A hike in the Abel Tasman National Park is sure to chase the blues away and the Apple Tree Bay walk is perfect for time-short travellers.
Grab a backpack with a few supplies and extra clothing and start walking from Marehau. Very soon you’ll cross a bridge from where you’ll see White-faced Herons getting ready for take-off.
As is often the case on New Zealand bush walks, the scenery constantly changes. One minute you’re looking over the flats…
..then you’re meandering through dense native foliage, pass beautiful little grottoes like this.
The Apple Tree Bay walk is not that strenuous. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for a break and gaze at the views. Remember, there is always the option of returning by water taxi.
As the trail descends, your expectations will be rewarded with a golden beach and beautiful Adele Island beyond.
Adele Island is a beautiful predator-free island with many native New Zealand birds. It’s pristine status is a testament to the efforts of a privately funded project incorporating the Department of Conservation and volunteers. These volunteers are taking a well earned break for lunch.
Don’t know what this guy’s excuse is:
The Apple Tree Bay walk is a great ‘taster’. Kayaking is another popular way of getting a close encounter of this beautiful region. Either way, I guarantee you’ll return refreshed. Okay, one last look.
After visiting Perth and the Margaret River area in Western Australia, we had a Sydney visit for a few days to check out hotels for our clients. With 4.3 million people, Sydney’s population equals the whole of New Zealand!
Sydney airport is only 10kms from the city and a 20 min drive. There are taxis and the efficient Sydney Airport Train Link. We decided to try out the Royale Limousine service that some of our clients use. After a midnight flight we just wanted to relax. It was a seamless transition.
We chose a hotel located in the central city so that we could be within walking distance to Sydney’s fantastic cafes and the subway stations. Most of the key hotels are located near the ferry terminal, the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
What to do in Sydney
As Travel Agents, we’re always trying to walk in the shoes of our clients. It’s a neat idea to use the ferries to go over to Mainly or take the train from a central station. We started from Martins Place, took the “T4” train to “Bondi Junction” then bus number “333” to Bondi Beach. All up, 30 minutes.
If this is your first Sydney visit, a really smart way of exploring the city is to join a half day tour with a local tourism operator. We used Australia Luxury Escapes as they cater for small groups. We shared an air-conditioned mini-bus with just one other family.
Our first stop was at The Rocks to view Sydney Harbour Bridge, the suburb of Potts Point displaying elegant Art Deco architecture and romantic terrace houses. Next was the Botanical Gardens and close by, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, an exposed rock cut in the shape of a chair. Its the best look-out point to view the harbour.
By joining this tour, we gained some idea of the city’s layout and received vital local information which came in very handy in the days to follow. Lunch at Sydney’s Yacht Club at Rushcutters Bay was an event.
People living within 5kms of the club do not have access unless they have a membership, but the rest of us do. But you will need to produce some form of identity such as a Driver licence or passport.
The last stop on this tour was Bondi Beach and although we’d visited the day before, its beauty still provided an impact. It totally lives up to its name as one of the most beautiful surfing beaches in the world!
Surfer dudes love Bondi Beach. It has a cool beach vibe with quaint cafes. The side streets have interesting shops. Do visit Russkis Deli which offers food from around the world. The public swimming pool on the Bronte Coastal Walk sits right next to the ocean and on the other side, is a superb restaurant.
Some might say the ultimate Sydney visit includes climbing and walking the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But if you’re sensitive to heights, just admire it from the harbour side. Its a magnificent structure.
So much to do, so little time. You really have to sort through the wishlist carefully.