Franz Josef Glacier – Activities on the Glacier

– Did you know New Zealand’s South Island has over 3000 glaciers?  Franz Josef Glacier is one offering many outdoor activities.

Franz Josef GlacierSpectacularly picturesque Franz Josef has 3 glaciers in view surrounding the New Zealand town in Glacier County. Franz Josef is filled with natural attractions. ‘Never lose an opportunity of seeing something beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.’

The friendly town of Franz Josef provides access to many activities in, on and around the Franz Josef Glacier. What an exhilarating experience to explore this magnificent World Heritage Area.

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Franz Josef New Zealand – Glacier Country Experiences off the Glacier

– Do you want to know and see the activities beyond the glaciers in Franz Josef?

Franz Josef New Zealand

Nature’s splendor surrounds Franz Josef New Zealand with rain forests, ice glaciers, mountains, the Tasman Sea, and the bird life. In summer there are gorgeous flowers, tall fern trees in the rainforest or as the New Zealanders say the magical Jurassic Forest, and crystal clear lakes, rivers and creeks.

The Franz Josef World Heritage area is chock full of easy to extreme activities from Continue reading

Karamea New Zealand – Natural Beauty of the North West Coast

North West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island

Sign Welcome to Karamea New ZealandMost people have never heard of Karamea New Zealand on the South Island’s West Coast. Tourists and locals often skip Karamea; it is relatively unspoiled. That is what attracted us. Reading about New Zealand’s pristine natural bush, the hikes, and wild coastal oceanfront, plus the quiet town of Karamea with its surrounding beauty drew us there. Places like the Oparara Basin and the unique arch rock formations, and Karamea are at the end of the West Coast’s northern road. An adventure where our only costs were room and food; truly an ‘adventure in style for less.’ All of the sights  Continue reading

Akaroa New Zealand – for beach, wildlife, great seafood

Akaroa New Zealand

Akaroa New Zealand Harbour and cloudy skyWe are wildlife voyeurs and take every opportunity to experience the animals in their natural habitats on all of our travels. When Coast Up Close Wildlife Adventures invited us to join them while we were on New Zealand’s South Island, we planned a couple days in Akaroa New Zealand. So glad we did! See Akaroa with us … Continue reading

TranzAlpine Scenic Railway Journey – 5 reasons to take the train

New Zealand’s TranzAlpine Scenic Railway Journey

KiwiRail's TranzAlpine Railway empty carWhen thinking of the Alps, the Swiss Alps come to mind; I never considered any other Alps, and yet New Zealand has the beautiful Southern Alps.  And the TranzAlpine Scenic Railway Journey is the best way to see the Southern Alps.

Simply sit back and gaze at the stunning scenery through the huge windows in the comfortable seats of the TranzAlpine Scenic Railway.   What a wonderful opportunity to take in the Canterbury Plains, the farms, the foothills to the mountains, the gorges, river valleys, and the jaw dropping snowcapped Southern Alps, even in summer. Or …

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Top 10 Favorite Places in New Zealand’s South Island

Top 10 New Zealand’s South Island

Want to know the best places to spend your time when in New Zealand’s South Island?

Lochmara pole carvingsAfter completing a trip of a lifetime, we are excited to share our favorites. Four and a half weeks in New Zealand’s South Island, and we can show you mountaintops, snow, beaches, oceans, wineries, seafood, varied history and culture.

This is the first article in a series on the top places to visit in New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific South Seas. Since there is so much to share, this first article will give an overview of our top 10 favorite places in New Zealand’s South Island. It will be followed by more in-depth information and photos about each of the top places we recommend and others, as well as those to avoid that are over-hyped. Continue reading

Ecuador’s Quilotoa Loop Adventure

A top spot on my Ecuador Bucket List was our Quilotoa Loop Adventure.  The draw was the many colorful indigenous populations and their markets, the perfect turquoise blue Quilotoa Lake, the art of the Tigua people, and the surrounding snow-capped Andean volcanoes.  Get the picture?  Here are a few.

The Quilotoa Loop

The Quilotoa Loop is a route around the lake’s remote back country towns off of the Pan-american Highway and Continue reading

Top Sights Around Nashville – History, Art, Music – My Top Picks

Top 10 Things to Do Around Nashville (continued)

Nashville has far too much to offer for one blog post to do it justice. Picking up where I left off in my last post (which covered items 1-4), here’s more of my Top 10 list around Nashville:

5. Walk around Broadway to get the flavor of Nashville
6. Visit Vanderbilt and Centennial Park
7. Check out … Continue reading

Top 10 Things to Do When You Visit Nashville – History, Music, Food

Visit Nashville – Have you ever been?

Nashville was never high on my list since I am not a country music fan. However, I enjoyed it and learned a lot about music history. It was interesting and fun to visit Nashville, and it’s not just country music. It’s blues, gospel, christian music, rock and roll, soul, bluegrass, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, rock, classical and more.  The city has great:

  • Architecture
  • Art collections
  • Beautiful parks
  • Lovely waterways
  • Music

I recommend a visit to Nashville and Continue reading

Ecuador’s Andean Highlands – Part 1 – Otavalo, Ibarra

Ecuador’s Andean Highlands – Part 1

In Ecuador’s Andean Highlands, you are surrounded by a patchwork of green beauty all the way up the mountainsides. Ecuador’s Andean Highlands are located between the western and coastal lowlands and the eastern Amazonian jungle. They offer diverse nature including volcanoes – live and extinct, hot springs and thermal baths, and unique flora and fauna.

We made several different trips to Ecuador’s Andean Highlands, either day trips from Quito or 3-day weekends. It’s so easy to get to these areas. Buses are plentiful and cheap. Here is an overview of Continue reading