jungles of Which got me thinking about how


southern India. Not literally. Right complicated even just getting to the
now Im on my couch in West subcontinent would have been in
Auckland on a grey early spring decades gone by, especially if you
day with my cat and my laptop, but were exploring places outside of the
in my mind Im in India as I pour biggest cities. These days a journey
through photos and notes from what through Indias south like the one I
was an unforgettable adventure with did with World Journeys, utilising
World Journeys in the middle of this Singapore Airlines and SilkAir is
year. straight-forward, without being any
The heat, the mist, the rich less exotic or exciting. But cast your
greens of the forest, the sound mind back a few years and the greater
of the monsoon rain through the complications in getting a visa, the
leaves, the rustle of branches from intermittent connecting international
leaping monkeys and other unseen flights, the subsequent domestic
creatures, the chorus of birdsong; its flights and the then local trains and
all still so fresh. buses could mean you were more
than a little frazzled by the time you
reached your chosen destination.

Airline, Silk Air www.letstravelmag.com 127


attraction. Or, as in my case, it might
be the soul-healing properties that
a nature lover longs for in places
like the tropical rainforests of the
Wayanad region.
The point being, if you know
where you want to be in southern
India, SilkAir can get you as close
as possible and most often, with
just the one flight from Singapore.
The on-board service is everything
youd expect from a company under
the umbrella of Singapore Airlines
and the network now extends to
53 destinations in 15 countries.
Combined with Singapore Airlines,
the total reach is 104 destinations in
35 countries.
In this current issue of Lets
One of the reasons that accessing and cliff-tops of Indias southern Travel you can read my second of
all the different corners of a nation tip, SilkAir can take you direct three feature articles about that
as vast as India has become so much from Singapore to Trivandrum. World Journeys southern India trip,
easier has been the proliferation of If its the postcards of Keralas this one all about those Wayanad
international airports, some of which backwaters and the handsome jungles I cant stop thinking about
are truly world class. Couple that colonial structures of Fort Kochi that and the timeless beauty of Fort
with the huge growth of a regional have lured you in, theres a SilkAir Kochi. Huge thanks once again to
carrier like Singapore Airlines affiliated international airport there SilkAir, Singapore Airlines and World
subsidiary, SilkAir, and you can have too. Journeys and keep reading Lets
the Indian itinerary you most want Maybe you have business in the Travel for the next chapter in the
and with the least amount of hassle. ever-increasingly international city of adventure!
If all youre after is a short trip Bangalore, or perhaps the stunning www.singaporeair.com
to the palm-tree lined beaches palaces of nearby Mysore are the www.silkair.com

128 www.letstravelmag.com Airline, Silk Air


American Airlines
American Airlines operates its service between Auckland (AKL) and Los Angeles (LAX) with
the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner beginning 7 October 2017. This aircraft upgrade will also mark
the first time a U.S. carrier will offer travellers to New Zealand Americans brand new Premium
Economy class of service

Introduced to the American Airlines Customers travelling in Premium Premium Economy


fleet at the end of 2016, the Boeing Economy will experience an 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration
787-9 is Americans newest aircraft enhanced product offering including Main Cabin Extra
type. It includes Main Cabin Extra, amenity kits and noise-reducing 27 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration
their latest Business Class suite with headphones together with an Main Cabin
all-aisle-access and their newest enhanced meal service with 207 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration
class of service, Premium Economy. complimentary wine, beer and
American Airlines General spirits. The Business Class features
Manager Australia and New Zealand, The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fully lie-flat Super Diamond
Simon Dodd, said, As part of is a state-of-the-art aircraft which seats with direct aisle access;
our commitment to providing features electrically dimmable premium on board dining with
our customers with a world-class windows, larger overhead storage a chef-inspired menu including
product and travel experience, space, a cabin air system that choices of award-winning wines for
American Airlines will introduce provides improved altitude, humidity food pairing; a Cole Haan-branded
Premium Economy to the Auckland levels, and air filtration with reduced amenity kit containing products
Los Angeles route which it has noise levels in the cabin. from C.O. Bigelow, 3Lab and Clarks
served since June 2016, making The Boeing 787-9 has 285 seats in Botanicals. American also offers
it the first U.S. carrier to do so. total, 59 seats more than the current business class customers Bose
Premium Economy is an increasingly Boeing 787-8. Below is the detailed noise-reducing headphones and
popular option for customers who configuration of our four seat types: large screens so customers can
want an elevated experience on their Business better enjoy the airlines extensive
journey to Los Angeles and beyond. 30 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration inflight entertainment options.

130 www.letstravelmag.com Airlines, American Airlines


Business Premium Economy

Americans trans-Pacific flights including Auckland to


Los Angeles offer international Wi-Fi at only US$19 for
the length of the flight. Recharging personal electronic
devices is easy, as every seat on Boeing 787-9 is equipped
with universal AC power outlets and USB jack. Americans
inflight entertainment system has installed complimentary
live TV channels, nearly 300 movies including 48 new
releases, TV shows, music, and games.
Premium Economy offers leather seats with 38 inches
of pitch, more legroom, wider seats and expandable
foot, leg and head rests. Enhanced meals are served with
complimentary wine, beer, and spirits. Premium Economy
customers also receive amenity kits and noise-reducing
headphones, and an enhanced pillow and blanket.
www.aa.com

EXPERIENCE PREMIUM ECONOMY


ALL THE EXTRAS THE AMERICAN WAY

American Airlines and the Flight Symbol logo are marks of American
Airlines, Inc. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC. 2017
American Airlines, Inc. All rights reserved.

AA0017_HPH_PE_Lets Travel_175x130_FA.indd 1 11/09/2017 1:27 PM

Airlines, American Airlines www.letstravelmag.com 131


Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines has announced the arrival of its first A350 aircraft, as well as the opening
of its brand new VIP lounge, Club Autus, at Hong Kong International Airport. The expansion
of its fleet and enhancement of quality customer services mark new milestones as the
Company continues to fly full speed ahead towards international expansion.

The celebration of this momentous


occasion kicked off with an opening
ceremony officiated by Mr. Zhang
Kui, Co-Chairman of HKA, alongside
representatives from the Transport
and Housing Bureau, Civil Aviation
Department and Hong Kong Airport
Authority.

Arrival of A350 Aircraft to


Accelerate International
Expansion:
HX350, the first ever A350 flight to
be operated by HKA, landed at HKIA
at 3:50 p.m. in the presence of the
officiating guests. A water cannon
Club Autus
ceremony followed to celebrate
the expansion of the Companys
fleet, as well as its route network London, and other European and in the construction of Club
from regional to international. American destinations next year. Autus, a brand new VIP lounge
With more A350s scheduled to The expansion is set to create more located on the seventh floor of the
be delivered to Hong Kong in the employment opportunities, and the Midfield Concourse at Hong Kong
future, the Company will capitalise airline looks forward to recruiting International Airport (HKIA). This
on the planes long-range capability experienced pilots and cabin crew to project reflects the Companys
and Hong Kongs geographical support its continual growth. commitment to elevating its
advantages to accelerate its The all-new HKA A350 has a Business Class services to meet the
international expansion. Particular wide-body cabin with 334 seats demands of business travellers, the
emphasis will be placed on (Business Class: 33; Economy number of which has been growing
developing routes to North America Comfort: 108; and Economy Class: continuously in recent years. HKA
and major European cities, while 193). The newly designed seats believes that the opening of the
direct flights which are not yet provide travellers with more space new VIP lounge, together with its
available will also be explored to in terms of width, pitch, as well other enhanced Business Class
cater to the needs of travellers from as recline. The flat-bed seats in facilities, will greatly strengthen
Hong Kong and Southern China. Business Class have a width of 23 the Companys brand positioning,
HKA introduces 21 A350 and are completely horizontal when making it an airline with one of the
aircraft into its fleet, with the first fully reclined. This, together with fastest growth rates in Business
one entering into operation on 10 specially designed smooth and soft Class travel.
September for Bangkok service. bedding, will ensure that passengers Autus means growth and
It will then be operated on flights can enjoy the highest quality of enlargement in Latin, which parallels
to other regional destinations sleep in the air. the rapid development of HKA. The
including Taipei and Shanghai, Enhanced Business Class Travel Company commissioned Packy
before its assignment to the newly Experience with Club Autus: Lai, a young calligrapher known by
opened Hong Kong-Los Angeles Following the opening of the the alias, The Inkless, to write the
route on 18 December. As more airport VIP lounge Club Bauhinia name plaque for the lounge using a
A350s gradually enter into service, in 2014, HKA has taken premium traditional art form that embodies
the Company plans to open routes customer services to the next Hong Kongs unique culture.
to San Francisco, New York, level by investing HK$35 million www.hkairlines.com

132 www.letstravelmag.com Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines


Experience Taiwan's very own China Airlines

Experience the best of Taiwan with


China Airlines. Flying ex Auckland daily
and Christchurch 3x weekly to Taipei. We
bring 130 destinations in Asia & Europe
closer with a caring smile.
Book now at www.china-airlines.com/nz/en
China Airlines
Founded in 1959 China Airlines is the largest airline of Taiwan. The airline has an extensive
history serving Taiwan and Asia, flies daily between Auckland and Taipei (via Brisbane)
and has a seasonal summer service 3 times a week between Christchurch and Taipei (via
Melbourne).

Underpinned by an extensive airline, and offers audiovisual on The B77W was chosen as a
worldwide network serving 111 demand across all of its wide-body replacement of the passenger
international destinations, China aircraft. China Airlines provides Boeing 747-400.
Airlines international hub is Taipeis all customers with a full service The B77W is a 3 class with
Taoyuan International Airport, with experience, including complimentary Business Class, Premium Economy
domestic and regional services also checked baggage, meals, beverages and Economy. This aircraft also
operating from Taipeis Taichung and entertainment. In addition to its features an In-flight Skylounge
Airport, as well as Kaohsiung in passenger operations, China Airlines as well as a Family Couch. The
Taiwans south. As a member of the operates the worlds largest fleet incorporation of the Airbus
SkyTeam alliance, China Airlines of Boeing 747-400 Freighters, and 350-900 XWB (A359 XWB) is part
offers seamless connections to is one of the worlds largest freight of NextGen program and features
hundreds of destinations worldwide carriers by volume. the same configuration as the
through its airline partners. In early 2014 China Airlines took B77W.
China Airlines operates a modern delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER As of August 31st 2017 China
fleet of 83 Boeing and Airbus (B77W). This marked the start of a Airlines has incorporated 10 B77W
aircraft, with an average fleet age of 3-phase fleet renewal process called and 7 A359 XWB.
8.1 years. The airline is a 4-star rated NextGen program.

134 www.letstravelmag.com Airlines, China Airlines


Introduction to A350 Cabin
The A350s interior inherits that of the
777s NextGen interior cabin with the
theme of Asian aesthetics. Passengers
will be able to recognise China Airlines
unique cabin upon sight from the large
finishes of persimmon wood grains.
Feel right at home at the sight of
familiar design. Walking into the cabin
is not only a walk into nature, but also
a walk into a comfortable seat covered
by soft linens and smooth leather. It is
a seat where your mind and body can
find comfort, where the anxiety of
flying is greatly reduced.

Flying is an experience which not


only brings wonderful imaginations,
but is also a start of a journey.
We have reinterpreted the oldest
metaphor with contemporary
creativity in the A350 cabin, hoping
to let each passenger feel our
change.

Introduction to 777 Cabin


The three-cabin design creates three
consistent Song-dynasty scholar
scenarios: The Business Class cabin
is a scholars study, with night light
for reading; the Premium Economy
Class cabin is an academy in the
mountains, serene and refined; and
the Economy Class cabin is scholars in
the society, comfortable and pleasant.
When entering the cabin, you will
immediately feel China Airlines
unique Song-Dynasty scholarly aroma
through the cabin design featuring
implicit Song-Dynasty aesthetics,
graceful and fashionable cabin crew,
and all kinds of dining articles inspired
by Song-Dynasty utensils. The
application and presentation of cabin
aesthetics showcase the selected
elements that differ from the past
and best reflect the brand new China
Airlines.
Through this, we are to achieve
a perfect balance between classic
aesthetics and modern technologies
and deliver a consistent design
atmosphere and NexGen brand
spirit to fully interpret the image of
Cultural Creativity, Technology, and
Environmental Protection. We expect
every passenger to experience the
heritage of passion and trust through
our cabin space and new service
procedure.
www.china-airlines.com/nz

Airlines, China Airlines www.letstravelmag.com 135


Where in
the World
isGotham
Gothamis a village
inNottinghamshire, England,
with a population of about
1,600. It is in the borough
ofRushcliffe. The name
Gotham comes from Old
English for goat home.

T
he village is most famed for
the stories of the Wise Men
of Gotham. These depict
the people of the village as being
stupid. However, the reason for the
behaviour is believed to be that the
villagers wished to feign madness
to avoid a Royal Highway being
built through the village, as they
would then be expected to build and
maintain this route. Irvinggave the name Gotham to built for the purpose of housing the
Madness was believed at the New York City in hisSalmagundi criminally insane, andRobinreads a
time to be highly contagious, and Papers(1807). In turn,Bill journal that tells of how Gotham got
whenKing Johnsknights saw the Fingernamed the pastiche New its name; I even have a name for
villagers behaving as if insane, the York home ofBatman,Gotham it. We could call it Gotham after a
knights swiftly withdrew and the City. The existence of Gotham, village in England where, according
Kings road was re-routed to avoid Nottinghamshire in theDC Comic to common belief, all are bereft of
the village. Book Universewas recently their wits.
One of the mad deeds seen by acknowledged inBatman: Legends Responding to the connection
the knights was a group of villagers of the Dark KnightNo. 206 (and between the Gotham in
fencing off a small tree to keep again in52No. 27), although Nottinghamshire and Gotham for
acuckoocaptive from theSheriff the connection between two New York City, former New York
of Nottingham. One of the nameswithinthe DCU has not been mayorRudolph Giulianiwrote that
threepubsin the village is known as fully explained. it was a pleasure to have this
the Cuckoo Bush Inn. In a story titled Cityscape opportunity to acknowledge the
Reminded of the foolish ingenuity inBatman ChroniclesNo. 6 it is cultural and historical link between
of Gothams residents,Washington revealed that Gotham was initially the two places.

136 www.letstravelmag.com Where in the World isGotham


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