The Most Unexpected And Astonishing Landscapes To See In 2019

The Most Unexpected And Astonishing Landscapes To See In 2019

Traveling the world and seeing its diverse landscapes with your own eyes is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. Our world is home to such natural splendor, some of which, unfortunately, will not last forever. 

People are often unaware of the unexpected and astonishing landscapes in their own back yard. Here are some of the must-see places you should add to your travel list for 2019.

malibu california

Malibu, California

Hearing the name “Malibu” often brings a specific image to mind: incredible mansions resting on cliff tops and Malibu villas overlooking scenic beaches. While the area has an aura of wealth and luxury, with many superstars making their homes in the area, it’s a place worth visiting to take in the many beaches along the coast and watch the sunset.

Explore the sea caves at El Matador State Beach, a secret gem that’s usually free of tourists. Lounge in the sun at Malibu Lagoon, where the turquoise water laps against the golden sand. Grab a bite at Paradise Cove, the restaurant that got its name from the beach on which it resides. This stretch of sand is surrounded by towering rocks and has been featured in a variety of movies, including Monster in Law, X-Men, and Lethal Weapon 4.

banff alberta

Banff, Alberta

Banff is located in Alberta, Canada at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Both the township and the national park in which it rests share the name. The Rockies overpower the horizon and bathe the area in their majesty. Towering trees make up the forested area, protecting the turquoise glacial lakes that are colored by the minerals in the runoff from the mountains. Lake Louise is particularly spectacular, with opaque turquoise water that is reminiscent of a tropical beach.

Banff is home to amazing wildlife, as well as hot springs for those who want to soothe their aching muscles under the stars after a long hike. There are various accommodation options, from camping in designated areas in the forest to staying at the luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs, an homage to Scottish castles of old.

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Sognefjord, Norway

Sognefjord is just one of over a thousand fjords in Norway but is perhaps the most mesmerizing. As the longest fjord, many of the other incredible fjords in Norway are subsets of this 127-mile long waterway which is nearly a mile deep at some points. One of the smaller fjords encompassed by Sognefjord is Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO world heritage site. The best way to see these astonishing landscapes is from the water.

Sognefjord is accessible via train from Bergen, one of the popular Norwegian destinations for travelers. This coastal city has the vibe of an old fishing town, with colorful houses along the water. Choose your travels wisely: the fjords are easier to navigate in the warmer months, but the aurora borealis is more visible during the winter.

huacachina, peru

Huacachina, Peru

Peru is home to many astonishing landscapes. Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world, the Nazca lines are one of the planet’s greatest mysteries, and the Amazon rainforest to the north is one of the most incredible places on Earth. Not only does Peru have breathtaking sights to behold, but it also has a lot of unexpected gems, like Huacachina.

Huacachina is a desert oasis near the city of Ica. This lagoon is surrounded by small hostels and hotels, as well as a variety of clubs and eateries. The real attraction to Huacachina is the towering mountains of sand. Go with a guide on a dune buggy for the feeling of riding a roller coaster without tracks. Grab a surfboard and sled down the dunes for an unforgettable feeling of exhilaration and adrenaline. 

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Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

The Serengeti in Tanzania, Africa, is at the top of most adventurer’s bucket lists. Browsing through pictures, it’s not hard to see why. This vast landscape is home to “The Big Five” which includes elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos. It’s also known for its enormous migration of wildebeest, zebras, antelopes, and gazelles. The Great Migration often includes over two million animals in total.

An African safari will change you. You will see astonishing sights that can never be truly captured in a photo. You will have a different experience than your predecessors, as everything that happens is up to the wild. This is an ecosystem that is changing rapidly due to poaching and the shifting environment; make 2019 your year to go.

There are places in the world where magic exists. It’s not party tricks or wand waving, but a deep, primal feeling that changes within you when you see them. 2019 and beyond promise to make for great travel. Why wait?


Thanks for the guest post, Wendy!

Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

September 15, 2019 0

5 Ways Traveling Can Help Your Career

5 Ways Traveling Can Help Your Career

For many, traveling is all about dipping your toes in the sand, reading a good book, and forgetting about anything work-related. That’s the point of a vacation, right?

Even though your vacation could be a time to disconnect, there are still plenty of ways you can enjoy your vacation while helping to advance your career. It doesn’t matter if you’ve settled down at a job or are on the job hunt, traveling can not only help you relax but also help you career in the long-run.

Fly Solo

For some, the idea of traveling solo sounds like the worst experience possible. There’s no one to talk to, no one to go out with, and it may not seem near as enjoyable. Plus you won’t be able to split food or drink costs

But there are a number of perks to flying solo. You can stay at that cool museum all day if you want, sleep to whatever hour, and go on the same tour three times in a row. 

The pros and cons aside, traveling solo gives you a certain sense of grit and determination you may not have while traveling in a group. You’ll have to prove to be self-reliant, figure out problems on your own, and much more. 

A solo trip may give you that extra bit of confidence and lessons in overcoming difficult moments and failures. 

The one downside to traveling solo is the safety issue. Women especially should be careful when traveling alone, depending on destinations and areas of course. 

Better Empathy

Unless you’re taking a road trip an hour away from home, your new destination is going to present you with people that are completely different than you. They grew up in a different culture and experienced different things in their life.

Traveling to new places is going to open your eyes to just how big the world is and how different people react to different situations. Through this, you’re going to build up more understanding and empathy to people who have walked different lives. You’ll be able to return home with a wealth of experiences in your back pocket and a better understanding for people’s issues.

Gizo solomon islands drone photo Orovae cottages from the sky

Control the Unexpected

Every traveler has a story to tell about a flight being canceled or being lost in an alley in a new town. You could have every bit of your trip planned out, but there’s always going to be some unexpected occurrence that throws you off.

While you’re traveling, your only option is to fix the problem. You don’t have a home to fall back on nor can you simply leave the situation. Are you just going to stay in the middle of nowhere because you can’t find your hotel? 

Nope! You’re going to have to learn to roll with the unexpected and solve the issues. 

Of course, there are always positive unexpected occurrences too. Maybe you planned on turning in early but your hostel neighbors are having a part. Why not embrace the unexpected and make the most of it?

You’ll Learn to Let Go

Upon arriving in a new city, your first stop may be a tourist information booth where you can pick up a map and get some pointers. You may spend the whole day following the map, going from place to place until you have seen it all.

You know what’s also great? Putting the map in your back pocket and just going wherever the streets take you.

In your day job, you might be caught up in lots of little things that stress you out over time. Eventually, you’ll learn to prioritize and not focus on the small things that ruin your day. You’ll learn to let go and focus on the bigger picture, not letting small bumps in the road distract you from where you want to go.

Better Communication

All of the above benefits mean, at the end, you’ll be a better communicator. You have gone to plenty of different places, met different people, and gone through various experiences. 

ALong the way, you’ve learned to communicate and work through difficult situations with all sorts of different people. You might have had to do most of it in a different language. When you come back, you’ll be a better listener and communicator, effectively passing off your points while being an open ear to others.


Thanks for the guest post, Clarissa! 

Clarissa is an enthusiast for all things outdoors, although she doesn’t get out as much as she would like. By day, she is the proud owner of a residential cleaning company, keeping her indoors most of the time. Clarissa is hoping to head to the Land Down Under in the near future. When not working (which is rare), Clarissa can be found with her family in their home just outside of Nashville, TN.

September 12, 2019 0

The Meaning of Home – Personalized Map Posters with CraftOak.com

The Meaning of Home – Personalized Map Posters with CraftOak.com

I am Pius and I am one of the co-founders of craftoak.com; our mission at the company is to create the world’s most loved custom art. Of course we started this journey to focus on what matters a lot to people: Places.

I grew up in Vienna and my co-founder, Humphrey, grew up in the South Bay of San Francisco. We could not be more culturally different, but what unites us is that we both care about certain places and moments.

Therefore, we want to allow people to connect with their most important places and times, which could be anything from a trip to Thailand to just the neighborhood you grew up in.

To me this is a very important topic, since I have lived in 7 countries over the last 7 years: Australia, France, Germany, Austria, England, Ireland and the United States. Being in all these places making new friends is very exciting, but of course, missing home or the home I have been in last is sometimes challenging- especially after the honeymoon phase in a new country.

This is also where the idea was born of creating custom printed city maps; soon we learned that people loved our custom art.

Craft + Oak personalized map posters to remind you of home digital nomad computer bed coffee

Kimmie with her 4 custom maps – one of London, Sydney, Croatia, and the coordinates of her college apartment. 

At this point, we count more than 10K customers and we wanted to do make it even easier to connect the favorite places and memories of people with our custom art.

While cities are still one of our most wanted products, we are constantly thinking of new ideas that can help people to create a unique connection to our products.

Now, we are offering Star maps and Coordinate prints as well.

We are unique in this sense, since we are the only solution with this wide variety of products and color tones.

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My personal journey is not finished – I am currently living in San Francisco, but who knows where I will end up next?! I chose a life of traveling abroad and constantly exploring new cultures.

Home for me is walking barefoot with a coffee in Manly Beach, Australia, drinking wine as a student in Angers, France, or looking at the stars with my best friends at Joshua Tree, in the United States.

I am wondering where will be my next home?

What are your homes? Write us with a nice image of yourself and one of our products and be featured with your story about your home.
To make that easier, use promo code “KIMMCONN” at checkout to get 18% off.

Thanks to Pius for the Guest Post and to Craft & Oak for sponsoring this post! I LOVE my posters and can’t wait to take them with me whenever I move somewhere new to remind me of the many places I feel at home. 

October 24, 2018

Argentina Destinations: 22 Incredible Places to Visit in Argentina (You Didn’t Know Existed)

Argentina Destinations: 22 Incredible Places to Visit in Argentina (You Didn’t Know Existed)

If you’re planning a South America trip, it may be difficult to decide on which places to visit in Argentina. I know that I was actually unfamiliar with the pure scope and extensivity of Argentina destinations before my trip. But after ending up spending over two months there, I can attest that Argentina is one of the most incredible, varied, naturally gorgeous, culturally diverse, and culinarily incredible countries on earth.

I worked my way through all the things to do in Argentina from Patagonia in the south, to Buenos Aires in the east, to the Iguazu Falls in the north, to Salta and Jujuy in the west. I didn’t even plan on spending too much time in Argentina, but now I can happily say it’s my favorite country on Earth.

Argentina truly has everything – from cold and alpine rocky mountains, to barren wine country, to amazing European-esque cities, to thick jungle, to the most colorful highland desert landscapes you’ll ever see. With each new Argentina destination, my mind was blown more and more until I decided that it truly couldn’t get any better – this was one of the most incredible countries on earth.

Want to read more about Argentina? Make sure to check out the posts I have linked below and also my Complete Argentina Bucket List here.

Check out these incredible places to visit in Argentina that you may have never heard of! From mountain to jungle to desert to city, these argentina destinations will blow your mind.

Places to Visit in Argentina: Destinations in the South

Ushuaia

Known as the “End of the World,” Ushuaia is the adventurous gateway to Antarctica and the southernmost city in the Americas. Flights and cruises to Antarctica will all leave from here, the closest point to it that you can get.

Ushuaia understandably gets very cold in the southern hemisphere winters, and is well-known for islands full of penguins, incredible mountainous scenery,  colorful houses, and Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Ushuaia Things to Do
Ushuaia Places to Stay:
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El Calafate

El Calafate is another adventure hub of southern Patagonia, and is an important stop on any Argentina itinerary. It’s the best known for the Perito Moreno glacier, which is easily the most incredible glacier I’ve ever seen.

However, it’s also a great hub for day trips to other viewpoints, Torres del Paine National park in Chile, boat tours through different arms of glacier lakes, a few other glaciers, and some gaucho-run ‘estancias’ out in the remote mountain desert.

El Calafate Things to Do and Where to Stay

For info on all tours from El Calafate, what to do, and where to stay in town, check out my post below.

READ
El Calafate Tours: 15 El Calafate Day Trips for Adventurers
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El Chalten

El Chalten is a smaller mountain town three hours north of El Calafate also known also for its adventurous activities. It is namely known for a world-famous and mind-blowing hike to Laguna de Los Tres with a view of Mount Fitz Roy, a dramatic and jagged almost-other-worldly view.

The town is small and quaint, with scenic landscapes all around, the possibility for river rafting and rappelling, and kayaking, too.

What to Do and Where to Stay in El Chalten

For all the info on what you can do and where you should stay in El Chalten, check out my classic Patagonia itinerary below, which outlines a two-week itinerary through Argentinian and Chilean southern Patagonia.

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Classic Patagonia Itinerary: 2 Weeks of Hiking and Adventure

Bariloche

Bariloche is one of the most popular holiday places to visit in Argentina. It has options for both the backpacker and the traveler who has a bit more disposable income, if you know what I mean. There are luxury resorts all over the place, and nice restaurants to complement the high-end mountain and lake views.

Things to do + Where to Stay in Bariloche

I have included Bariloche and the 3 destinations below this in my “Northern Patagonia Itinerary,” in which I highlight the best things to do and places to stay in each destination.

In short, Bariloche is known for some other incredible hikes up to jagged and carnivorous peaks, a famous bike ride around a national park and mountain lakes (with stops at a few different breweries!), for its incredible chocolate, and skiing in the winter.

villa la angostura - best places to visit in argentina

Villa La Angostura

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Refugio Frey hike, Bariloche

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San Martin De Los Andes

Villa La Angostura

Villa La Angostura is a hidden gem I discovered while backpacking through as many Argentina destinations as I could. It’s another tiny mountain town full of restaurants and souvenir shops, and has an absolute winner of a hike that was one of my favorites in South America.

Down near Puerto Angostura (just outside of the main town), there’s a huge peninsula with a hike along its backbone. It presents incredible views of the lakes and water on either side of it, and is surely a great spot in Patagonia.

Things to do + Where to Stay in Villa La Angostura

I also elaborated on Villa La Angostura in my Northern Patagonia Itinerary, with lots more details on the hike and where to stay. Check it out here.

El Bolson

El Bolson is like a mountain hippie town, full of eco-lodges, crystal-ridden craft markets, and nature lovers. Like many places in Patagonia, there are lots of incredible hikes to do here as well as markets and shops in town.

Things to do + Where to Stay in El Bolson

Check my Northern Patagonia itinerary, linked below, to read more in-depth about what to do and where to stay in El Bolson and the towns surrounding it.

READ
Two Week Northern Patagonia Highlights Itinerary: Bariloche to Pucon

San Martin de Los Andes

San Martin de Los Andes is a larger Patagonian town than all the rest described here, situated at the northern edge of Patagonia and on some beautiful lakes (surprise, surprise).

Up at this end of Patagonia there are more volcanoes, and there are quite a few in the region of San Martin that you can visit (or you can cross the border into Chile and check out the active Volcan Villarrica in Pucon).

Things to do + Where to Stay in San Martin de Los Andes

Other than that, it’s like a little skiing town with beautiful hikes surrounding it. As with the past 4 places to visit in Argentina, check my Northern Patagonia itinerary for more specifics on what to do and where to stay in each.

argentina destinations for wine tasting - mendoza

Places to Visit in Argentina: Destinations in the Center

Mendoza

Mendoza has to be one of your Argentina destinations if you are making a trip. That is, only if you love wine! Mendoza is known to be the home of Malbec, and actually also has some other incredible wine varietals made in its three different wine regions at the base of the Andes Mountains.

Things to do + Where to Stay in Mendoza

Other than wine tasting, which is a given, Mendoza is actually also a hub to many other adventures.

For more information on the wine tasting tour I did and for where to stay in Mendoza, see the post below.

READ
Mendoza Wine Tasting with Mendoza Wine Camp: More than Just Malbec

Cordoba

Cordoba is one of the most central places to visit in Argentina and a good stopover hub between Mendoza and Salta/Buenos Aires. It’s quite an industrial city, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not much to do! I stayed with a good friend in Cordoba for a weekend and really enjoyed myself. Check out this 2 day Cordoba itinerary if you aren’t sure what to do!

Things to do in Cordoba
Where to Stay in Cordoba

Compare the best hotels in Cordoba and hostels in Cordoba here.

Rosario

Rosario may not always be on the tourist trail, but as a happening student city and one of the most populous in the country, it cannot be left out when naming places to visit in Argentina.

Rosario has a happening bar, club, and food scene, rich history, plenty of museums and historical monuments, parks, markets, theaters, beaches, and a lovely waterfront along the Parana river.

Things to Do in Rosario
  • Go kayaking in the Parana River
  • Take a city bike and explore the city
  • Visit some of the best clubs in the world
Where to Stay in Rosario

Compare Rates for Hotels in Rosario and Hostels in Rosario.

Catamarca (San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca)

It may not be the biggest tourist city, but Catamarca is an interesting Argentina destination just the same. Within the town of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca (which is the capital of the province of Catamarca), you can find interesting religious monuments, parks, amazing food, and plenty of bars.

However, the biggest appeal in Catamarca may come from its mountains. The city is in a sort of valley surrounded by high mountains and volcanoes, some even exceeding 6,000 meters! This means that climbing and mountaineering are popular activities in this area.

Things to do in Catamarca
  • Mountain climbing and hiking
  • Many religious festivals throughout the year
  • Fiambala Hot Springs
Where to Stay in Catamarca

Compare prices for the best hotels in Catamarca.

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Places to Visit in Argentina: Destinations in the East

Buenos Aires

Well… duh! Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, the “Paris of Latin America,” one of the economic centers of South America, and one hell of a bustling city. I totally fell in love with its food, culture, nightlife, and pulse, and I can’t wait to go back.

This is the main of all Argentina destinations, and the place to come to try the classic Argentina foods- parilla steaks, incredible pizza, alfajores cookies, dulce de leche, and more recently, craft beer.

Buenos Aires has a tangible energy that is apparent in all who live there. Whether at bustling nightclubs, speakeasy bars, street art-covered alleyways, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and busy shopping malls, Buenos Aires really has it all – it’s a very livable city, and of course visit-able as well 😉

Tigre Delta

When in Buenos Aires, one of the coolest places to visit in Argentina is the Tigre Delta. You can sail here from Buenos Aires on a day tour and see another summer destination for Argentinians. Read more about the tour I did in the post below.

What to Do and Where to Stay in Buenos Aires

Since I wrote an entire 6000+ word guide to Buenos Aires, I’m going to go ahead and send you over to that (below) to learn ALL about what to do, where to stay, what tours to take, and where to go, eat, and party in Buenos Aires. Enjoy!

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What to Do in Buenos Aires: An Adventurous Buenos Aires Guide
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Mar de Plata

Mar de Plata, or “la Plata,”  is where Porteños, as people from Buenos Aires are called, tend to vacation to (that is, if they aren’t ferrying across to Uruguay!). There are massive expanses of beach and great parties in the summertime.

What to do in Mar de Plata

Mar de Plata is a great weekend destination to relax at the beach, visit museums or water parks, or take a day tour from Buenos Aires. 

Where to Stay in Mar de Plata

Compare prices for Mar de Plata Hotels here or Mar de Plata hostels here.

Puerto Madryn

Puerto Madryn is technically still in the Patagonia region although it’s on the complete opposite (east) coast of the country to other popular Patagonian destinations. It’s got beaches for the summertime, but the most appealing thing about it is its wildlife. There are many Puerto Madryn excursions that will take you to beautiful points of interest and wildlife.

You can whale watch here, and more excitingly actually scuba dive with playful, twisting and turning sea lions. I’ve seen some incredible videos of people paddling through a sea of hundreds of them flitting about through the water – it’s pretty incredible, really. The Peninsula Valdes is also an incredible place to visit.

Things to do in Puerto Madryn
Iguazu Falls best places to visit in argentina

Places to Visit in Argentina: Destinations in the North

Puerto Iguazu + Iguazu Falls

In the northwest corner or Argentina, you’ll find a completely different vibe than anywhere else in the country: a humid, dense jungle! At that, it’s a jungle that borders the largest waterfall system in the world. How’s that for appealing?! I still remember when I got off the plane from freezing Buenos Aires to a pleasant 27 degrees C (about 80F) and was completely stunned.

Puerto Iguazu is a small town that borders two rivers – one that separates it from Brazil, and one that separates it from Paraguay. It’s got a much deeper indigenous culture than a lot of Argentina.

I personally think that the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls is the best, but I recommend visiting the Argentinian side (pictured) as well of course while you’re here so you can get the best of both worlds!

What to do + Where to Stay in Puerto Iguazu/Iguazu Falls

I also wrote another entire post detailing what to do in Puerto Iguazu, how to visit Iguazi Falls from both the Argentinian and Brazilain sides, and where to stay. See it below!

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Visiting Iguazu Falls: A 2-3 Day Itinerary + Hotel from Puerto Iguazu

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Scenes from the Humahuaca Gorge

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Views from the Pucara de Tilcara

Places to Visit in Argentina: Destinations in the Northwest

Jujuy

This is a province in Argentina’s northwest with lots of treasures to be found. Jujuy city is the capital of Jujuy province, which along with Salta is rich in indigenous culture and incredible landscapes and highlands. The next few destinations below are all in Jujuy province.

Tilcara + Humahuaca Gorge

Humahuaca and Tilcara are small dusty desert towns inside the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Humahuaca Gorge. Tilcara is well known for having the best preserved Pucara, or fortress, used by the pre-hispanic peoples before the Incas. Humahuaca has incredible culture, shopping, and history.

There are many other points of interest along the Humahuaca Gorge that are detailed in my post below, as well as a booking link for the tour I did if you are interested. It’s best known for the incredible mountain landscapes with yellow, pink, red, and green that look like they were painted!

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Quebrada de Humahuaca Tour - Humahuaca Gorge Road Trip with Daytours4U
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Purmamarca

Purmamarca is home to the ‘Cerro de Siete Colores,” or the Hill of 7 Colors. And let me tell you – it’s probably more than seven colors! It’s one of the most spectacular places to visit in Argentina and is a great place to find indigenous souvenirs, too. There are lots of places to stay in Purmamarca, or you can see it as part of tours I will link below.

Where to Stay in Jujuy

To read more about Jujuy province and different Argentina destinations in the north, see my Guide to Northern Argentina’s Salta + Jujuy Provinces.

Salta

Salta is the capital of the Salta province, which is directly next to its slightly greener counterpart, Jujuy. There are similarly colorful desert landscapes and incredible road trips here through gorges and salt flats.

Salinas Grandes

The Salinas Grandes are technically half in Salta and half in Jujuy, and are a massive expanse of salt flats that are still used for extractions to export salt. They’re one of the lesser-known Argentina destinations. But, they’re amazing just the same, and much easier to get to than Uyuni in Bolivia!

You can get to them via Purmamarca and some incredible mountain roads in the Jujuy region, or via the Highway 52 through the El Toro Gorge, linked below.

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Salta Road Trip: Route 51 from Salta to San Antonio de Los Cobres
San Antonio de Los Cobres – Tren a Las Nubes

The Tren a Las Nubes is definitely one of the most unique things to do/ places to visit in Argentina. It’s one of the highest altitude train rides in the world at over 4200m elevation, and goes through some watercolored highlands and a magical viaduct.

To get to the train you drive the same road trip linked above, and ride the train at the end. Read more about it below!

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Riding the Tren a Las Nubes: Salta Argentina's Train To the Clouds
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Cafayate

Although within the Salta province, Cafayate requires its own description because it’s by far one of the top places to visit in Argentina. Cafayate is Argentina’s ‘other’ wine region, producing high altitude (just over 1500m) wines and specializing in a white wine varietal called Torrontes.

The ‘Cafayate Wine route” is a trail of dozens of wineries in the region that you can link together into a big wine tour (over a while, of course!). But, the special part about Cafayate is that there are at least a dozen wineries within walking/biking distance of the main town. Lots of people rent bikes to ride between the closer ones (and there are 4 in town you can walk to!).

Not only is there tons of amazing wine, but there are hikes, cheese farms, and other incredible nature in Cafayate as well. Read my 3-day Cafayate Itinerary here, or view the link below.

Quebrada de los Conchas

The Quebrada de Las Conchas is an area of outstanding natural beauty that falls on the road between Salta and Cafayate. There are almost impossible-looking rock formations in unnaturally bright colors, and it’s all-in-all simply amazing. Read more about how to visit in my post below.

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Cafayate Argentina: 3 Day Itinerary with Adventures + Lots of Wine

Well, there you have it! Which of these places to visit in Argentina have you been to? Are there more Argentina destinations I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

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Don’t forget to pin these places to visit in Argentina! 

October 3, 2018

Patagonia in Autumn: 5 Reasons to Go and 5 Things to Know

Patagonia in Autumn: 5 Reasons to Go and 5 Things to Know

Traveling to Patagonia in autumn can be risky but can also be the best decision you’ve made in your life. Sure, it’s colder, and the weather is statistically more unpredictable in the fall season.

But, when you lay your eyes on Patagonian landscapes sprinkled with bright red, orange, yellow, and pink trees, you’ll likely forget all about the temperature and be swept away by some of the most beautiful scenes you’ve ever seen.

Looking at a map of Latin America, you’ll find Patagonia in the far south – meaning that autumn happens in March and April, during the time the rest of the world is experiencing spring.

In my recent trip to Patagonia in autumn, I truly got the best of both worlds. During my W Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia bore her true self to us and presented so much snow, rain, and wind that at times we questioned if it was worth it.

But at the end of our trek when the weather cleared up, the beauty was so incredible it was overwhelming. Like, honestly overwhelming – it was a sensory overload in the best of ways. We got fantastic weather for the rest of our two week Patagonia itinerary, and felt so lucky to be able to walk among the most colorful forests I’ve ever seen (not to mention the most beautiful and dramatic mountains and sweeping panoramic views!)

So anyway, there’s an inherent risk in going to Patagonia in autumn – but there’s a weather risk here all year! I truly think Autumn is the best time to go to Patagonia, and I’ll tell you my five main reasons why here. But, in that there’s always a risk factor, I’ll also tell you five important things to know before you go!

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5 Reasons to Go to Patagonia in Autumn

Patagonia in Autumn: Fall Colors

Well this one should be the most obvious! Patagonia is debatably one of the most breathtaking places to go in Autumn, due to the type of trees that grow all over the landscape. These trees all turn color in the brightest possible way. The trees turn every color from candy apple red to bright orange and deep yellow, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason which trees change color first. This gives you a speckled landscape of all different colored trees right next to each other, with dots of orange or yellow in a sea of red or green. It’s pretty spectacular!

I was so mind blown by the colors on one of my hiking days that I actually went up and picked leaves off a few trees. And it turned out my suspicions were correct – a single leaf could be up to three colors at the same time! The one I picked up faded perfectly from red to orange to yellow around the outsides, and I just put it in my pocket and laughed to myself at another of nature’s lovely creations.

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Patagonia in Autumn: Less People/Less Crowded

If you visit Patagonia in Autumn, there are far less people than there can be in summer! So for those of you who hate crowds… this is your time. Depending on where in Patagonia you go, it can be more or less crowded, but as a universal rule it is MUCH more crowded in summer by people who can’t handle the cold. So if you can brave cooler temperatures, you will be rewarded by a LOT more of the mountains and viewpoints to yourself and less crowded hotels/hostels/refugio’s. That’s a win in my book!

Patagonia in Autumn: Incredible Views

If you get a good day, the views here can be absolutely, jaw-on-the-floor status breathtaking. Like, the kind of breathtaking that actually takes your breath out of your lungs. I was overwhelmed by beauty more times in Patagonia in two weeks than I can remember in my entire life, and you know what made those views that much better?

The red, pink, yellow, and orange trees. That’s right, fall colors enhance already-amazing views and make them…. a word that doesn’t exist in the English language. you’ll see what I mean. I promise.

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patagonia in fall torres del paine

Patagonia in Autumn: Possibility of Snow-Capped Mountains

If you’re in Patagonia in Autumn, chances are that some winter weather has already started making headway into the region. And this means SNOW! I don’t think it would really be Patagonia if there wasn’t at least a little bit of snow (I mean I got more than I bargained for, but hey…).

In Patagonia in Autumn, you may get some snow where you are depending where you go. But, there’s a better possibility that clouds will clear the morning after a storm and leave you with beautiful and picturesque snow-topped mountains all around you!

As a photographer I was obviously stoked when our tour guide told us all the snow at the top of the mountains had only just appeared. My photos looked amazing, and the snow only enhanced them! And snow topped mountains are other-worldly for sunrises, because they always turn pink as the sun comes up. Trust me on this and be up for a sunrise or two – which shouldn’t be hard because sunrise in Patagonia in Autumn is around 8:30am! If that’s not another selling point, I don’t know what is!

Patagonia in Autumn: You Get to Sleep In

Like I just mentioned, Patagonia in autumn has a bit less light than the rest of the year, being at the complete end of the earth and all 😉 In March and April, sunrise will be around 8:30am! So basically, you get to sleep in every day, but also don’t lose out on much hiking time because the sunset is still arounf 6:30-7pm. The daylight hours are plenty to get whatever hiking or adventures you need to get done, while also allowing you some extra time in the mornings.

There are also TONS of Tours to do Year-Round!

patagonia in fall torres del paine

5 Things to Know Before You Go to Patagonia in Autumn

Patagonia in Autumn: Prepare for WET.

That’s right, if you get some weather in Patagonia in autumn, you might get some WEATHER. as I have always said, Patagonia is a beautiful creature, but she is NOT a gentle one. When her wrath is unleashed, you best be prepared.

Prepare for getting wet, and getting wet everywhere. I’m not saying it WILL happen, but it could. It happened to me. I would say the best thing you could have is a really solid plastic rain poncho, and wear it over a waterproof hiking jacket. Waterproof pants would be good (I didn’t have this, just a long poncho). DEFINITELY have a waterproof cover for your backpack, and extra plastic bags for valuables. Water will find a way in your shoes no matter what, but waterproof hiking boots would be a good move.

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Patagonia in Autumn: Prepare for COLD.

Yeah, you’ll want to have plenty of layers at your disposal. The temperatures get very cold, and can dip below freezing at night. Wind also intensifies the cold.

For trekking, have a bottom layer that is water-absorbent. A down jacket would be good over that (if not one more long sleeve in between), with an all-weather waterproof jacket on top. I rarely needed all these layers (besides once in a really cold refugio during a trek when I wasn’t moving) but they’re good to have if need be! As far as bottoms go, I just wore long jackets and 1-2 pairs of tights. Many people wear long underwear as a bottom layer. Have gloves, a hat, and lots of socks if you need to double up.

I met a lot of people who had great weather trekking in Patagonia in Autumn, but you really don’t want to get caught unprepared here! Better safe than sorry… er, soaked.

Patagonia in Autumn: 5 Reasons to Go and 5 Things to Know Click To Tweet

patagonia in autumn fall colors mountains

patagonia in autumn colors patagonia weather

Patagonia in Autumn: Prepare for WIND

The wind is quite famous here in Patagonia. It’s relentless, strong, and loud, and has blown over LOTS of things, like people, trees, and even BUSSES – yes, I am serious.

You’ll get to know the wind when you get to Patagonia in Autumn, as it may even wake you in the night or shake the building you are it to the point of it being slightly concerning.

Our guide told us on one stretch of the W Trek in Torres del Paine that if a big gust of wind came, to duck and shield yourself until it had passed. This is because he has blown over multiple times and it’s safer to do this. So yeah, that might give you a good idea of the magnitude of Patagonian wind…. and if you think about wind like that blowing cold rain into your face… yeah. That could happen too. Preparation is key!

Patagonia in Autumn: Things to Think About for Camping

Depending on your plans in Patagonia, you may or may not have the option arise to camp on certain treks. It’s cheaper this way, but in my opinion, far more uncomfortable.

We ran into lots of camping groups on the W Trek and the Fitz Roy trek, And I honestly felt for them. If you consider below freezing temperatures, strong wind, and rain/snow, camping is quite the nightmare. If you do camp, just make sure that you have proper gear that is made for freezing temperatures and can buckle down into the ground well. Lots of campers put hot bottles of water into their sleeping bags at night to keep warm.

Then again, it might me a good idea just to stay in refugios, and do a tour like I did with ChileTourPatagonia where it was all set up for you. I was so happy I did! My tip would be not to camp in Patagonia in autumn – save camping for an eventual summer trip.

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Patagonia in Autumn: Less Frequency of Some Transport

Sometimes, busses and transport run less frequently in Patagonia in Autumn. Most services will continue at least up until May, where services, accommodation, refugios, and many busses will drop off quite steeply especially in the Southern part of Chilean/Argentinian Patagonia.

This is not really a big deal, but maybe book your busses a few days in advance to make sure you get the spot you want. And if it’s May and especially June – the end of autumn in Patagonia – many people take their holidays at this time so places could get even more empty. I traveled through northern Argentiniatn Patagonia in May, and many places were like a ghost town. If you come to Patagonia in autumn, late March and April are the best months.

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Hope you enjoyed these tips on Patagonia in autumn! Pin it if you did!

May 25, 2018

50 Photos to Inspire You to Plan a Namibia Road Trip + Itinerary

50 Photos to Inspire You to Plan a Namibia Road Trip + Itinerary

I honestly don’t think I will ever get over my Namibia road trip. After my Namibia safari tour I legitimately had a new FAVORITE country… and that is saying a lot for someone who always refused to name a favorite for anything!

I did this overland tour  through Namibia (and 6 other countries) but you could also do a self-drive Namibia road trip if you are up for the challenge. The photos I took in Namibia have got to be some of the best of my entire life, and I wanted to share them with you.

I spent a total of ten days driving through Namibia. We entered from South Africa on the south coast, by crossing the Orange River. We then traveled north, visiting Fish River Canyon, the Namib Desert, Namib-Nakluft National Park, Sossusvlei and sand dunes, ‘moonland,’ Swakopmund, Spitzkoppe, Etosha National Park, and Windhoek. These photos are all in order – an itinerary style, if you will – of the trip. I’ll list them out by day and explain a bit about what they are.

50 photos and facts to inspire you to plan a namibia road trip NOW! Includes a 10 day itinerary which you can self-drive or sign up for an overland caming/accomodated tour.

Hey! Pin this to Your Pinterest Boards before you forget!

The Namibia road trip was so much more than just these destinations, however. The entire journey – even the smallest of moments – was really pure magic. From the women selling fresh crystals on the side of the road, to catching tadpoles in cool rock pools, to scrambling up sand dunes and rock piles for incredible African sunsets, to exploring roadside markets and having the Atlantic ocean lap up at my toes… it was truly incredible. I can’t really even find the words to describe what Namibia is to me. I think I’ll just let the photos do the talking on this one… with minimal interruption by my attempts at captions!

BUT – if you want an in-depth explanation of each day/place (with less photos) I actually wrote a journal every single day of my Africa trip, which is published on my blog. To get the full experience, maybe open My Road Trip through Namibia: African Adventure Daily Travel Journal (opens in another tab automatically) so you can peer a bit into what life was like during my Namibia overland tour. If not… I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did! WAY less reading that way. 😛

Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 1: Orange River

This river creates the southern border between Namibia and South Africa. It’s the beginning of a desolate desert, has incredible geological formations, and beautiful river rafting. We stayed at a beautiful space called The Growcery, with a campsite, open-air bar area, guided rafting tours, and upgrades to tiny check rooms for under $3.

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I just LOVE getting up close to cool textures.

 

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This guy was growing all by himself out of hard, dry rock.

 

namibia road trip orange river

We hiked up to this view over the Orange River. Namibia is on the other side!

 

namibia road trip orange river south africa sunset

We watched the sun set over the river with our new furry friend.

 

Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 2: Road to Fish River Canyon

The drive today was incredible, and we had our faces and cameras totally glued to the window the whole time. Well, we actually had them OUT the window, because it was so hot that the only way to get a breeze was to open the windows all the way!

We pulled up to our lodge, Canyon Roadhouse, and set up camp. It was a beautiful campsite, but we were jealous of the accommodated tour busses staying in the beautiful lodge! It really did have an old roadhouse feel, with old cars in display and everything! We did a quick drive to Fish River Canyon in time to walk a part of the rim and watch ANOTHER one of the best sunsets of my life!

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The desert was desolate  and flat for the first part of the day.

 

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… But then it got more interesting.

 

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These and almost all the rest of the photos (until Etosha) are different parts of the extraordinarily diverse, incredibly scenic Namib Desert. This desert covers the entire West Coast of Namibia (and parts of South Africa and Angola), and is one of the largest, and THE oldest desert in the world.

 

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Enjoying the vibes from the oldest desert in the world. And when I say old, I mean 55 MILION YEARS OLD.

 

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This is Fish River Canyon. It’s the second largest canyon in the world behind the Grand Canyon.

Namibia road trip fish river canyon namib desert

I thought my shirt was very appropriate for my adventure.

Namibia road trip fish river canyon sunset

Fish River Canyon also started forming at least 50 million years ago, and it one of the best sunset spots of my life. Wait for it….

Namibia road trip fish river canyon sunset

THERE IT IS. Can life get much better? 

Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 3: Fish River to Sossus Camp

This leg of out Namibia road trip was one of my favorite drives of my life. As you will see, the scenery changed SO drastically through the day, but each and every view was equally, ridiculously, GORGEOUS!

I would go back to this campsite, Hammerstein Lodge + Campsite,  in a heartbeat. The setting was perfect. It was basic, but truly all we needed to enjoy this desert wonderland. They even had a little pool and set out food for the wild animals!

namibia road trip acacia africa overland tour lunch time

This is what lunchtime looks like on an overland tour. Pull over somewhere pretty, everyone help get out and prepare the supplies, set the chairs up in a circle, make sandwiches, chill out and enjoy the meal with a view.

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No sleeping allowed on this road trip. You wouldn’t want to miss a single view!

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Yet again, the landscape changes. 

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Still breathtaking though .

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It’s more than just the views here; you really feel something. It’s like the desert wants to teach you from it’s 55 million years of existence.

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BOOK AN AFRICA OVERLAND TOUR
I did my African Tour with Acacia Adventure Holidays. These run from 3-58 days and can be accommodated or camping tours depending on your route and countries. Overland tours are the best way to travel in Africa; they run in a big overland truck with camping and cooking equipment so you can rough it in deserts, bush, and forests! I camped the 40 Day Southern African Adventurer Tour from Cape Town to Cape Town (at an employee discount – see How I Afford to Travel), but you can book many different legs of this journey or different journeys all together.
To book the route that I took, see CAPE TOWN TO WINDHOEK Acacia Route. You can also book this tour in the opposite direction, or accommodated (not camping) either way.
Other amazing overland routes: Kenya to Cape Town (longest + most epic tour!) // Nairobi to Livingstone/Vic Falls // Joburg – Botswana – Joburg (Accommodated) // Joburg/Kruger to Cape Town (southern/garden route) // Cape Town to Windhoek (All of Namibia – my favorite part!) // Cape Town to Zanzibar and tons more! Check the link above for all tours. If you are considering an African Overland Tour and need any help planning, leave me a comment/email!
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From orange and green back to white and purple.

 

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Distant, purple mountains protecting the desert.

 

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Our scenic campsite for the night in the Sossus Desert.

 

desert oasis namibia road trip

The epitome of a desert Oasis, our campsite had a tiny pool built into a grass area with trees – the only bright green for miles.

 

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Desert colors + tones.

 

little sossus Namib desert Namibia road trip camping in Africa

There couldn’t possible be a happier camper around!

 

little sossus Namib desert Namibia road trip

But wait, the camper DID get happier when wild animals arrived to feed near the camp and she got to get up close and take photos. This wildebeast and Oryx are going head to head.

 

little sossus Namib desert Namibia road trip

When you’re looking out over wild animals in the middle of a purple desert, and it becomes real that you’re in AFRICA.

 

little sossus Namin desert Namibia road trip wath wild animals from a pool

Oh yeah, and you are also watching them from a POOL.

 

little sossus Namin desert Namibia road trip

Namibia did not have ONE less-than-perfect sunset. Not one. You’ll see from all the pics. 

 

little sossus Namin desert Namibia road trip

Orange on one side, purple on the other.

 

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This is not an ad for Acacia Africa, I Promise 😛 

 

Namibia Road Trip braai in the desert

Each night we would switch off helping our amazing guide cook dinner and wash up. This night we had an awesome barbecue – or a braai as they call it here in Africa!

 

little sossus camp cute dog

My day got even better when this adorable little guy wandered over from reception. He would fit perfectly in my backpack! 😛

 

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Oh, and it got even BETTER when a casual GIRAFFE walked by at sunset. What is life?!?!

 

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I didn’t think life could improve until the stars came out. Dear lord, the stars in Namibia are 5x brighter than the brightest I have ever seen.

 

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Galaxies, cosmic clouds, more stars than I have ever been able to make out. Magic.

Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 4: Sossus Camp to Sossusvlei Dunes and Namib Nakluft National Park

Today we arose before the sun to make it to the famous Namib Nakluft National Park. On the agenda was hiking sand dunes and checking out Deadvlei, a famous ancient desert! It’a a true highlight of Namibia and must be a stop on any Namibia road trip!

 

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We were up before the sun to climb the dunes before it got too hot. This was a desert sunrise.

 

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Here’s our truck driving through the red desert at sunrise, with the moon still out. I like taking sideways photos sometimes.

 

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary sossusvlei desert namib nakluft national park

The angular sunrise light on the dramatic dunes.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary sossusvlei desert namib nakluft national park

Looking out over the desert from one of the most famous dunes in Sossusvlei, Dune 45.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary sossusvlei sand dunes dune 45

Apparently, it’s the most photographed sand dune in the world. The tiny dots up there are people. 

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary sossusvlei desert namib nakluft national park

It’s hard to tell, but this photo stretched for miles. You can just make out the road.

 

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Before I forget, I want to let you know you can order prints of any of my photos on my photo website. Check it out?

 

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Tiny people, big world.

 

dune 45

I’ll never get over the contrast on these dunes.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary sossusvlei sand dunes dune 45 up close

Smooth. Milky…. creamy.

 

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Arriving to walk to deadvlei. Would you use this outhouse?

 

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More awesome textures.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary deadvlei sossusvlei namib nakluft national park

Deadvlei is an ancient white clay pan within the red dunes, with ancient dead trees creating a photographer’s paradise.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary deadvlei

A skeleton living up to the name of its location.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary deadvlei trees

These trees are over 1000 years old, and it got too dry for them to even decompose.

 

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Back in the truck we got to observe some more wild animals. 

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary giraffe crossing sign

Maybe the most interesting animal crossing sign I’ve seen.

 

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It may look grainy, but honestly there were that many stars.

 

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Those are two different galaxies next to the Milky Way. That’s THREE GALAXIES we could see with our naked eyes. 

 

Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 5: Sossusvlei to Swakopmund

Today we went back into civilization from being out in the middle of absolute nowhere (and loving it) for the past few days. Rather than small remote campsites with mere toilet and kitchen structures for us, we stayed in an actual hostel in Swakopmund called Amanpuri. Staying in a real bed – with a real pillow- was actually life changing. We forgot how good it felt!

Swakopmund is one of the best places to do adventures in Namibia. There are tons of Swakopmund activities like Sandboarding, skydiving, 4×4’ing, and more. It’s also coastal, and near the city you can see where the massive sand dunes meet the Atlantic. It’s pretty much perfect.

 

 

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Couple desert zebras checking on things.

 

Namibia Road Trip itinerary tropic of capricorn
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The tropic of Capricorn passes through Namibia. This means that there’s a temperate climate south of the Tropic, and a more tropical climate to the north. We could actually see this change in our further Africa travels! Funnily enough, I crossed this Tropic in Australia also. 

 

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Soon after the Tropic of Capricorn, we started to pass through an area known as ‘moonland.’ I’ll give you three guesses why it’s called that! 😛

 

Namibia Road Trip moonland

I’m also a big fan of photographing roads! This is a legit Namibian Highway. Most driving days would consist of regularly catching air due to the bumpiness.

 

Namibia Road Trip moonland

Continuations of Moonland

 

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THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!

 

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If I asked you to guess where I took this, would you in a million years have guessed ‘Namibia?’

 

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This is a coastal view of Swakopmund. There are little shops, markets, restaurants, and museums in town.

Photos to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 6: Sandboarding and Swakopmund

We stayed an extra day in Swakopmund in order to have time to do all the activities it had to offer! I chose to go sandboarding, and others did other or multiple activities.

 

Namibia Road Trip swakopmund sandboarding alter action

First walk up the hill for to go sandboarding! Read all about Sandboarding in Namibia here.

 

Namibia Road Trip swakopmund sandboarding alter action

I got the hang of things pretty quickly!

 

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Namibia used to be a German colony, and is to this day full of a majority of German tourists and German-speaking tours. The buildings and street names are all very German. This is an old advertisement for boats sailing here from Germany.

 

Photos to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 7: Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe may or may not have been my favorite stop of the Namibia road trip. OK, fine, I would never choose a favorite (have you been paying attention to these photos?!) But Spitzkoppe, a national park of mountainous boulders and incredible nature, was absolutely unforgettable. We stayed at the only campsite there, Spitzkoppe Community camp, and totally went off the grid for a night and loved it.

 

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We pulled over for some photos as soon as the park came into view. Pretty spectacular, huh?

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe namibia crystal

This is one of the crystal necklaces I bought on the side of the road on the way to Spitzkoppe.

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe

Stands on the side of the road into Spitzkoppe where local children were selling shells, crystals, wind chimes, and other trinkets.

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe camping site

Just a little desert campsite 🙂

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe poisonout root

We arrived at our campsite, pitched our tents, and went on a bush walk to see some ancient bushman paintings. This plant is one they would apparently use as poison to kill animals. So… don’t touch this root! 😉

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe bushmen cave paintings

Our guide explaining these multiple thousand-year-old bushman paintings to us.

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe

Afterwards I shot off on an adventure up the mountain. These people seemed to have the right idea.

 

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A different yet equally stunning part of the Namib Desert

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe

Quick 10 second timer shot by propping my camera up on a rock. 🙂

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe sunset clouds

Of course we shoud have known that Spitzkoppe would offer ANOTHER other-worldly sunset!

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe rock arch sunset

My camp mates probably got tired of me telling them where to stand for epic photos… but I think this one turned out!

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe sunset view rock

*heart eyes emoji*

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe sunset

Of course, the sunset was also perfectly framed.

 

Namibia Road Trip africa spitzkoppe sunset

My friend Min putting the size of this place in perspective

 

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Gettin’ creative with the star photos tonight.

Read More: Going to Cape Town? Check out my Cape Town Guide including the 10 Best Adventures in Cape Town, Wine Tours in Cape Town, Shark Diving Near Cape Town, and more!

Photos to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 8: Spitzkoppe to Etosha National Park

Today we left the desert once and for all, and were zoming on on finding some real African Wildlife in Etosha National Park. Over the 2 days we were there, staying at the Okaukuejo Resort’s campsite. I loved spending time by the pool here in between our safari’s!

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Saying goodbye to Spitzkoppe.

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First spotting of our afternoon game drive: a springbok!

 

Namibia Road Trip africa Etosha NP giraffes

One of the highlights of Etosha was seeing an entire family of giraffes walk by.

 

Namibia Road Trip africa Etosha NP jackal

We also spotted a hunting jackal, which is rare!

 

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Shaping up to be yet another great sunset?

 

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Why yes, yes, it was.

Etosha National Park Day 2

Today was a full day Namibian safari! We weren’t the most successful but it was a beautiful day in a beautiful place.

 

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Etosha National Park

 

Namibia Road Trip vultures eating elephant etosha national park

The most exciting part of our day – dozens of vultures eating a poor elephant. Oh, the food chain!

 

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The massive lake in the middle of Etosha is largely dry.

 

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Lone wildebeest

 

Namibia Road Trip kissing dunes

The one thing giving me fomo of doing a flight over the Namib-Nakluft sand dunes – ‘the kiss’ dunes!

 

Namibia Road Trip watering hole sunset

ANOTHER amazing sunset, this time over the watering hole?! Would only be better if a lion came to drink!

Photo to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 10: Windhoek!

Windhoek (pronounced in an extremely German-sounding way) is the capital of Namibia. We got there on a national holiday, so everything was closed, unfortunately. My group and I got to walk around a bit, but there’s no way a city could ever compare to what we had seen in the days prior!

We stayed at Urban Camp, which was beautiful safe, and centrally located. After setting up, we got an amazing dinner of local game at a German restaurant (I got an oryx schnitzel!) to round our our AMAZING Namibia road trip.

Africa

 

Next Up in my African Travel Journals: Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe!

ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR NAMIBIAN ROAD TRIP:

 

REMINDER! Pin this Namibia Road Trip Itinerary +photos to your Pinterest boards!

50 photos and facts to inspire you to plan a namibia road trip NOW! Includes a 10 day itinerary which you can self-drive or sign up for an overland caming/accomodated tour.

February 18, 2018

50 Amazing Los Angeles Day Trips to Satisfy Every Travel Craving

50 Amazing Los Angeles Day Trips to Satisfy Every Travel Craving

Sometimes you just need to get away, which is why these Los Angeles day trips can truly satisfy every travel craving for the LA resident or traveler alike. These picks just show why LA is a great home base for those infected with the travel bug, and why it’s truly a multi-faceted city with just about every different feeling you could ever want to find.

So, you caught the travel bug. Maybe you spent a month in Asia, maybe you backpacked through Europe, maybe you went on a family vacation to Hawaii or road tripped to the Grand Canyon. However far away you went, one thing is for sure: you went somewhere new and there is nothing you want more than to go somewhere new again. And again. And again. You now have a strange longing to continue to go new places where you can see new sights, meet new people, and understand how people live in places other than your little neighborhood containing all the same people and same sights.

Over 45 Amazing Los Angeles Day Trips to satisfy any travel and wanderlust cravings - nature, beaches, art, luxury, city, and more!

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But, there are quite a few obstacles to just picking up and going. Like that little thing called college that you’re obligated to stay in for four plus years. Or, say, that job that you need to pay your rent and your bills. And the fact that said job hardly pays your bills let alone provides funding to travel as often as this little longing at the back of your head tells you you want to.

You’re stuck here in Los Angeles for a little or a long while, and you need to find some way to satisfy your wanderlust here while also living your real life and making money to hopefully REALLY satisfy it one day. Well you’re in luck, because you happen to be stuck in a city where you can travel plentifully without stepping foot on a plane.

LA is one hell of a huge city (which can be seen by our complete lack of adequate public transportation). We encompass everything from the dirty downtown city vibes, the beachy surfer vibes, the nature-y mountain vibes, the suburban neighborhood vibes, the grungy street-artsy vibes, the bougie celebrity vibes, and everything in between, all in one place. Whenever you start to get queasy with the urge get out and go, this city will absolutely always have something new and exciting for you if you just have the curiosity to get out and find it.

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discover many different cultures in los angeles day trips to little tokyo, little ethiopia, little havana, little brazil, little germany, chinatown, and more!

Enough with LA, I need some culture. I want something different and foreign.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed before, but sometimes while you’re driving down LA streets like La Cienega or Venice Blvd, it may appear as if you’ve driven through 4 countries within ten minutes because of such heavy scenery change. It can change from luxurious to sketchy, residential to metropolitan, one way to a complete different other. As you clearly know if you have ever set foot in Little Tokyo, some areas of LA have concentrated areas of certain ethnicities where you can experience different ethnic food and mini-culture. Have you ever tried Ethiopian food from Little Ethiopia on Fairfax? I bet you didn’t know Washington Blvd has a small Brazilian area complete with the cutest little colorful motel you’ll ever see, a few gift shops, and some amazingly BOMB all-you-can-eat Brazilian Pizza. There are all sorts of little cultural places in LA – little Havana, little Armenia, Chinatown, Koreatown, Little India, Spanish/Mexican culture (hello, tacos) in El Pueblo, and even Alpine Village, a little German area in Torrance (and yes it does throw an Oktoberfest).

So I know its obviously not the same as really going and getting a real dose of culture from a different country. But not many other cities can boast such a diverse range of cultural specialities than here, and when you feel you need something new or maybe even just some authentic foreign food, these little day trips in LA are well worth exploring a bit yourself 🙂

Cultural Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

El Pueblo de Los Angeles

Little Tokyo

Koreatown

Little Ethiopia

Chinatown

Little Havana

 

Visit 3+ Ethnic Neighborhoods in One Tour

This tour takes you to Thai Town, Koreatown, and Little Armenia with a guide!

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LOS ANGELES🌞 it will always be a love hate relationship with you. Loved there for 4.5 years – LOVE the city and amount of adventures to be had, HATE the traffic. But it will always be one of my worldly homes🌸 . . Today on the Story: adventures in YOSEMITE – hikes waterfalls, and so many views! All while staying at one of the most incredible lodges I have ever had the pleasure of visiting… @yosemite_rushcreek . MANY photos to come but check this place out in the meantime if you ever wanna have a bit of comfort during your trip to Yosemite! It’s seriously a dream. . . ALSO I am in the process of getting my very first tattoo by the incredible @t.radz ! (I’m on my phone rn to distract me from the pain lol) but I can’t wait to show you guys!! It will be on the story soon🤙🏾 Can anyone guess what it is?! . . . . . . . . . #venice #venicebeach #california #visitcalifornia #california_igers #californiacoast #californiagirl #californiadreamin #losangeles #LA #losangeles_la #dametraveler #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #travelinladies #wearetravelgirls #globelletravels #femaletravelbloggers #girlslovetravel #sheisnotlost #explorerbabes #radgirlslife #freewanderess #girlsborntotravel #sunset #sunsetsniper #timeoutsociety #sidewalkerdaily #adventureculture #youmustsee

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Tropical and beachy Los Angeles day trips to satisfy any wanderlust cravings

I want to get AWAY from LA and RELAX. Somewhere tropical. Why is the Caribbean so far away?!

First of all, the fact that LA is so near the coast is too much of a blessing not to take full advantage of. We also just happen to live somewhere with beaches that are no less than gorgeous. Have you ever driven on PCH through Malibu on a nice sunny day? If you can’t get to the Caribbean, plan a stay-cation to LA’s local tropics right in our backyard. Malibu is one of the most beautiful places in California! There are SO many beaches and beach towns to explore in LA, each with their own unique character and super accessible as Los Angeles day trips.

The Santa Monica pier may get old and maybe you’ve been to Venice a zillion times, but what about Terranea and Trump beaches just south in Palos Verdes? Or anywhere in Malibu, which is basically a continuous gorgeous beach with tons of walkways down to the sand (and even parking on PCH!). From Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan to Zuma and Malibu Lagoon to all the lesser known shores in between, each are worth a good explore when you’re feeling like getting a nice relaxing beach day in and going somewhere new. It also helps that we have good, sunny weather basically every day. Beach days in December aren’t even out of the picture.

And yeah, these beaches aren’t AS tropical as places you wish you could go, but they sure are close, affordable, picturesque, and perfect for home-traveling when you can’t actual-travel. Hey, people all over the world dream of visiting these beaches, so we may as well make use of ‘em.

Tropical Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

El Segundo- town and beach

Terranea Resort beach

Redondo Pier

Abalone Cove – Palos Verdes

Paradise Cove – Malibu

Little Dume – Malibu

Naples Island Canals – Long Beach

satisfy your wanderlust without leaving your hometown - amazing nature los angeles day trips PCH road trip stops malibu

I’d prefer getting out into nature and spending some time with mother earth herself. Somewhere to clear my mind.

The Santa Monica Mountain Range spans from north Malibu all the way into pretty much downtown. You know those big hills you see from everywhere in LA, the reason you can see the Hollywood Sign perched up high?

This long stretch of mountains houses another world of adventures that make it seem like you’ve left LA entirely. From waterfalls and creeks to views and abandoned graffiti-covered houses, it’s safe to say there are a LOT of places to clear your mind and get into nature in LA’s own mountain range.

There are a variety of hilltop trails with great views, from more trendy Runyon Canyon or Griffith Park hikes to more secluded Tuna Canyon, Los Liones, Solstice Canyon, and Point Mugu up in Malibu. You can do some cliff jumping far from the city buzz at Malibu Creek, or chase some waterfalls at Escondido Falls right down the road from PCH in Malibu.

There’s an abandoned Zoo you can visit near Griffith Park, and if you want to get really creepy you can hike down to the remains of Nazi camp Murphy Ranch just an nourish hike from amazing Will Rogers State Park trails. If you want to make a full day of it, you can bring a picnic and head to my personal favorite cliff jumping spot: Hermit Falls.

This one is only a bit farther up in Azusa, but very worth your while when you see this Fern Gully lookalike, with streams leading into small, medium, and large cliff-jumping spots between smooth marble rock. If you are getting city fever, escaping to any of these will leave you feeling recharged and happy with a dose of quiet, green, leafy, uninterrupted nature. It also helps they are all within driving distance from anywhere in LA, giving you no excuse not to get out there and spend some time with mother nature herself.

Nature Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

Tuna Canyon – Malibu

Murphy Ranch – Pacific Palisades

Sunken City – San Pedro

Solstice Canyon – Malibu

Escondido Falls – Malibu

Malibu Creek – Malibu

Hermit falls- Azusa

Griffith Park – Downtown

big city Los Angeles day trips to satisfy any wanderlust cravings

The concrete jungle is what my dreams are made of. Take me to the big city!

Well this one should be obvious. If you want to feel like you’re in the big city, you’re currently in one of the biggest in the world. The concrete jungle spans far here, with downtown LA being the first choice if you want to walk among the high rises and neon-lit developments. There are lots of sections of downtown worth venturing through; namely, LA Live, the Fashion District, Grand Park area, and the Jewelry District – with Grand Central Market and Pershing Square as definite highlights. There are too many amazing little spots in downtown to count off, but if you live in LA and haven’t checked it out, it’s a must.

If you want to go full tourist, jump about a Los Angeles Big Bus tour. These classic bus tours really do take you to all the important landmarks… I mean, how many have you honestly seen yet?

Going into downtown is one of my favorite things about living in LA and is what truly makes it real to me that I live here. Walking through the high rises is the classic LA experience, and is what people who have never been here picture it to be. It’s a true Los Angeles Day Trip IN Los Angeles! Downtown is not alone with that experience, though, in that you can drive down Wilshire, Hollywood, or Sunset and come across many more areas with ambient big-city vibes.

Walking along or going out on the Sunset Strip is a must, Hollywood Boulevard is a given, and there are a lot of developed areas along Wilshire with a classic Los Angeles look. The nightlife is booming and plentiful in these areas as well: another definitive Los Angeles characteristic. So, when you’re itching for a big-city experience, Los Angelenos, always remember that they are always at your fingertips!

Big City Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

Universal Citywalk

LA Live

Hollywood blvd

Sunset Strip

DTLA, of Course

Downtown Long Beach – Pine Ave

Century City

street art in los angeles day trips

Effortless Los Angeles day trips you can book and have someone take care of EVERYTHING for you!

Whether you live here or not, sometimes it’s simply refreshing to sign up for a day trip or day tour where you don’t actually have to worry about a thing the whole day. I always say it’s important to be a tourist in your own city so that you can satisfy your wanderlust without actually going anywhere, and LA is a better place to do that than ever. Here are a couple ideas of tours you can book in LA to do interesting, touristy, slightly splurge-y, out-of-the-box, or insider activities.

 

Small-town Los Angeles day trips to satisfy any wanderlust cravings

I already KNOW we’re in a big city, but sometimes I wish we weren’t. I want a more cute and quaint and small-town getaway from LA.

Believe it or not, there are tons of charming little areas in LA that can make it temporarily feel like you’ve been transported to a little village somewhere far away. A lot of the beach towns can give this feeling, with cute little shops and family-owned bars and restaurants lining pedestrian- filled walkways. El Segundo has the cutest little downtown that is so much fun to explore. There’s a little stretch of Montana Ave in Santa Monica with some amazing cafes and shopping, with big leafy green trees shading you from the sun in this family-oriented yet upscale neighborhood. The Pacific Palisades and Brentwood have multiple adorable little markets that are worth a wander, with high quality farmer’s markets each Sunday to match the quaint atmosphere. Most centers in Malibu give off the same small-town beachy vibe that is much different from the hustle and bustle of downtown, and are really easy day trips from Los Angeles.

Small Town Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

Fisherman’s Village – Marina Del Rey

Most of Malibu

Culver City

Downtown Hermosa/Manhattan Beach

Downtown Palos Verdes

Brentwood Village

Westwood Village

trendy and edgy Los Angeles day trips to satisfy any wanderlust cravings

I want trendy and contemporary. Somewhere young & artsy, hip, designer, and fashionable.

Trendy LA is everywhere. There are several modern neighborhoods where you can find tastefully designed shopping, eats, and bars, and lots of impressive street art too. With a large population that absolutely always needs to stay up on the latest style and even strives for that avant-garde, there are tons of places you can go around here where you can feel like you’re among the trendsetters. Take a step down Abbott Kinney in Venice and you will understand just how stylish LA can get… Abbott Kinney is the hip place of west LA. It’s the kind of place that I want to look my cutest so that I can fit in with all the young and fashionable people walking around, and so that the store owners don’t look at me strangely every time I walk into their store that sells $99 rosewood tea strainers, $450 knit sweaters, and $600 native American headdresses (I wish I was kidding…).

Heading down Abbott Kinney and along onto Main Street in Santa Monica you’ll find some more chic places; think ‘succulents growing in a pattern on the wall’ or ‘coffee shops that play only underground deep house’ kind of trendy. All of which, in fact, are awesome and so much fun to discover. Melrose is another huge trendy area, with some upscale retailers and many adorable and scrumptious places to dine for lunch, brunch, dinner, a nice coffee, or some classic LA designer juice. On an even more hipster note, we have Silverlake, with its organic local eateries and enjoyable night life among like-minded people. I would definitely say that there is at least a small dose of trendiness anywhere you want to go around here… it’s what makes LA, LA.

Trendy + Edgy Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

Venice/Abbott Kinney

Bergamot Station – Santa Monica

DTLA – FIDM, Art Walk

Melrose

Silverlake

Downtown Hollywood

LACMA 

Luxurious Los Angeles day trips to satisfy any wanderlust cravings

I want LUXURY. I wish I could go to a ritzy place as a day trip from LA without spending the money on a high-class resort…

On the even more upscale end, we of course have the lovely Beverly Hills. If you enjoy the type of shopping where you walk into an all white room with two racks of clothes and a worker wearing a suit, then take an afternoon and walk down Rodeo Drive. It’s always been a dream of mine to put on the nicest clothes I own and walk down Rodeo pretending like I can actually afford anything there… But, all sarcasm aside, these swanky LA neighborhoods are a nice getaway from the usual routine, and you can indulge in some luxuriousness without any real traveling.

I always like a good drive past some of LA’s richest areas so I can check out the aaaamazing mansions that some lucky people own… namely, Montana area in Santa Monica, the Pacific Palisades, the Hollywood hills, and even Palos Verdes (Come on… you’d be lying if you said you don’t enjoy checking out some nice houses. It’s always fun to stalk some pretty homes). Brentwood has some areas that can definitely also reach the luxurious end of the scale, shopping and dining alike. The Golden Triangle by the split of Wilshire and Santa Monica is a standout, with the famous Sprinkles cupcake ATM machine… if that isn’t glamorous, I don’t know what is.

Luxury Picks for Los Angeles Day Trips:

Beverly Hills

Golden Triangle/Rodeo Drive

Sunset Strip

Hollywood Hills

The Grove

The Getty Museum

 

 

Anyway, fellow wanderlusters, I hope these Los Angeles day trips provided you with some inspiration to get out there and discover LA! There are unlimited vay- and stay-cations to be had around here, in one of the most varied, enormous, and multi-cultural cities on the planet. And, why not do a California Road Trip if you have time? The one travel craving I can’t find you in LA is cold weather (unless you go to Big Bear), but most people would say that that’s a good thing. 😉

 

January 18, 2018

Five Amazing Getaways From Sydney

Five Amazing Getaways From Sydney

Looking for a weekend break from the hustle and bustle of Sydney life? Located in New South
Wales, the state is filled with a wide range of beautiful natural attractions and a variety of
terrains to explore, from the red, desert plains of outback NSW to the lush vineyards of the
Hunter Valley. Whether you want to relax on stunning beaches, take on an exciting bushwalking
adventure, or enjoy a scenic coastal walk, there’s so much to explore in wild NSW – and all less
than a three hour drive away! Check out five amazing getaways from Sydney below and start planning your next weekend break!

 

Hunter Valley Vineyards

Source: Flickr

Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley in NSW has many options for spas, wine tours, and picturesque cottages
perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. The area is Australia’s oldest wine region and there
are many cellar doors, vineyards and wineries offering world-class bubbles. Situated around a
three hour drive from Sydney, sip shiraz as the sun goes down over the vineyards, visit the local
farmers markets and relax in luxurious spas on a relaxing weekend retreat in Hunter Valley.

There are many Hunter Valley full-day Tours from Sydney that you can check out if you can’t do a full weekend retreat!

Port  Stephens. Australia.

Source: Flickr

Port Stephens

Take the two hour coastal drive north to Port Stephens and discover gorgeous beaches, bays
and adventure sports. Great for short breaks and family holidays, Port Stephens is blessed with
26 golden beaches perfect for surfing, swimming and unwinding. As well as a wide range of fun
beach activities, the region also has a variety of exciting outdoor adventures including skydiving,
mountain biking and 4WD experiences on the shifting sand dunes of Worimi Conservation
Lands.

Read Next: 8 Day Trips from Melbourne to try in Victoria! 

Central Coast

Get away from bustling city life and enjoy a holiday in the beautiful Central Coast.  Just an
hour’s drive from Sydney, the region is well-known for its amazing surf beaches, including
Umina Beach, Avoca Beach and Ettalong Beach, as well as the legendary surfing spot Terrigal.
Explore Brisbane Waters National Park on a bushwalking adventure through lush forests, kayak
on shimmering waterways, and discover ancient Aboriginal rock engraving sites. Looking for a
secluded beach? Take a walk along the Maitland Bay track in Bouddi National Park and unwind
in paradise surrounds.

Wollongong #3

Source: Flickr

Kiama

Discover the south coast of NSW and spend one of the best getaways from Sydney in the seaside town of Kiama. Explore the striking, otherworldly headlands of Bombo Quarry and Cathedral Rocks on one of
the many stunning coastal walks in the area, and take a break on the gorgeous sands of Bombo
Beach, Kendalls Beach and more. Also, don’t miss your chance to see the Kiama Blowhole, the largest blowhole in the world.

The Three Sisters, Katoomba, NSW.

Source: Flickr

Katoomba

Home to the Blue Mountains, visit Katoomba to unplug and get away from it all. Around an hour
and a half drive from the city, Katoomba offers awe-inspiring views of the iconic Three Sisters,
Jamieson Valley and the Scenic World railway, skyline and walkway. Explore exciting
bush walks, scenic drives, camping and more in the national park, and experience the
community spirit in the small town’s traditional restaurants, cafes and interesting local art galleries.

There are also many Blue Mountains tours available as a day trip from Sydney!


Thanks for the guest post, Alex Johnson! Check out his blog at Inspire a Better Life!

October 31, 2017

How I Afford to Travel: the No-BS Explanation of My Global Lifestyle

How I Afford to Travel: the No-BS Explanation of My Global Lifestyle

I’ve been asked how I afford to travel a million times and I’ll be asked a million more. But what bothers me is that each situation is so, so different. There are so many factors that go into my destinations and methods, and so much planning and saving. No, money does’t grow like grass in my backyard and no, I don’t have a rich dad who pays for everything. Yes, I fund everything, gasp, myself. Yes, I’m actually probably more broke than you. But I choose this lifestyle because I think it’s worth the risks that are associated with it.

I have issues saying no to adventures and enjoy a good meal or drink, yes, which may or may not be my downfalls. But behind any crazy expectation you may have of someone with my lifestyle, I’m actually your general frugal twenty-something making her way through life.

Many of you follow me on instagram and constantly see exotic photos of crazy places, but behind the pretty colors are actual jobs most of the time. I know it may seem like I’m never working, but that’s where you are wrong. I actually spent nearly all of 2016 working, just in three different jobs in three different places with adventures along the way. I’ve been hopping between working and budget traveling for over two years now, and am beginning to figure out the grueling process of monetizing my blog. But I digress.

London Expat

When I first moved to London, just over 2 years ago!

If you aren’t too familiar with my life, allow me to go into a very short summary (with links to blog posts if you want to get more into it) to precede some explanation of it that you’ve all been waiting for:

How I Afford to Travel: A Brief Life Travel Background Story

I graduated from UCLA in December 2014, and moved to London in January 2015, pretty much without a plan. I used money I saved from working during my last years of college, and saved up enough for a few months rent. I was solo and had an interesting time making friends and finding work, but made the most out of London!

Read more about my experience finding work in London here

Read more about my experience making friends in London by myself here

A ridiculous day that could only happen in London

Why London is actually the most exciting city in the world

 I lived and worked in London until June, applying for summer jobs like mad so I could afford to travel more. In June I went over to Croatia for my first season as a tour guide on sailing tours for the entire summer. I then went home to California for a bit before leaving for a two month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia with my best friend. After the new year I entered Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, and traveled around for a month before settling in Manly Beach, Sydney for five months working as a waitress.

What it’s like backpacking Southeast Asia… and how normal things become luxuries

One of my favorite European festivals, Sziget

All you could ever want to know about Croatia

My experience moving to Australia

In June I went back to Europe, visiting some family before starting my second summer season working in Croatia. After Croatia I went straight back to Australia but this time a few hours outside of Perth, working in a little farm town to complete my ‘farm work’ to extend my visa by another year. My 88 days ended on Christmas eve, when I spent the holidays with friends in and around Perth. After the new year I went back to California to spend the longest time at home since 2014, catching up with family and friends (and ending up on multiple mini-trips… a trip to Kauai with my parents on their timeshare they brought me on, one to Mammoth with a friend, one to SF to visit friends, and one to Iceland for 6 days on a trip with friends we have had planned a while on budget tickets. See? I can’t say no to anything and go broke in the process).

My life living in a town of literally TEN people

Signs you have sailed Croatia – my summer life in a nutshell

I sheared an actual sheep in the Aussie country

My first sponsored festival in Perth

As I publish this I am preparing for another lengthly trip around Africa for two months, before roaming around Europe for a few weeks before my third season working in Croatia.

So without further ado, here is my best explanation of the ways I have afforded to travel as much as I have in the past few years.

hong kong sunset light

I actually put my camera on top of a trash can on self timer for this one. Solo travel ftw!

How I Afford to Travel: Applying to a Million Jobs

Find me in a cafe perusing gumtree, craigslist, indeed, linkedin, and other country-specific job sites looking for and applying to suitable opportunities whenever I enter a new place that I want work. Find me literally stalking companies I want to work for and emailing their HR people. And I’m generally talking travel companies who have opportunities that align with the lifestyle I want for myself, or at least jobs that allow me to move around.

In London and Sydney, I applied to a billion jobs before I got any, and I found my farm work job through a friend just a few weeks before flying out to Australia. But, it all always falls together. Life just seems to work that way. In London I worked 3 or 4 different jobs at different times, in hospitality and sales, alternating my availability, and these are a majoy way how I afford to travel. In Sydney I think I brought my CV to 10 different restaurants and applied to just as many jobs online. Before I got my job with Topdeck (in Croatia), I emailed a zillion similar companies, checked back to their job postings literally weekly, and applied as soon as I got the chance. Which brings me to my next point!

How I Afford to Travel: Working for a Travel Company

This is a big one. Like, a massive one. When I got my job with Topdeck Travel while living in London, I was inducted into a global company with worldwide travel opportunities. When I was just a wee little expat living in London and dreaming of having a summer travel job in Europe, Topdeck was a big goal of mine. When their “Croatia Sailing Rep” job popped up on their site with a minimum application age of 23, I applied anyway at 22…. and ended up getting the job. Working for a travel company opened up a new world for me.

Being able to work my summer living on a boat in Croatia is practically what my dreams are made of. On instagram it of course looks like I sit on deck sipping cocktails all day (which is partly true 😉 ) but the hustle with this job is just as hard as, but very different than, other jobs. You basically pay for the lifestyle in lack of sleep, stupid questions, alcohol tolerance, and living on a boat isn’t as glamorous as it seems. I could go way into this, but I’ll keep it simple. I wouldn’t trade this life for the world and am actually able to save up a LOT of money during my Croatian summers… enough to fund my travels for sure.  This job allows me to travel a lot through Europe on my weeks off, and all in all allows for a lot of movement and being outside – which are two things I crave.

Secondly and almost more importantly, being an employee with Topdeck allows me to capitalize on employee benefits on their other tours (read: best job perks EVER). Topdeck is how I afford to travel on the big tours I have been on (Australia and Africa). I’m not ordinarily a massive tour person, but you best believe I’m not going to say no to a 70-75% discount on tours they have in five of the seven continents. My month traveling through Australia was on a Topdeck tour (the longest one they had) at 70% off, and my 40 day Africa tour will be at 75% off through Topdeck…. I know. It would be rude not to! 

tour guide history lesson mljet croatia

I’m like a preschool teacher, except my pupils are drunk adults. Quite similar, really 😛

great ocean road twelve apostles sunset

I was lucky enough to witness this natural miracle on my Tour around Australia with Topdeck, Jan 2016

How I Afford to Travel: Making use of Working Holiday Programs/Visas

There are so many countries where you can get a visa and actually work while there, Australia being the most obvious of these. It depends massively on what country you’re from and where you want to go, but there is always a way. Trust me on that. Even if you just work in a hostel or a workaway in exchange for accommodation and food, that enables you to stay on the road much longer and work while traveling.

Of course I made great use of the working holiday visa in Australia (high minimum wage, hayyy ohhhh) and will probably do this in other countries as I go on… New Zealand is on the list for sure. Working Holiday visas are a major reason how I afford to travel and enable you to experience life in a new place as well.

How I Afford to Travel: Making Connections All Over the World /Staying with Friends/Homestays

As any other backpackers can confirm, you meet LOTS of people while traveling. Tons. And in the traveling situation, it is much easier to connect with people because backpackers as it is must already be a certain type of person. Being a tour guide allows me to meet 20-30 new people each week, some of which I obviously connect with on a higher level than others. I have made SO many lifelong friends while traveling, many of which have kindly opened up their homes to me while I was coming through their cities.

The traveling community is understanding and giving, and has such an incredibly pervasive ‘traveler-helping-traveler’ attitude. I’ll stay with you in your city, you stay with me in mine. Many of us get joy from showing travelers around our cities, and will be so grateful at friends showing us around their city. But anyway, as you travel, you make so many friends who you can end up staying with as you go and help you afford to travel longer. Just make sure to always be open to new friendship while traveling and connect with others – just say hi!

Couchsurfing is also always an option (again, the traveler-helping-traveler vibe) and there are always homestays available in the homes of genuine people who enjoy to help out and share stories.

12439342_10153908738065929_831743559057619425_n

IMG_9734

I have made such amazing friends and met such incredible people on the road I could cry!

How I Afford to Travel: Budget Hostels – I’m Talking 16 Bed Dorms

I always stay in hostels. I sometimes treat myself to a smaller room, but the reality is that I’m in the cheapest room possible wherever I go. Like, top bunk with 16 other sleeping bodies in close proximity to one another. At least 2 of them are usually snoring, one is coughing, and at least 4 get home drunk at 4am and occasionally have the audacity to turn the light on. I’m not in fancy hotel rooms or any of that snazzy stuff unless maybe I’m in a crazy cheap place like Southeast Asia. I mean, I would LOVE to travel that way one day (and plan to!), but I simply can’t right now if I want to accomplish my bucket list. Night busses, flights, and trains save a night of accomodation, and if I’m ever in an apartment its always because its cheaper splitting with friends.

But, as many of you may know, hostels are one of my favorite atmospheres in the world and I adore their social and inclusive qualities. I use Hostelworld to book all my hostels and love how you can use so many different filters, read reviews, see photos, and compare amenities.

spicy pai hostel

The ‘common room’ of one of my hostels in Pai, Thailand. We slept in a 28 bed straw hut that night, and i had to climb a ladder to my little bed!!

How I Afford to Travel: Saving Money – I’m Talking SAVING. Like, I Don’t Spend Money. Ask Any of My Friends.

This is probably the main way how I afford to travel. No gym memberships, no fancy cocktails, no massive nights out spending, no going out to eat if I can damn well help it. And if I do go out, I’m attempting to have a smaller portion and then going home and raiding the cupboard. I shop at Aldi and Lidl, I’m all about any kind of sale, and I basically finagle the hell out of everything to save money. I’m even cheap, if you will. But I have a long way that I want my money to go and I intend to stretch it there. There are of course a few things I tend to spend money on (hello, festivals) and my friends know this. I try to only spend money when its something I legitimately need. I’m not saying that sometimes I don’t legitimately need a beer (ha) but generally it greatly pains me when I’m required to attend a group dinner and fork out $40. Check out 8 Things I am putting off in life to afford to travel now!

I saved money while living in London, and I saved while living in Sydney and Perth. I save lots in Croatia. Hell, I save everywhere – even in cities where people say it’s impossible. Hint: it’s not. I live quite a simple lifestyle while abroad – I never have a car; I usually locate myself a bike and/or walk everywhere. Having jobs that cover my accommodation and food (Croatia/Perth) have helped a lot.

Insurance has been hard but I usually buy travel insurance or live in countries where I am automatically covered with my Brit passport, aka Australia and the UK. (You should take a hint from this, America.)

harrismith oasis hotel

This is Dennis and Roscoe, the two most dedicated regulars at the country pub I lived and worked at in the bush of Australia. They’d come in each evening and drink Swan Draught. (I mean, have you ever witnessed such an epic dread lock beard?! Or a dread lock beard at all?!)

iceland continental divide

Iceland – I had coffee for breakfast this day, survived on trail mix and muesli bars all day, and had tomato soup for dinner. PS – this is the continental divide between Europe and North America. See more Iceland pics on my instagram!

How I Afford to Travel: Not Taking Care of What Some Consider Basic Needs

This is half joking but half not. My hair is often gross and split, but a haircut is not what I need to be spending money on right now.

My makeup is all from CVS (a basic drugstore) on coupons my mom collects- nothing fancy at all. I don’t even bring eye shadow with me on the road and I think I went 6 months without eyeliner last year after I lost mine!

There are probably a few reasons I should go to the doctor, but I’m fairly sure I’ll survive. I 100000% need glasses, but I think I can see well enough to get by.

Things like this are being put to the wayside at this point in my life to spend these years exploring. Some may consider this stupid, but I’m going to Africa in two weeks, so I’m alright with it.

How I Afford to Travel: Blogging and Blog Exchanges

I’ve casually spent the last two years building my blog, and the last four building up my social media following. So, kindly excuse me for being able to finally reap some benefits of an actual shit ton of hard, uncompensated work! Adventures & Sunsets is my labour of love, and is practically my life. I intend to take it much farther that it is right now… but becoming a successful blogger is a massive goal for me to dedicate myself to work towards.

I’m currently at the beginning stages of monetization… it’s hard when I am also usually working more than full time (I have zero free time in Croatia and had a broken computer for months). But at this point I have enough social capital and marketing opportunities to offer brands, hostels, adventure companies, festivals, and tourism boards that they are happy to work with me on an exchange basis or basic payment scheme. In exchange for photos, social media posts, mentions in my blog, blog posts, or other content creation, companies will host me for free. It does’t pay the bills (yet) but it definitely enables opportunities I could not otherwise get and helps me afford to travel.

Read about my experience in Slovenia on some blog exchanges , or at Oktoberfest

behind the scened photography kauai sunset

Behind the scenes… thanks mum for capturing me at my purest self (this sunset pic turned out rad by the way… it’s on my instagram!)

southbound festival

Being a happy little clam at my first sponsored festival… Southbound hosted me in exchange for a 17 category festival review that I write for all festivals I attend. Read any of them here.

How I Afford to Travel: Freelancing

I haven’t done much freelancing, but I’ve been able to scrape up a fair amount of extra money through random freelance jobs for different companies usually involving photography or writing.

How I Afford to Travel: GARAGE SALES / Not Buying Expensive Clothes

Guys, I literally get all my clothes from garage sales. It’s my mum and my absolute favorite pastime. On weekend mornings when I’m home, we arise at the crack of dawn to attend estate and garage sales (which she finds through apps she has) and peruse through zillions of used clothes, shoes, jewelry, and anything and everything in between. I would put a bet on the fact that at least one article of clothing I am wearing at any given time is from a garage sale. Any of my friends know this, and have probably been garage sailing with mum and I!

Garage sales are generally an absolute crap shoot, and you will find absolutely nothing some days and get an entire new wardrobe for $1 the next, but that’s the fun in it. You find the quirkiest and craziest items, have a great time doing it, and honestly find a lot of great clothes. Plus, I’m determined to fashion my entire Burning Man wardrobe from garage sales this year 😛

Other than this, I rarely shop unless I am spiritually moved to purchase something for some reason or another. Fine, this probably happens a few times per trip, but you generally won’t find me spending money on clothes unless its either really cheap, necessary for my travels, or again, it calls me on a spiritual level (Girls – you know what I mean 😛 ).

I have actually had a few massive garage sales myself (and am having one this weekend… message me if you are in OC because I’m practically selling everything I own!) which have helped me save a surprising amount of money and are a major reason how I afford to travel as well!

Ljubljana CurioCity Tour Slovenia Slovenia travel guide

Shorts? Top? Garage sales. These black shorts were probably $1 and have been on every backpacking trip with me.

poipu kauai guide to kauai adventures & sunsets in kauai

bathing suit? found by mum at a garage sale.

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All workout clothes found at garage sales. We even recently found a pair of new nike running shoes at one. I aaaalways find cute yoga pants too!

How I Afford to Travel: Staying at Home in Between Trips

I stay at home with my parents, in the house I grew up in, whenever I am home. My parents are incredibly supportive and have become appreciative of the time I’m home since I started traveling two years ago. Mum is an absolute goddess and makes me amazing food, and my dad (although militarily ingrained to expect a stable career from his daughter) has finally come around to my lifestyle and worries much less about my well-being after I have proven my abilities to sustain myself. My mother did something similar with her life when she was in her twenties, so I blame it on her! More about my parents later.

How I Afford to Travel: Budget Airlines / Bussing

I get from point A to B in the cheapest way possible, which is usually by bus. If it’s by air, its RyanAir or its sketchy international equivalent. I try to have a carry-on only when applicable, and pack snacks for the plane always.

angkor wat

How I Afford to Travel: Benefits I Have Been Blessed With and Am Making the Most Out Of

So for my entire time blogging, I have been reluctant, almost guilty to tell the world about these two things because I’m so passionate about making travel accessible to everyone. But now it’s time I finally tell you guys about two massive things that enable my lifestyle. These things are pretty big components in how I afford to travel, or how i am able to travel. But before you immediately attribute everything to just these two things, realize that it’s a massive combination of everything I have mentioned and that I most likely would have found a way to live this lifestyle with or without these things.

A British Passport

My Mum’s British; half of my family is over there. I spent my youth going back and forth from the UK visiting family, and have had a British Passport since a young age. (Fun fact: I grew up in California but I actually had a British accent until I went to preschool; my dad worked a lot during my early years and I quickly picked up the British accents of my mum and nana – it was finally quashed by picking up the American accents of my preschool classmates!) Anyway, growing up in the US, I never really had a chance to fully get in touch with the British half of my heritage.

Jump forward to my last year of college when I was trying to decide what the hell to do with my life. I had the desire to connect with my British half, I had the passport… why not move to London if I don’t know what I’m doing anyway? My time in London was the segway to the lifestyle I am still pioneering, and it enabled me to learn a lot about myself while exploring my heritage and seeing a lot of family.

The Brit passport has been invaluable while traveling… I really don’t want to talk about Brexit and it’s possible implications on my traveling, but I suppose I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

This is an unbelievable benefit in my life, but the way I see it is that if I have the passport, it would be silly not to make use of it and explore that part of myself.

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Both passports, in all their glory

holyhead lighthouse wales

This is about half an hour from where my uncle lives in Wales.

 

My Parents Both Worked for American Airlines

This is another massive one. Please don’t pre-judge me. This is another huge travel benefit I would be actually be insane not to make use of…. so I do. A lot. This means I go standby on most flights I take, which are always on American Airlines if travel routes permit it. Going standby, although stressful, is how I afford to travel on most flights that go at least close to where I need to be.

AA doesn’t fly everywhere (and is the only airline I get discounts on), so oftentimes I take a standby American Airlines flight at minimal cost to the next most convenient location to buy flights from.

(For example, when I needed to get to Perth, I flew from LAX to the nearest AA city, Sydney, and bought flights from there. When I needed to get home from Perth, I flew through the cheapest AA city to get to from Perth, Hong Kong, and stood by from there. I had to spend a few days there but naturally I was stoked on that.)

Standby means that, if there’s an extra seat on the plane, I can take it. There is a big complicated hierarchy to standby travel, though, and when I turned 24 last year I was demoted to the very last priority. However, by being smart, planning travel in a specific way, and constantly having flexible travel dates, I can pretty much always get myself to the destination I need by the time I need to be there (with a lot of help from my standby/general flight wizard mother). Sometimes I get stuck in airports for hours or in cities for days, but it’s a small price to pay for affordable air travel.

This is honestly something I have felt the most guilty about admitting. But I’m sure I would have still lived this way had the situation been different, but perhaps with less hemisphere swapping and more staying in one place for longer. And I must say that oftentimes my friends have found cheaper RT flight deals than I have had to pay for standby fees. I probably would have become a flight deal wizard or something if not for my airline employee parents… But hey, again… always make use of what you’ve got. Would be rude not to.

grampians national park australia how I afford to travel

So there you have it. All of these things are how I afford to travel. I work totally random jobs in different places and online to save up money for my journey. I fly cheaply when I can and arrange tours and accommodation at a fraction of the price if anything in exchange for more work. I don’t spend thaaaaaat much money on unnecessary things (at least I try) and I focus my life on seeing more places and attaining new experience rather than material things. Unless you consider plane tickets material things… in that case, I want those.

So I hope this has explained it, guys. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think, if you have any more questions, or if I can explain anything further. I‘m still a massive advocate of the fact that everyone can travel, and I would love to help you out if you are planning a trip. When you organize your life around the lifestyle you want, things start falling into place… Mine are still falling, will not be fully in place for a long time. In fact, I legit might go broke in the next 3 months before I get back to Croatia (its been more expensive catching up with friends at home than I thought… and Iceland wasn’t affordable whatsoever). But then again, for all I know I might die tomorrow… and I would rather die doing what I love than saving up for a ‘someday’ that might not even come. Follow those dreams, make it work… if you keep believing it, it will be so 🙂

Help Kimmie Continue to Afford to Travel

PS – there are a few ways you can help me stay on the road. When I said I was at the beginning stages of monetization, one of the things I’ve been doing is learning how to implement certain strategies on my  blog that allow me to make commissions from sales I make through affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link on my website, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

So if you click on any of my sidebar ads, product links in blog posts, or what I have listed below, you could really help me out! One of my favorite affiliates is my Sandmarc Go Pro pole; you can see the ad on the right sidebar above.

You can also book Skyscanner flights through my sidebar widget as well, which is definitely the bet platform for comparing fares from over 30 travel sites.

Or you can just Paypal me some of your extra mula laying around at adventuresnsunsets@gmail.com lololol jk (but not really 😛 )

Need anything on Amazon?! It would be absolutely rad if you could purchase your items through this link below!! 🙂

Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items

Are you a budget traveler like me and want to see the best options for accomodation wherever you go? Book through my hostelworld link below. I legit use hostelworld EVERYWHERE I go because it conveniently lists hostels, apartments, b&b’s, and even hotels in each location, and you can sort them by location, price, ratings about a dozen different areas, recommendations, reviews, and much more. I always look for hostels on the hostelworld map and read all sorts of reviews and descriptions before making my final decision.

I’m actually really stoked I just got approved to be an affiliate of hostelworld, because I believe so wholeheartedly in their platform! I have the app too, and honestly don’t use anything else besides occasionally airbnb!

CHECK OUT HOSTELWORLD

I have a few other affiliate partnerships in the works, but am still really figuring all this stuff out and am trying to focus on the partnerships I already have in the mean time! But I’m fairly content with this start.

How else can you help me?

Follow me on social media! Insagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and share when you can!

Not here to help me?

All goooood, homie. I hope you at least gained some insight from this post, or some motivation to break away from the status quo!

(you can also help me by pinning this to pinterest!)

How I afford to Travel

 

 

February 22, 2017

14 Super Scenic Coastal Walks in Sydney You Must Try

14 Super Scenic Coastal Walks in Sydney You Must Try

I made it my mission to try as many coastal walks in Sydney as I could while I was living there, and I must say I outdid myself a little bit in this gorgeous city. There is so much walking and hiking to be done: bush walks, beach walks, and harbour walks are the thing to do in Sydney.

I get a little too excited when I talk about Sydney. This city encompasses EVERYTHING. It’s a big city, yes – one of the most prominent in the world, but it is set within so much nature…. more than I have ever seen in a city! Sydney is situated on one of the largest natural harbours in the world, with tons of inlets, harbors, small peninsulas, headlands, and points.

There are national parks that border it on all sides, even a national park WITHIN the city, and along nearly every single coast is some kind of fairly well-maintained trail or coastal track. Sydney really is a walker’s paradise – anywhere green you look along the harbour (which is everywhere) will more than likely have a really cool walking trail nestled in it amongst the trees, foliage, beaches, and cliffs.

And, once I discovered this, I made it my mission to discover each and every one that I possibly could. I’m pretty sure I did a solidly thorough job of it too – I have tried not to leave any of the coastal walks in Sydney unexplored. They are one of the best free things to do in Sydney! All photos are my own from my adventures; I hope you can enjoy some of these walks as much as I did!

Amazing Coastal Walks in Sydney:

royal national park coastal track

royal national park wedding cake rock

Royal National Park Coastal Track

Length: up to 27km

Terrain: Up and down hills, through jungles and bush, across beaches – a bit of everything.

This walk is incredible! I even did a whole post on it. Royal National Park is definitely one of the most scenic coastlines I have ever had the privilege to set foot on. The coastal walk is usually done in two days (I did it in one- read my 27 in One Day Post to see how that went) and goes up and down headlands, through a forest, and basically any terrain you can think of really. This walk encompasses two pretty awesome landmarks – Wedding Cake Rock and the Figure 8 Pools, which you can also do as two separate coastal walks in Sydney. Make sure you give yourself enough time to check everything out!

bondi to coogee walk Sydney

Bondi to Coogee walk

Bondi to Bronte/Coogee/Maroubra

Length: 3-10ish km

Terrain: Hilly, nearly always paved, many opportunities to swim

This walk has many different possible names depending on how for you want to walk – some call it Bondi to Bronte, some say Bondi to Coogee, and if you’re a real explorer you can go Bondi to Maroubra. I think it’s just called the Eastern Suburbs coastal track and you can walk any portion of it that you want! 😛

Anyway, all names aside, this is one of the must-do coastal walks in Sydney. The views are simply spectacular, the water is the bluest of blue, and there are tons of rock pools to take a dip if you get hot. This walk gives me such a true Australian feel – starting with a view of the classic Bondi iceberg’s rock pool and Bondi Life Saving Club and with equally amazing coastal and cliffy views as you go along. If you continue all the way to Maroubra you can include some rock scrambling too!

Do This Walk Guided Along With Other Sydney Sights – Bondi to Bronte and Sydney Guided Tour
Or, want a more exciting way to get to Bondi? Try the Sydney Big Bus Tour (one of the touristy things that’s actually pretty worthwhile here)

Book the Best Hostels in Bondi!

 

spit to manly walk coastal walks in sydney

Spit to Manly

Length: 10km

Terrain: dirt paths through bush, across beaches, hilly at times, and paved track

Spit to Manly is also a really popular walk, amongst locals and travelers alike. On a sunny day you’ll find lots of people happily going along and snapping tons of photos of the views along the way. The walk starts at the Spit Bridge and goes around the whole Balgowlah headland, starting by going across Clontarf and a few other beaches before going up onto the cliffs for a great view of Manly and Sydney Harbour. Part of this walk goes through Sydney Harbour National Park, like a lot of the coastal walks in the harbour do!

Read More: See my Guide to Manly Beach after I lived there for 6 months!

manly to dee why walk freshwater beach sydney coastal walks

curl curl rock pool coastal walks in sydney

Manly to Dee Why

Length: Any stretch of walk up to 7km

Terrain: Mainly beach boardwalks, with stairs, street, paths, and some bush between Curl Curl and Dee Why

This isn’t a specific walk per say, but it is absolutely beautiful to walk along the northern beaches. You can easily walk from Manly all the way up to Dee Why by following the beach boardwalks and basically staying on the path that’s closest to the water. You will go past a rock pool at each beach, around the headland and onto a path between Freshwater and Curl Curl, and up into the bush for a really nice coastal bush walk between Curl Curl and Dee Why. All amazing views!

Snorkel at the Reserve in Manly – Guided Manly Beach Snorkeling Tour

mosman to taronga zoo sydney coastal walks

Mosman Middle Head to Taronga Zoo – Bradley’s Head and Chowder Head Walk/Angophora Walk

Length: About 6-7k

Terrain: Dirt bush paths, wooden boardwalks, paved sidewalks

Yet another part of Sydney Harbour National Park, Middle Head is a bush area on the coast of Mosman with some amazing trails and actually a few war memorial sites. We started our walk near George’s Head, and explored some cannons they have left over there from WW2. We continued along the coast through Chowder bay, following the ‘Bradley’s Head and Chowder Head’ walk around the headland, around Taylor’s Bay, and all the way around the Bradley’s Head peninsula. At this point the trail apparently turned into the ‘Angophora’ walk, finishing off at the Taronga Zoo where you can catch a ferry, bus, or check out what the Zoo has to offer. I’m not really sure where they get the names for these walks, so I have just named them myself based on where they start and finish. You’re welcome for the simplification!

If you love zoos and seeing Aussie animals, check out the Wild Life Sydney Zoo in Darling harbour as well!

While You’re doing the coastal walks in Sydney in the Neighborhood – Get Early Bird Tickets to the Taronga Zoo!

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mosman bay to cremorne point walk

Mosman Bay to Cremorne Point

Length: About 5km

Terrain: slightly hilly, mostly paved coastal track

Now, I don’t think this walk has a ‘real’ name, but it was one of my parents and my favorite adventures while they were out here visiting. We parked and started our walk in Mosman Bay and followed the coastal track all the way to the very end of Cremorne point, where we checked out the lighthouse that looks out to the whole harbour. We then kept going around the other side of Cremorne point, enjoying lovely views of the Opera House and harbour, and crossed back over the peninsula when the trail ended. The flora and fauna were absolutely fantastic, we spotted and heard heaps of colorful birds, and walked through some beautiful gardens. Definitely one of my favorite coastal walks in Sydney.

hike to the lighthouse in palm beach sydney

Palm Beach – Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk

Length: 1- 1.5km one way (uphill)

Terrain: The long way is a paved steep track, and the short way is mostly dirt stairs through bush.

This is one of my favorite views in Sydney. Barrenjoey Head is at the very tip-top of the northern beaches, and offers a wonderful view down the isthmus-like stretch of land between Palm Beach and the Pittwater inlet and also of a very cliffy coastline to the north. You walk along a sandy path from the parking lot, veer left to walk along the inlet beach for a bit, and then have a choice to take a longer paved way or take the shorter way with stairs straight up the hill. We took the long way up and the short way down, which I recommend! Soak up some sun at the lighthouse, explore the bush, and make sure to get some good photos because the view is unreal. I wrote a post with very specific directions on how to get to the Palm Beach Lighthouse Walk Here! 

long reef point walk / coastal walks in Sydney

long reef point walk / coastal walks in Sydney

Long Reef Point

Length: About 3k return

Terrain: Paved tracks to beach

Long Reef is another beautiful coastal area to explore. You can park at the south end of Collaroy and walk along the path to Long Reef point, where you can enjoy amazing views of all the northern beaches at the easternmost point in the area. The beach below is also amazing to explore, with beautiful rocks and shells to discover.

manly north head trails

Manly North Head Trails

Length: Anything from about 2-9k, depending what you want!

Terrain: Dirt bush trails

North Head is just an endless area of discovery – they’re definitely some of my favorite coastal walks in Sydney. I lived right next to North Head, and honestly discovered a new trail every time I went there! A lot of people follow trails up into the bush from Shelly Beach, but you can also find heaps of trails by following Darley Road up to North Head Scenic Drive. T

The Fairfax lookout is an amazing place to see the harbour, and you really can find trails just about anywhere up here. You can also visit or stay at the old quarantine station “Q Station” to learn a bit about what it was like to come to Sydney by boat decades ago during outbreaks of illnesses, which is really fascinating. There are lots of old forts and barracks on North Head too because it was a base for defense of the harbour during WW2. North head is one of the best places to explore!

There are tons of hostels in Sydney to check out while you are there. I lived at Boardrider Backpacker for a few weeks in Manly!
More of a hotel person? There are options for you too! 

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Shark Beach to Rose Bay Walk

Shark Beach to Rose Bay – Hermitage Foreshore Walk

Length: about 2-3k one way

Terrain: Bush trails with occasional boardwalks and paved sidewalks, pretty flat

The ‘hermitage foreshore walk’ technically begins around the headland from Shark Bay and ends at the Hermitage Foreshore Reserve. But, if you want, you can walk all the way from Shark Beach to Rose Bay! This is a lovely little walk going through bush and across beaches, and has amazing views of the harbour (opera house and harbour bridge included) especially at sunset. There are tons of great picnic spots along the way, all of which are perfect to see the sun set over the harbour.

lavender bay coastal walk

Lavender Bay

Length: 1-2k one way

Terrain: Paved boardwalk

This is a really flat and leisurely walk along the water with fantastic views. From Luna Park you can walk around Lavender Bay, and have a perfect view of the Opera House underneath the Harbour Bridge. You can continue to the next points, McMahon’s or Blues Points, if you don’t mind walking on the street a tiny bit, and there are great places for picnics throughout.

While You are in Lavendar Bay, Visit Another Classic Sydney Sight!- Unlimited Rides at Luna Park Pass

manly to shelly walk

Manly To Shelly Beach

Length: 1km one way

Terrain: Paved Boardwalk

The Manly to Shelly walk is a very popular short walk in Manly that goes right along the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve and the Manly Rock pool. The sea here is teeming with fish and marine life and is perfect for a snorkel; people even scuba dive here too! Shelly is a beautiful and more secluded little beach just outside of Manly and is great for BBQ’s and beach games. This walk can connect with trails to North Head near Shelly Beach, with the Manly to Dee Why walk in Manly, or just along the Manly boardwalk!

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Cahill Walk – Harbour Bridge to Botanic Gardens

Length: Just over 2km one way

Terrain: Paved Sidewalks

It’s on many peoples’ bucket lists when in Sydney to walk across the Harbour Bridge, but many don’t know that that walk actually has a name! you can walk across the bridge from the north and follow the sidewalk around, past Circular Quay, and to the Botanic Gardens, and this walk is called the Cahill Walk because it follows the Cahill Expressway. It’s perfect for city, Opera House, and naturally Harbour Bridge views, and when you get to the Botanic Gardens there are plenty of walks and places to explore there too. While you’re at it, check out the Pylon Lookout on the harbour bridge – the same views as the bridge climb for 1/25th the price! Check out my blog post on that here.

pussycat island cape banks little bay sydney

Pussycat Island/Cape Banks – Little Bay

Length: about 2.5k return

Terrain: bush paths and rock

Considered as part of Botany Bay National Park, this coastal walk in Sydney is nothing short of beautiful.  You can cross a small bridge over to what is known as Pussycat island, and traverse the rock a bit to come upon an old picturesque shipwreck. Continue on and watch the waves roll in over Cape Banks. There are even a few bunkers from WW2 still visible at the trailhead!

 

If you enjoyed my post on Coastal Walks in Sydney, pin it to your Pinterest boards!

 

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Must-Have’s for Coastal Walks in Sydney:

January 16, 2017