Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
As the snow starts to melt in the Northern Hemisphere, us here in the Southern start to gear up for our winter season. Holiday packages are in high demand for those who love all those winter snow activities. If snow sports are not your forte, a good way to experience the impact this season has on the landscape , weather permitting, is to drive between Christchurch and Queenstown in the South Island, New Zealand, a 6 hour drive and some 483 km via State Highway 8.
Short cruises seem to have ignited our desire to travel in and out of Sydney recently. The three night sampler cruises are really fun and a delightful time to be out at sea. Just imagine yourself sailing on a floating paradise with nothing to worry about at all, just sit back and relax.
Our recent break on board the Pacific Eden was quiet a remarkable one. She is an older cruise liner built in 1993, now belonging to the fleet of P&O. She had a mammoth make over in 2015, the dry-dock treatments have worked wonders, and she looks very refreshed.
Last year, one of my to do travel lists was finally ticked off after visiting El Nido, in Palawan, voted as one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, and ranked as the world’s sixth destination on the rise by Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ choice award in 2016. Palawan is described as the ‘last frontier’ island paradise, a perfect gateway for pristine beaches, island hopping, scuba diving, snorkelling and nature.
A good way to break a long drive if you’re heading to the Hunter Valley and beyond is a sumptuous feed at Hughzies Lakeside Brasserie in Toronto, less than 2 hours’ drive north of Sydney. This restaurant is perched along the waterfront with several other eateries on the popular Brighton Avenue.
We visited this place for a dinner and our assigned table was by the window, with lots of natural evening light that poured in giving the space a bright and airy feel.
Dining on board the Explorer of the Seas means an endless array of food choices, from complementary a la carte dining, specialty restaurants, buffet style meals and snacks, a classic burger joint and of course, room service.
Since our cruise was a short one, dining themes and attire were mostly casual, although dressing to impress is always an option.
Love or loathe the idea of a cruise? Once you get a taste of cruising, there will be no turning back and that was exactly what happened to us. From our very first cruise in April with the Voyager of the Seas, we found ourselves again exploring the high seas on board the Explorer of the Seas, Australia’s largest cruise ship launched in 2000.
The two identical floating resorts that we have cruised so far are both operated by Royal Caribbean International, voted as best cruise line overall by Travel Weekly for 13 consecutive years.
Fancy a late night drink in Newcastle?
After a big dinner catch up with our friends in Newcastle, we strolled around the historic Hunter St, one of the main streets in the CBD, scouring for a late-night venue for a tipple.