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Chianti Casa Mezzuola Agritourismo Italy Photo by Natasha von Geldern

Italy: Getting off the beaten track in Tuscany

I thought I had ‘done’ Tuscany. Years ago, on my first solo backpacking trip around northern Italy I went to Florence, Siena and San Gimignano. I loved it all and thought I would return one day but somehow there is always a new destination to visit – isn’t there? Last weekend I was lucky enough […]

Moonlight Track Queenstown New Zealand Photo by Natasha von Geldern

New Zealand: Queenstown’s Moonlight Track

Before I hiked the Milford Track we were staying in Queenstown and I wanted to do a big day walk as a last preparation/test before heading off to Fiordland. I found the perfect day hike in the Moonlight Track. The start of the Moonlight Track is at the Skyline so it is an easy start […]

Bowen Falls Milford Sound New Zealand Photo by Natasha von GeldernBowen Falls Milford Sound New Zealand Photo by Natasha von Geldern

New Zealand: Day Four of the Milford Track

The ranger’s warnings from the night before proved prescient and at 6am she was knocking on the bunkroom doors telling us to pack up and get moving. Day Four of the Milford Track takes you from Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point. At 18 kilometres it is the longest day by distance but it is almost entirely flat […]

Milford Track New Zealand Photo by Natasha von Geldern

New Zealand: Day Three of the Milford Track

Welcome back to my day-by-day account of hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand‘s amazing Fiordland National Park. Day Three of the Milford Track takes you from Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut, covering 14 kilometres and taking between six and seven hours. In the morning a few Kea parrots turned up to harass any gear […]

Milford Track New Zealand Photo by Natasha von Geldern

New Zealand: Day Two of the Milford Track

Continuing my day-by-day account of tramping the Milford Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park… Day two  covers 16.5 kilometres from Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut and takes about six hours. In the morning it was a misty start, with a slight drizzle hanging around since the early hours. We boiled up our porridge, packed […]

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The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Spain: Wandering through the Alhambra

The Judas Trees will soon be in bloom again around the Alhambra. Purple blossom glowing in the warm air of springtime in southern Spain, with the cool snows of the Sierra Nevada as a backdrop. I think this collection of broken towers, palaces, dungeons and gardens is one of the most romantic places to visit in […]

Indian Pacific rail journey, Australia

Australia: Riding the Indian Pacific

A frisson of excitement ran through the Adelaide Parklands Terminal at the announcement of the imminent arrival of the Indian Pacific train. People gathered on the platform to see the big loco pull into the station. As the sun set over the city I stowed my bag in my cabin and headed to the lounge […]

Kensal Green Cemetery, London

Wandering in London’s Kensal Green Cemetery

On a sultry London afternoon, descending into an underground space that is cold, dank, dirty, and full of dead bodies, is normally the last thing I would recommend. But the Kensal Green Cemetery in west London is worth a visit, both as a slice of 19th century history and as an operating London cemetery. It’s […]

Tasmanian Devil

Australia: Tasmanian Devils up close

Devils@Cradle is the Tasmanian Devil sanctuary at Cradle Mountain – one of a series across Tasmania working hard to save this incredible beastie from annihilation via Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). I signed up for the night feeding session at 5.30pm (costs $27.50) and went along for a look expecting a bit of information and […]

Orvieto, Umbria, Italy

Italy: Wandering through Orvieto in Umbria

The Umbrian hill town of Orvieto is one of the architectural and artistic highlights of Italy but many visit on a brief tour-party stop between Rome and Florence. Piazza Duomo is very busy around midday as coach-loads of tourists and school groups swarm around the famous cathedral. But once they have moved on the town […]