31 August 2011

Top 5 Theme Parks on the Gold Coast of Australia

The Gold Coast of Queensland is the one place every Australian child wants to go. It's not because of the warm, subtropical climate: there's plenty of sunshine everywhere in Australia. It's not because it's on the coast: most of Australia's population lives near a beautiful beach. It's because the Gold Coast is where the best theme parks in Australia are located. These are the top 5:

Dreamworld
Every Australian child dreams of going to Dreamworld and most Australian parents are happy to oblige, because they want to go there, too. Dreamworld is home to the world famous (or infamous) Tower of Terror, the world's tallest and fastest thrill ride. If that's not enough of an adrenaline rush for you, you can freefall 38 storeys on the Giant Drop. The list of thrill rides goes on and on, but at some point, you're going to want to relax. While it might not sound relaxing, Tiger Island is home to some very happy and well cared for rare tigers. Watch them in action with their trainers or sit down and have your picture taken with one. As is there weren't enough waves in Australia already, Flowrider is an artificial wave pool and is a great way to cool off in between rides at Dreamworld.

Dreamworld

Sea World
Sea World is so massive, many visitors spend their entire vacation in this Gold Coast theme park. Why wouldn't you, when the weather is so often perfect and there's nothing you want to do more than get wet?  You won't want to jump in the water when you explore the amazing Shark Bay and stare into the eyes of some of the world's most dangerous sharks, but you will get wet on the water slides in the Sea World Water Park Resort, should you decide to make that your Gold Coast accommodation. If you are not staying at the resort, don't worry: for a small surcharge, you can gain access to the water park. Both fun and educational, there's something for everyone at Sea World. If you think you have the stomach for it, try the 45 mile per hour Jet Rescue. Sitting inside your "jet ski", your mission is to rescue the sea lion trapped inside of the blowhole cave.

Sea World Gold Coast

Wet 'n' Wild Water World
If your main goal is to cool off and have fun at the same time, then Wet 'n' Wild Water World is what you and your family are looking for. Some of the water slides at this aquatic theme park are definitely not for the young ones. For example, riders on the Aqua Loop have been clocked at 45mph as they take the vertical free fall that starts the ride. From there, it is a twisting, death and gravity defying plummet to the bottom, where you will be deposited with a splash into the pool. Of course, there are plenty of slides and rides for the kids and those who prefer gentler thrills. Wet 'n' Wild Water World
now has a Flowrider, making it the second one in Australia. When you've had enough action, take a ride on the gentle River Rapids or a slow cruise around Calypso Bay.



Warner Brothers Movie World
The Gold Coast Warner Brothers Movie World is just about everything you could want in a theme park. For the little ones, Looney Tunes Village is a magical wonderland, while the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coast is just scary enough to leave them screaming with delight instead of terror. For older thrill seekers, there's the Superman Escape roller coast that reaches a speed of over 60mph in just two seconds flat and the Batwing Space Shot. Of course, Warner Brothers Movie World is not just rides. Other attractions include the Main Street Parade, the Hollywood Stunt Driver stunt show and the "What's Up, Rock?" Looney Tunes show for kids of all ages.

Whitewater World
Whitewater World is not just another aquatic theme park: it just may be the ultimate aquatic theme park. With so much competition in the area, they really had to pull out all the stops to make this one something extraordinary. They started by creating Wiggle Bay, a delightful mini-park just for the under-5s. Then they took things to extremes by putting together the Cave of Waves and the 4 foot high waves that rush out of it, racing over 50 yards to the shore. The Temple of Huey is Whitewater World's tribute to the Surf God, Huey. This and other surfing themed rides like the Green Room and the Rip are definitely not for the little ones and many adults will pause before they take them on, too.
Don't even think about spending less than a whole day at any of the Gold Coast's theme parks. The best plan is to find a central Gold Coast accommodation and stay awhile. You probably won't want to go to all of the theme parks, but choose one or two the whole family can agree on and go to those. You can always come back next year and try the others.

Rob Schneider writes for ‘Book It Now’ about popular holiday destinations around Australia. If planning a visit to the Gold Coast you will find a good range of Gold Coast Accommodation on ‘Book it Now’.

24 August 2011

Things to Do in Lagos, Nigeria


Welcome to a fascinating world of chaos, where traffic jams swarm around tin shacks and live music streams out of local venues every night. Lagos, Nigeria is a massive and energetic centre of modern African life, and a fascinating place for the curious traveler to embark on an urban adventure.
Second only to Cairo in size within the continent of Africa, Lagos is a large and culturally important city and the financial powerhouse of Nigeria. According to the UN, by 2015 Lagos could become the third largest city in the world after Tokyo and Mumbai. Although the city struggles to match its infrastructure with the rapidly growing population, Lagos has a true sense of being alive. People from many different cultures live side by side in the non-stop action, and as you plunge into this strange and wonderful world you will have a travel experience you will never forget.

The Music Scene

Lagos is well known throughout Africa for its diverse music scene. It is a great place to see a live performance, and you will get a chance to hear many exotic styles of music such as highlife, fuji, Afrobeat, and juju.
To see some great live music in Lagos, keep your ear to the ground, get to know one of the locals, and ask them about which concerts are happening around the city.

Beaches

While you are in Lagos, take a break from the chaos of the city for a while to relax in the hot African sunshine on one of the city’s beautiful beaches. There are more than a dozen beaches in and around Lagos to choose from.
At Lagos Bar Beach you will see both kinds of bars, the kind that you drink at as well as the sand bars that run along the coastline. It is the most popular inner city beach, and as a result it is often crowded, which might be desirable if a party atmosphere is your scene.
If you are looking for more of a quiet getaway, try Tarkwa Bay Beach which can be reached from the Tarzan Jetty by ferry. It is a safe and friendly beach for children, and has facilities for jet skiing and water skiing.
Even more secluded is Lighthouse Beach, where you have a chance of being the only person on the beach at times.

Museums

There are several interesting museums in Lagos where you can escape from the heat and learn a bit more about African history and culture. The Nigerian National Museum has quite an impressive collection of Nigerian art, including many beautiful statues and carvings. Lagos is also home to the Black Heritage Museum, which has artifacts and documents from the historic slave route that once ran through the region.
With so many things to see and do in Lagos Nigeria, a trip here will be an action packed adventure for the intrepid traveler, which will not soon be forgotten.

Acccommodation

The Radisson Blu hotel chain is ever expanding its portfolio including future hotels in Nigeria. A stunning masterpiece styled by famous swedish hospitality designer, Christian Lundwall, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos on Victoria Island is perfectly perched along the waterfront area of Victoria Island, the business hub of the city.

23 August 2011

Cruising to Bali


 Princess Cruises has 35 embarkation ports and hundreds of port calls. There will always be a place for you to visit wherever in the world. If you have been planning on a holiday trip, you will have the chance to choose a destination suited for you and your budget. You can choose to book for a week’s travel or as long as you want. You will have the chance to experience fine dining and dining options to match your mood. There are also lots specialty restaurants in the ship where you can choose from. Traditional dining or anytime is also available along with casual dining options and balcony dining.

If you are planning to take Princess Cruises and embark on a Bali tour, you will be able to find Bali holiday packages available to meet your budget while you experience enjoyment, pleasure and luxury. You can take a time off a spa and relax with a soothing massage in Bali. Beauty treatments are also available alongside with the spa experience which ranges from US$50-US$80. You can also enjoy Scuba Diving offered in numerous PADI accredited companies. There are other water sports that you can also enjoy while stopping over Bali. You will be able to find other adventure tours offered in your Bali holiday packages where you can unwind and spend your holiday worthwhile. A cruise stopover in the island of Bali is best for you and your family or friends to experience a getaway from your daily busy lives.

Bali is an Indonesian island lying between Java to west and Lombok to the east. If you are going on a vacation trip, you will be able to enjoy Bali holiday packageswhich include shopping, surfing, Bali adventure trips and a lot more. As a shopping paradise, Bali has a lot of shopping malls and stores in the Kuta area. You will be able to find souvenir items and perfect giveaways which you can bring home to friends and loved ones. Throughout the Ubud area, you will be able to find a lot of paintings which vary in sizes. You can purchase one and bring home for decorative purposes. You can also try surfing in the beaches of Bali near Uluwatu and West Coast North of Canggu. There are also several Bali holiday packages which include adventure trips in different locations in Bali.

When planning a vacation, you can opt for a cruise around Asia. You can embark on a trip with Princess Cruises where you get to experience intimate and personal feelings while on a large fleet. Since every fleet is spaciously designed to give you comfort in public places and balcony staterooms. You will also get the chance to socialize with other cruising passengers and exchange insights as you embark on your cruise. You will be able to feel the cold breeze in every fleet as you enjoy sunsets and off-shore activities in every stop. You will also get the chance to experience sailing in exotic places and popular destinations such as Bali and other locations in Asia.

Also if you are not fan of cruising and not afraid of flying, there is a great selection of cheap international flights to Bali for you to choose from.

22 August 2011

A Working Holiday



When I was asked if I would help a friend emigrate in exchange for a holiday in France, I accepted straight away. I really didn’t know what I had let myself in for. As the date approached I began to get a bit more of an inkling. Still, they say that a change is as good as a rest, plus it is always good to help out friends so I was still glad that I said that I would lend a hand.

The main challenge was the sheer amount of stuff that had to be moved. In addition to furniture and so on, my friend was taking his entire business with him. His business is books, and books are heavy. It rapidly became clear that this move would be a major operation, and that we would have to take a lot of care to stop something going wrong.

There were between ten and half a dozen of us working loading the stock into the truck at any one time. This involved moving a seemingly endless procession of heavy boxes down  two flights of stairs and then into the back of the lorry’s trailer. If this had been a commercial operation then somebody would certainly have had something to say about the safety of all this!

In total the lorry that had been hired could weigh no more than 40 tons when it went to the ferry. The driver was beginning to get concerned that this limit would be breached – certainly we all felt like we had moved many tons as London’s passersby looked at us sweaty men huffing and puffing in the August sunshine.


When the truck was loaded, that was far from being the end of the story. The next part was to be the workforce piling into a minibus and driving down to the south of France to convert the barn to take the books in preparation for the lorry’s arrival.

After the tunnel, the signs of tiredness began to show in my bookselling friend as we drove. Up and working hard for many hours, the danger of him nodding off at the wheel seemed very real.  Even as a passenger I was terrified of shutting my eyes in case I was asleep and could not keep the driver awake. Needless to say we were all very stiff when we finally arrived in our destination, so it was a happy coincidence one of this temporary workforce was a yoga teacher, and could lead us in some stretches.

 

Everything managed to pass of without any major kind of hitch. The most important thing was that nobody had got hurt. Sure we were taking care, and looking out for each other, but if I were doing this sort of work every day there is no doubt that I would have had to have had a long hard look at the working practices and conditions. Should I ever ditch my desk and take up cross continental removals as a career I think getting  NEBOSH training or some other kind of health and safety expertise would be high up on my list of priorities.

18 August 2011

Fun Things to Do and See in New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful island country that is located near the south-western pacific ocean. Each year, millions of people from around the world visit this country for a vacation. There is no shortage of fun things to do in this country. New Zealand has numerous attractions and some of the most popular include: Christchurch Botanical Gardens, Auckland Zoo, Orana Wildlife Park and the Auckland Art Gallery.

Christchurch Botanical gardens is a place where a person can just relax and forget about the cares of the world. This attraction features some of the most beautiful plants in the world. The Christchurch Botanical gardens also includes several walking tracks. Another one of the great things about this attraction is that there is no admission charge.

New Zealand is known for having some of the most exotic animals in the world. Visitors can find many of these exotic animals at the Auckland Zoo. Monkeys and rhinos are just two of the many animals that people can see when they visit this zoo. Those who have school-aged children will also enjoy Auckland Zoo because it has several outreach programs that give children an opportunity to have fun while learning. This attraction is also free for children who are under 3.

The Orana Wildlife Park is a place where people can see some of the endangered species. Rhinos, Cheetahs and Giraffes are a few of the many species that are found in this park. People also have the opportunity to make to hand feed the animals. Additionally, there is also the option of having getting a private tour of Orana Wildlife Park. Children who are under the age of 4 are admitted for free.

New Zealand is also known for being a city that is filled with art and culture. People have the chance to view some of that beautiful art at the Auckland Art Gallery. This attraction was recently renovated to include several more exhibits. The Auckland Art Gallery also offers private tours, lectures and holiday programs. Admission is free for all ages.

New Zealand is a beautiful country that everyone should try to visit at least once in their lifetime. New Zealand holidays can be very expensive, but saving up money in advance will allow a person to make a visit to this country. Additionally, those who book in advance will be able to get cheap international flights.

15 August 2011

World Wide Wonders

Many thanks to Elena Price for this guest post about fabulous places to visit.  Elena is a keen traveller and contributes to various blogs as well as creating content for Etihad Airways.

The greatest places to visit on the planet have to be seen to be believed. Soaring peaks, majestic vistas, mysterious cultures and antique lands – no matter what type of traveller you are, there is an adventure out there just waiting for you!



And to give you some inspiration for that next great holiday, the Travelling Times team has put together a list of fantastic opportunities!

Born free? Go on safari in Kenya:

If you’ve ever considered visiting Africa, then Kenya should not be missed! It has one of the world's premier safari experiences boasting an impressive variety and concentration of wildlife which draws tourists from around the globe.

Getting up close and personal? Meet the Moai of Easter Island:

This remote, magical place in the South Pacific is famed for its rows of statues with their disproportionate heads that ring the island. Believed to be memorials to honoured ancestors and carved from compressed volcanic ash, they are a true Polynesian wonder!


Reaching for the skies? Take a balloon ride over Cappadocia:

This region of Turkey is well known as one of the best places in the world to sail over in a hot air balloon in order to admire spectacular, surreal landscapes. With towering rock spires, high plateaus and the huge volcanic peak of Mt Erciyes, this one will take your breath away!


Escaping the rat race? Go camping in the Gobi Desert:

The antidote to urban stress has to be a trip into the sands of Mongolia and one of the world's great deserts. You’re guaranteed to find peace and tranquillity here, among the dunes and steppes of this austere and historic region. See picture


Want to dream the impossible dream? See the Aurora Borealis in Iceland:

The Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights, is one of the most spectacular natural shows on Earth. Better the further north you go, Iceland is regarded as one of the best places to see it from. Choose a clear, crisp night for the best viewing and marvel at the lights that touch the heavens! See picture

Seeking a lost empire? Explore the beauty of Angkor Wat:

The largest single religion temple complex in the world, Angkor Wat represents the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. Built in the 12th century and dedicated first to Hinduism and then Buddhism, the whole site paints a rich picture of Cambodian history!

Not just a walk in the park? Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:

The Inca Trail is Peru's best known hike, wending its way through a stunning mix of mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest and rich subtropical jungle as it passes Incan ruins on the climb to the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu mountain. Once there, you can gaze across the marvel of this ancient Incan royal residence

Etihad are one of the fastest growning airlines in the world and continue to develop new routes and serve more destinations