Category Archives: Travel Features

Walking New Zealand’s Kepler Track: Day Two

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One of the most repeated pieces of advice I was given before starting the Kepler Track was to be prepared for all weather. In the mountains, the weather can change in an instant, and we experienced just that on the first night on the trek, at Luxmore Hut.

Within 15 minutes of arriving back from our detour down Luxmore Caves rain pelted down, and continued to hammer down on the roof all night. The wind picked up, and more than once everyone in the bunkhouse was awakened to the sound of the windows a-rattlin’ from the winds. By morning, the rains were still going strong, and we waited until 11:00 in the morning to set off, under the advice of the hut warden, Peter Jackson (like the Lord of the Rings director, but not really).

‘The views from the top of the mountain ridge are what make the Kepler Track so spectacular,’ he explained. ‘Wait a while here, see if it clears up, and then you can properly enjoy the walk.’

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Walking New Zealand’s Kepler Track: Day One

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Hiking on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks is a rite of passage for all visitors to this amazing country. With dramatic mountain scenery, unique wildlife and the well-organised hut and camping system, it’s easy to see why hikers worldwide flock to New Zealand’s Great Walks. Not gonna lie, it was difficult deciding on only one Great Walk to do in New Zealand. Given the amount of time we had to spend in the country, not to mention how far in advance it took to book sleeping space in the mountain huts, we decided to avoid the beautiful but popular Milford Track and instead opted for the Kepler Track. What followed was three days of otherworldly landscapes, close encounters with endangered species not found anywhere else in the world, and of course a diet mostly consisting of pasta, granola bars and chocolate.

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Why New Zealand’s Great Lakes Should be on Your Itinerary

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The Great Lakes region, located in the South Island of New Zealand, is one of the most popular stopping points on every traveller’s itinerary. Each lake is breathtaking in its beauty, and has unique sites or activities you can enjoy. I’ve gone to ‘great’ lengths, and I don’t just mean swimming strokes, to bring you a mini guide of my favourite options – let’s plunge in! Continue reading

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Taking to the Hills with North East Guides: Part Two

Having spent the previous evening recovering at the YHA Honiston with hearty slices of chocolate cake and bottles of cider, we returned early the next morning to Scafell, to explore one of the more mysterious-sounding mountains in the area: Glaramara.

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Taking to the Hills with North East Guides

Having spent years hiking along popular trails in the UK, I thought it was time to take things up a notch and start exploring ‘the road not taken’, as Frost would say. To prepare for these new explorations however, we signed up on the Mountain Skills course with North East Guides, ready to learn the ropes – or should that be maps?

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Summiting Snowdon Via the Rhyd Ddu Path

With Mt Snowdon literally on our doorstep, it seemed only right to pay its summit a visit on a trip to Snowdonia National Park. But with a dizzying array of paths to choose from, we went on the advice of our B&B hosts and chose the Rhyd Ddu path to the summit. And it was a wise choice, as getting there was turned out to be as adventurous as summiting Snowdon itself….

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Alternative Walks near Mt Snowdon

Most people flock to the Mt Snowdon area to reach its summit, but just a stone’s throw from the foothill of the mountain lies Lon Gwyrfai. With quiet pathways, panoramic views and abandoned mining quarters waiting to be discovered, Lon Gwyrfai valley offers an excellent alternative to the Disneyland-esque queues going up Mt Snowdon.

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Exploring Snowdonia’s Abandoned Historic Sites, from Castles to Quarries

 

 

If climbing one of the many peaks in Wales doesn’t take your fancy, then why not explore one of its historic sites? With literally hundreds of remains spread across Snowdonia National Park, and some in remote areas,  it is easy to channel your inner Indiana Jones and head into the hills.

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Beer, Wine and History in Freiburg’s Old Town

With an abundance of hiking trails and other opportunities for adventure sports in Freiburg and the Black Forest, it is easy to get carried away – but with Freiburg’s Old Town, you will find yourself actively blocking out a rest day to explore the city.

Combining Old World charm with stunning scenery, Freiburg offers the perfect setting for lazy meanderings, sampling delicious delicacies and unexpected finds on every street corner.

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A Lazy Sunday Morning Climb in Kostgefall, Germany

After a weekend of sampling every beer and wine the south of Germany has to offer, we were in dire need of some fresh outdoor air and exercise to clear the hangovers cobwebs.

Luckily our friends had an ideal spot in mind with easy climbs, beautiful scenery and icy mountain water to refresh ourselves afterwards – Kostgefall nature preserve.

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