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50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
Aotea Square is a large main square right smack in the middle of downtown Auckland. Located near plenty of shops and cafes, it's a great spot to meet with friends, listen to live music, and get to know Auckland. Heading toward Queen's Street,...
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Lake Pupuke, Auckland, New Zealand
Hidden away on Auckland’s North Shore is Lake Pupuke, a volcanic fill-in in a city of volcanic fill-ins, not far from the suburbs of Takapuna and Milford. A pleasant stroll on a winter’s day, Pupuke is the ideal place to take the kids to feed the...
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During my first trip to New Zealand, I took the short ferry ride from Auckland to Devonport rather a lot. Each time I would walk the coastline to North Head Historic Reserve to take in amazing views of the surrounding islands, explore bits of...
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Rangitoto Island, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
In the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island is just a short, not to mention highly enjoyable, 25-minute ferry ride from Auckand. The unpopulated island is actually a shield volcano that is the youngest (only 600 years old!) in the Auckland Volcanic...
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Tawharanui Peninsula 0986, New Zealand
Close to Auckland City are numerous tracks, parks and reserves that you can explore at your own pace, all the while marvelling at the lushness of the greenery, the beauty of isolated bays and the bird song of the forest. Tawharanui is one of...
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South Island 7183, New Zealand
New Zealand's smallest national park certainly packs a punch. Unlike so many of the great ragged mountains that dot the country, Abel Tasman curves along the north coast of the South Island, peppered with golden sand beaches and steep cliffs that...
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Queenstown, New Zealand
If you visit one place in the South Island of New Zealand, let it be Queenstown. One of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand, and for good reason, Queenstown couldn't be in a better location. Surrounded by sweeping mountains...
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Spitfire Ln, Wanaka 9343, New Zealand
While there are many ways to experience the incredible landscapes of the South Island, perhaps none is so vast or as exciting as from the skies. With plenty of helicopter and scenic flight companies to chose from, it can be hard to decide which...
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Milford Track, Fiordland National Park 9679, New Zealand
Steve from Trips and Tramps makes a great tour guide through the Milford Track. The guided half-day hike, an easy seven miles on a well-groomed trail, was just a tease—given the time, the full four-day, 33-mile track would be well worth it. We...
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Punakaiki, New Zealand
Along the wild west coast of New Zealand, you will find many curious rock formations and interesting coastlines. Near Punakaiki and a rainforest are the famous Pancake Rocks, a limestone formation that has formed lined pillar-like rocks along the...
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126 Broadway, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
Welcome to Middle Earth in the South Pacific, and an ideal stop for traveling fans of the author J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies. Near the rural town of Matamata—itself a destination for its LOTR-inspired...
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Lake Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand
On the shores of New Zealand's largest lake sits the holiday town of Taupo, in the center of the North Island. Popular with vacationers and adventure travelers, there is plenty for everyone. An ancient volcanic crater, nowadays Taupo is a...
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Raglan, New Zealand
If you go to New Zealand, Raglan should be near the top of the list. Even if you've never surfed before, experiencing that culture in Raglan is a blast. I took my first surfing lessons there. The instructors were very kind and patient with us...
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State Highway 6, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown 9384, New Zealand
Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand, so if you're going to try it anywhere in the world, shouldn't it be at the world's first commercial bungee site? With a 140-foot drop from an old bridge straddling a beautiful turquoise river, the...
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Okere Falls, New Zealand
Myself and a few friends went here for white-water rafting. It's a 7-meter waterfall. Huge drop. Was great fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand
In mid-May I spent a day kayaking in the idyllic Milford Sound—my first day in New Zealand. The water was cool and clean and the fog gave the Sound a mysterious feel. Kayaking offered the opportunity to get up close with some playful fur seal...
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Queenstown, New Zealand
I spent 4 mind-blowing months living in Queenstown. In New Zealand the main occupations are farming and tourism. My two born and raised Kiwi flatmates were Skydivers for a living, so naturally I couldn't leave the country without jumping the...
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College St, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
While you can bungee jump or skydive pretty much all over the world, how many places will let you fly a stunt plane? In Motueka, by Abel Tasman National Park at the top of the South Island of New Zealand, you can do just that. Without any aviation...
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Cape Palliser 5772, New Zealand
Driving around the southern roads in the North Island often lulls you into believing that this pocket of New Zealand is mostly rural farmland with more sheep than you could ever imagine. Once leaving the comfort of the Wairarapa wine region, it...
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Taupo 3377, New Zealand
Near Taupo are an amazing set of waterfalls and rapids called Huka Falls. An easy walk with plenty of viewing spots, at Huka Falls the turquoise green water thunders down the Waikato River headed towards the lake. Surrounded by lush forest and...
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Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand
In good conditions, the Tongariro Crossing can take anywhere from about 5 hours if you’re really hoofing it, to 8 hours if you meander and stop to breathe on the tricky ascents and descents. Budget more time if you want to summit additional peaks...
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Roys Peak, Otago 9381, New Zealand
The guidebooks say this is a difficult trek but well worth it. After a huffing and puffing trek to the top of Roy’s Peak, I would most certainly like to concur. 11k in approximately 4-5 hours, a decent level of fitness is most needed for this...
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Routeburn Track, New Zealand
Although the Routeburn Track is a three-day trek, one can walk part of it as a 7-kilometer day hike. The Divide trailhead at one end of the track begins with a steady climb through a beech forest and sub-alpine shrubs and continues with a steep...
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Maungatautari 3494, New Zealand
30 miles south of Hamilton on the North Island sits the Maungatautari Ecological Reserve. A massive nature reserve that's been fenced in to get rid of introduced pests to help regrow New Zealand's endangered bird population, including kiwis, this...
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650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan TAS 7140, Australia
A Tasmanian chef leads guests from garden to kitchen at the incredible The Agrarian Kitchen. The sustainable farm-based cooking school is situated in a 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan, 45 minutes from Hobart in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. Chef...
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245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015, Australia
The brick-and-iron warehouses of the old Eveleigh Railway Workshops now host a diverse lineup of experimental music, theater, film, and fine art. Located on the border of Redfern and Waterloo, Carriageworks was restored to keep the historical...
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1199D Barrenjoey Rd, Palm Beach NSW 2108, Australia
If you need a break from lounging on the lovely northern beaches, cruising up to Barrenjoey in Palm Beach will bring you to this absolute gem. The hiking trails are plentiful and the view from the top is incredible. With sweeping views in all...
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Cradle Mountain Road, Cradle Mountain TAS 7310, Australia
Cradle mountain and much of Tasmania is brimming with natural beauty and rugged wild landscapes. I spent a day hiking some of Cradle mountain's day hikes through forest, grass lands, and hills, running across exotic looking wild flowers, birds, an...
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Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
Tasmania, Australia
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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
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Japan, 〒381-0401 長野県下高井郡山ノ内町平穏6845
I left tropical Southeast Asia for Japan in the dead of winter for one reason - to see snow monkeys. I'd always seen pictures like the one above, of zen macaques in steaming hot springs surrounded by snow, and had no idea how accessible they were...
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2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
View of Tokyo at dusk as seen from the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku. Admission to the observatory is free and well worth it for a fantastic, sweeping view of the Tokyo skyline.
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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...

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Yanaka, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0001, Japan
On the east side of Tokyo, travelers can experience the city’s frenetic spirit. In the Ameyayokocho neighborhood, you’ll find seedy-looking love hotels, pachinko parlors, and chatty street vendors. When the chaos becomes too intense, escapeto...
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Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...
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1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
Even in the middle of winter, the Imperial Palace Gardens are well worth a stroll. There are plants from all the prefectures of Japan, and the bamboo is lush year-round. The palace is about a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station, and it's a...
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The Japanese have a proverb: "He who climbs Mount Fuji once is a wise man, he who climbs it twice is a fool." And after doing so I understand why; and it's something you must do in your life. Standing on the top of Mt. Fuji makes you realize how...
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Shibuya Station outside of Tokyo makes Times Square in New York look small in comparison. Great Sushi, Sake and People Watching! Take the Narita Express from Narita Airport to Shibuya for a day of great food, drinks and shopping!
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1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361, Japan
Built in the 14th century as a villa for a powerful shogun, Kinkaku-ji temple, commonly referred to as the Golden Pavilion, is an easy bus ride from the main bus terminal in Kyoto. The temple is one of the most popular buildings in...
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1072 Amatsu, Kamogawa-shi, Chiba-ken 299-5503, Japan
The Torii Arch reaches skyward on a small islet off the Pacific coast of Amatsu-kominato in the Boso Peninsula of Chiba. I came across this after walking around the breakwater of the fishing port located in front of Tanjoji Temple, birthplace of...
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Becoming a maiko - young apprentice geisha - is one part elegance and three parts hard labor. Available in many studios sprinkled throughout Kyoto, this rich experience lets you live the life of a maiko, if only for one ethereal night. Your visit...
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Lovely ladies in kimonos brave the rain in Kyoto. This was taken in front of Chion-in Temple near Gion earlier this week. Even in the pouring rain the Sakura, which are in full bloom, were lovely to behold and holding up nicely.
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Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Less than an hour south of Tokyo, Kamakura is a popular coastal town and home to the Great Buddha. This bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple, has a height of 13.35 meters. It is the second tallest bronze...
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Mount Nokogiri, Kanaya, Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture 299-1861, Japan
Trademark notch at the top of Nokogiriyama ("Saw Mountain") near Futtsu in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The mountain features a distinctive sawtoothed profile of a Japanese saw, due in part to the mountain's history as a stone quarry during the Edo...
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Shirakawa, Ono District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Celebrated my birthday at the Matsuri in the old town of Takayama. It is the annual festival of the Hie Shrine in the southern half of Takayama. This is an image I took at the ryokan we were staying at during our stay there. The people from the...
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Si Phraya, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
After eating amazing dish after amazing dish, I knew I wanted to leave Thailand knowing how to bring some of the flavors I'd experienced into my own kitchen. Silom Thai Cooking School was the perfect place to do that. Gung, our teacher, was...
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158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok's Yai district. It is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple is one of the best known Thai landmarks. The mosaics which cover the temple create a pearly sheen during...
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Wat Sam Phraya, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Thewet is known for its bustling vegetable market, however few tourists ever venture deep within the wet market buttressing the river. This is a great place to sample local foods and stock up on hard-to-find ingredients. Plan on doing a bit of...
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Bangkok, Thailand
I had already begged a woman to write down the name of her ground—what, pork?—dish that first melted my brain. She scratched a couple Thai words on my notepad. Later, I learned she’d written “lunch.” Bangkok’s street food astounded, but I’d known...
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160/1 Khaosan Rd, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Began on the ever-bustling Khao San road and met my new travel mates. Traveled the back khlongs and canals of Bangkok, rode elephants in the jungle, lived with monks for a few days. Hung out and fed the tigers they raised from birth.Went on a...
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2 Kamphaeng Phet Rd, Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
This weekend market is the largest in Thailand and is an absolute must for any market fiends. It is estimated that the market covers 35 acres, has over 5,000 stalls, and receives about 200,000 visitors each Saturday and Sunday. It has everything...
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Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Every morning, before the day has truly begun, Balinese women come to the market shrine in the center of Ubud, Bali. They light incense and leave their offerings, origami folded banana frawns bearing crackers and cookies and flower petals for the...
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JL Jambangan, Banjar Baung, Desa Sayan Ubud, Bali, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
People see beautiful rice paddy photos before they visit Bali, and often they arrive not knowing how to seek out those gorgeous landscapes. A guided cycling tour is a lovely way to take it in. This company takes you into the hills by car, then you...
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Jl. Sedap Malam No.72 A, Kesiman, Denpasar Tim., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80118, Indonesia
While in Ubud, I saw many wonderful dance performances--there is a different one each night of the week. The best however, was Semara Ratih--it was amazing and mesmerizing. It clearly stood out above the others in its refinement. So if you are in...
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A colorful Garuda statue stands guard in a traditional Balinese house-turned-art-gallery in Ubud. Garuda is a giant mythical bird and the national symbol of Indonesia.
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Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Spending an early morning with our family in the monkey forest was a nice way to avoid the crowds, and have fun observing the monkeys. We enjoyed exploring this amazing nature reserve and shoot some family pictures given the lovely morning light.
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a place to wash your soul a place to heal your mind a place to recharge your body
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Climbing Mount Batur, one of the sacred volcanos of Bali, is a mind-warping experience if done before dawn. The volcanic sand runs away beneath your feet like an hourglass and the tassels of pine trees flow by you in the dark. My friends and I...
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Jl. Gunung Merapi, Pemecutan, Denpasar, Kota Denpasar, Bali 80353, Indonesia
Sure, the Agung Khalia villa was like paradise in the midst of green, lush paddy fields. The views from the bedrooms are of paddy fields while from the living room you can see your gorgeous swimming pool. But the best part of staying at the Agung...
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Tegalalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Bali is the perfect place to learn a new way of traveling. Rather than racing from temple to batik factory, and the 4:15 shadow puppet show, my traveling companion opted for the 45 minute pacing of stopping for beers along the back roads. The rice...
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Madagascar
The rugged Andringitra National Park and its surrounding valleys are rich in ways to view its incredible landscapes from above. Through Camp Catta, a locally-run lodge that caters to adventure sports enthusiasts, visitors can try rock climbing on...
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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Baobab trees, which grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide, carry a prehistoric grandeur worthy of their title as Madagascar’s national tree. Of the six ancient baobab species native to the African island, only the largest, the Adansonia...
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Just a few blocks away from Tamatave's (Toamasina) main Avenue d'Independance is the costal town's "Bazary Be". Wander the touristy souvenir stalls for reims of fabric and handwoven baobabs or venture further into the shaded, wooden maze of stands...