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Travel Ideas

Where in the world would you rather be? Discover travel ideas and inspiration with stories from our Travel Experts. With new articles every day, you'll never run out of ideas!

Screen Dreams: A Film Fan Visits Hollywood

As a die-hard long-time fan of all things film, television and Hollywood, the opportunity to stay for a few days in the star-studded hub of Los Angeles was an exciting one. I immediately envisioned myself sipping champagne with Brad Pitt, going shopping with one of the second-tier Kardashians and probably winning an honorary Oscar just for being there. None of this happened, but I still feel like I managed to see and do a lot without becoming bankrupt and descending into madness like ... Continue Reading

5 Best Theme Parks in Japan

In a country of pop culture obsessives, it's no surprise that Japan's theme parks are some of the best in the world. Whether you're a fan of Disney animation or anime, superheroes or ninjas, you're guaranteed a brilliant day out.    Disneyland Tokyo There are Disney theme parks in Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong, but fans say the Disneyland in Tokyo comes closest to the California original. Toontown, the Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, Splash Mountain... they're all here, ... Continue Reading

Top 10 Free Things to do in Rome

It's one of the greatest cities in the world, but a visit to Rome doesn't need to cost the earth. Here are 10 memorable things to do in the Eternal City, all without spending a dollar. Trastevere All of Rome is a walker's paradise, but Trastevere wins for an afternoon spent wandering with no particular destination in mind. Cobblestone alleyways strung with washing lines lead to magnificent squares dominated by awe-inspiring medieval basilicas. Spend a day exploring the neighbou... Continue Reading

30 Nights in a Spanish Summer

Don Rowe swapped a bleak Hamilton winter for the heat and colour of late-summer Spain. In a land of good food and high passions, he found himself coming back to life.    At 6pm the mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz, a major city in the autonomous Basque country of northern Spain, shot a rocket into the sky above the city. A short fizz as the proulsion sputtered, then a resounding explosion, echoed by a thousand smaller bangs as thousands of champagne corks filled the air. The air became thick ... Continue Reading

Eating My Way Around Norfolk Island

"There's more to Norfolk Island" initially seemed like a slightly obscure slogan, but after visiting this delightful piece of paradise 90 minutes' flight from Auckland, I totally understand what they mean. Once dismissed as a playground for the over-60s crowd, Norfolk has undergone enormous change in the last few years and is now a fantastic destination for all demographics – especially anyone who likes to eat. The only produce this tiny island imports are potatoes, onions, ginger and ... Continue Reading

5 Great Reasons to Visit South Africa

As a tourist destination, South Africa really has it all. There's the spectacular scenery and magnificent wildlife for starters, great food and wine, and a cultural mix unlike anywhere else in the world. If you've never been to Africa, South Africa is an ideal introduction to the continent. And with the NZ dollar soaring against the rand, now's the ideal time to go. Glorious Cape Town In any list of the world's most beautifully situated cities, Cape Town always comes out near the top. Set ... Continue Reading

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua’s Surf Paradise

Despite being beautiful, friendly and safe, Nicaragua is still one of the least-visited countries in Central America. If you're looking for a laid-back beach town – with some excellent surfing – you can't get much better than San Juan Del Sur, says Tim Lambourne.   WHERE IS IT AND HOW DO I GET THERE? San Juan Del Sur is located in the South-west of Nicaragua on the Pacific coast, not too far from the Costa Rican border. If you’re planning on getting there from outside of ... Continue Reading

Puglia: Historic Italy, Minus the Crowds

The southeastern province of Puglia (also known as Apulia) is traditionally one of the lesser-visited parts of Italy. But it's a great place to holiday, and not only because of the smaller crowds. The “heel” of Italy's boot has a sublime Mediterranean climate, gorgeous beaches, delicious local cuisine, and archeological and World Heritage-listed sites galore. All that, and lower prices too. WHAT TO SEE Possibly the most famous buildings in Puglia are the trulli, whitewashed stone huts ... Continue Reading

Fiji’s Underwater World

The South Pacific is full of great places to dive, but few can hold a candle to Fiji. The so-called “soft coral capital of the world” is home to a huge number of dive sites, all with a stunning array of jewel-coloured marine life. Fiji is a diving mecca largely thanks to the ocean currents that swirl around the islands, bringing vital nutrients to its underwater coral reefs. These currents can have their downsides: currents that are too strong can be hazardous for diving, while water ... Continue Reading

A road less traveled- Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, found on Southeast Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, are two countries often overlooked by travelers. But for those keen for an adventure and eager to get off the beaten track, the globe-trotting team at Flight Centre recommend them as must visit destinations. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, make sure to venture to Sarajevo and Mostar.  In Mostar stop by Stari Most, the towns historic bridge. It was destroyed during the war, but was one of the first things rebuilt. In ... Continue Reading

Rainbow Beach: Noosa’s Sleepy Cousin

With its idyllic beaches, upscale shopping and sophisticated dining scene, the town of Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast is a justifiably popular tourist destination. But if you're looking for a more laid back beach-town experience, jump in the car and head north, says Delaney Mes.   I was looking out to the Pacific Ocean, having finally got comfortable (or was that just numb?) atop a large horse called Mac. I’d been enthusiastic about the romantic idea of horse riding on the ... Continue Reading

Fantasy Island: Discovering Unspoilt Niue

  When most people think of Pacific Islands, they envisage long white sandy beaches and huge water's edge resorts serving fruity cocktails. That doesn't really apply to Niue. In fact if you knew nothing about this very special place you might wonder why people go there at all. A drive around the only real road is uneventful, aside from feral chicken sightings and a brief glimpse of a few shops, labelled the 'commercial centre' of Alofi. Not exactly tropical glamour. That's the thing ... Continue Reading

France’s 10 Most Beautiful Places

Visit France and you'll come back extolling the food, the art and the laid-back French lifestyle. But what will stay with you most is France's incredible beauty, from charming medieval villages to soaring Alpine peaks. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the country's 10 most beautiful destinations.         Colmar This town near the German border is famous for the brightly coloured houses that line the canals of its “little Venice” (la Petite Venise) distri... Continue Reading

Villa Vailima: The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, Samoa

Robert Louis Stevenson didn't just write about adventure and exploration, he lived it. The author, whose novels include Treasure Island, Kidnapped and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, spent much of his tragically short life travelling. In 1890, after visits to Hawaii, Tahiti, Kiribati and New Zealand, Stevenson and his wife Fanny arrived in Samoa. There they decided to stay, buying a 127 hectare tract of land on the slopes of Mount Vaea above Apia. They named it Vailima, Samoan ... Continue Reading

5 Great New York City Views (That Aren’t From the Empire State Building)

Now, nobody's suggesting you should definitely skip the Empire State Building. Its slender outline has been a landmark since 1931, and its needle – originally built as a mooring mast for airships – has played a starring role in scores of books and films, from James and the Giant Peach to King Kong. The Empire State is a New York icon, that's for sure, but its observation deck isn't necessarily the best place to take in the Manhattan skyline. Before you book your Empire State ticket, ... Continue Reading

Beyond Prague: Exploring the Czech Republic

The capital of the Czech Republic is both beautiful and fascinating, but negotiating the global scrum of visitors around Prague Castle and Charles Bridge can be hard work. Jump aboard the country's efficient network of buses and trains to explore these lesser-visited but equally interesting destinations, most with just a fraction of the tourists thronging Prague's Old Town. Cesky Krumlov OK, this compact fairytale tangle of Renaissance architecture is firmly on the tourist trail, but the ... Continue Reading

Getting the Run-Around in Copenhagen

In spring, Europe comes down with marathon fever. The continent's streets are regularly strewn with banana peels, plastic cups and energy gel packets. It looks like a herd of monkeys have thrown a party before breaking off to hike the Pyrenees. Kiwis with the fever tend to make a beeline for the most famous runs in London and Berlin. Of less renown is the Copenhagen Marathon, a circuit combining stunning sights with a fast and flat track. This appeals to scrubs like me, whose ideal marathon ... Continue Reading

Reconnect on the Sunshine Coast

No one knows when it happened exactly, but our lives have become busy. There are endless things on our ‘to do’ lists and not enough hours in the day. Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is a place where the only thing more reviving than the water is the lifestyle. With its endless beaches and easy smiles, it’s a place where you can relax, refresh and forget everything. To help inspire the wanderluster within, the globe-trotting team at Flight Centre have pulled together a list of their ... Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to the Eurail Rail Pass

Once you've made a proper journey by train, you'll never look back. It's not just the convenience – though being able to board and disembark in the city centre, avoiding all the airport hassle, is a huge plus. You know that saying “it's about the journey, not the destination”? That's rail travel in a nutshell. And that's especially the case in Europe, where the trains are comfortable, the scenery magnificent, and the rail network vast. The Eurail Pass has long been the favourite way ... Continue Reading

A Guide to Silicon Valley for Tourists

For an area that's arguably the centre of the contemporary civilisation, Silicon Valley attracts remarkably few tourists. That's largely because the tech mecca, located around 40 minutes south of San Francisco, is a place of work, not leisure. Why bother with tourism when you're busy changing the world while generating billions of dollars in profit? Despite its lack of visitor amenities, the area is still worth a day trip – if only to put a place to familiarly techie names like Cupertino ... Continue Reading