Who wouldn’t want to hike a trail with such a reputation? Where might this place be? Favorite hikes of mine include Nepal’s Mt. Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar trek via Namche Bazaar; the network of trails around Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley and Grindelwald; backpacking trails in California’s Marble Mountain Wilderness, the Sierra Nevada, and Yosemite.
I’ve been tempted by the Overland Track in Tasmania. But Robert D. Hershey Jr. extols the virtues of the Milford Track in New Zealand in a recent story in The New York Times. As far back as 1908 this 33.5-mile trail was called the finest walk in the world and many hikers feel it’s true today.
After reading Hershey’s story I’m ready to start planning a trip south. How about you?
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A few years ago I found myself in Adelaide, Australia in the days before Christmas. Because I’d been traveling around the continent, including in the searing outback of South Australia, Christmas was pretty far from my mind. But I encountered something in Glenelg, a seaside suburb of Adelaide, that brought many things home to me. My account of this experience, reproduced below, originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and on the Travelers’ Tales web site.
Christmas Carols in Adelaide
I didn’t have high hopes for Adelaide. No one I knew had ever said anything good about it. They’d raved about Melbourne and Sydney, even Darwin, but Adelaide hadn’t generated much enthusiasm. So I planned just one quick overnight before heading up to the tropical Northern Territory after a week in the arid outback of South Australia. Continue reading »
Without running a Google search or checking a current almanac, most of us probably wouldn’t know that our Earth contains 757 countries, territories, autonomous regions, enclaves, geographically separated island groups, and major states and provinces. Certainly most of us wouldn’t consider it possible to visit them all. Most of us would be wowed if we made it to 100 countries. Even 50 is pretty darn good. But all of them?
When you imagine exploring the dreamtime world of Australia’s Outback, especially the searing deserts of South Australia, be sure you plan your journey during the right season or you may snag more than you can handle. This year, to make sure that no one makes this mistake, officials will close the Simpson Desert from Dec. 1 to March 15—the Australian summer—to avoid tourist deaths and protect emergency personnel who might have to risk themselves to save stranded visitors. Continue reading »
Can 2500 Aussies be wrong? It’s all a matter of opinion in a survey asking what Australians consider the least appealing Australian city to visit on a holiday. The web site totaltravel.com asked users to pick their least favorite and the answers are surprising. Canberra, the capital, came in first (well, last, as in, least favorite), which isn’t too big a surprise, but Sydney came in second. In other words, one of Australia’s premier cities is the second least favorite place for Australians to visit.