6 Bucketlist Views From Around The World

Not all views are equal. Some hit you so hard they take your breath away and stay with you forever. Some are easy to come by and some you appreciate all the more for the hard work that went into finding them. Here are six natural sights that couldn’t be more different, but should all be on your bucket list:

1. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

I can’t go passed the pure joy I felt looking out onto the South African desert in Madikwe Game Reserve. Sure there’s no hiking here (those are real lions out there guys), but I’ve never felt more of a rush then gazing upon scenes right out of a David Attenborough documentary. Sure it’s smaller than the more popular Kruger, but that means there’s more chance of spotting the animals, plus safari leaders do an amazing job of not overcrowding the animals which is better for the animal and for your view of it.

4. Stop anywhere that sounds interesting, even if it turns out not to be. You never know unless you go!

Read the rest here.

11 reasons you should add Noumea to your bucket list

Published on Travelettes.net 

 

Who said there was nothing to do in Noumea? Well, just about everyone I spoke to before I left actually. They were the same people who told me what it was also too expensive. But on a recent trip to New Caledonia I have discovered 11 myth-busting reasons why they were wrong and why you should add Noumea to your bucket list asap!

1. The Beautiful Bays

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The city streets might be a bit narrow and steep to welcome cyclists, but bike lanes make the coast perfect to explore on two wheels. Start in the city, passing the ports and marinas full of colourful small boats and great white yachts, continue around to the Baie de Citrons with its coconut tree-lined roads, come out to L’Anse Vata with its bright blue water, paddle boarders and locals playing bocce along the boardwalk. Next, stop under the shadow of Ouen Toro mountain to watch fishermen wade into the water with nothing but a rod.

The whole trip will take only a couple of hours, but why not make a day of it and test out all the beaches along your way?

2. The Colonial Suburbs

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Ok so it’s just one suburb, and it won’t take you long, but these cute colonial houses and buildings from the late 1800s to 1930s along the Heritage Trail in the Faubourg Blanchot area are worth checking out.

3. Fresh Food from the Noumea Markets

Ignore the rumours that these markets are far more expensive than the supermarkets. There’s sometimes a slight increase, but nothing that’s going to break the bank, and just the sight of all this fresh, locally sourced fruit and seafood is worth the extra few cents.

4. Picnic Heaven

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Restaurants and bars here can be expensive and, frankly, a little sub-par. This is the only part of the myth I did find to hold some truth. But does it at all hinder your enjoyment or quality of eating? Nope! Pack up all that delicious local produce you just bought from the markets, add a baguette and dessert from a bakery and you have yourself a top-notch picnic. Just don’t forget the wine and cheese, this is a French settlement after all!

Read the other 7 reasons here.

9 steps to a perfect road trip

We Aussies are road-trippers. I grew up roading tripping up and down the East coast of Australia, and loved it so much I couldn’t wait to be the one behind the wheel. But if you’re a car trip newbie and the thought of weeks on the road makes you shudder, start small. Start at home, start with one day, start by yourself and follow these 9 steps:

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Busting the ‘Noumea is dull and expensive’ myth

When I was a teenager growing up in Australia, we heard about New Caledonia all the time. Being only a 3 hour flight from Sydney, their tourism board was really pushing it as the perfect island getaway on T.V., on billboards, in newspapers, everywhere. But in the last few years, as Asian beach holidays grew ever more popular, I heard barely a peep about New Caledonia.

So when a Groupon deal too good to ignore came up for a week in New Caledonia’s capital, Noumea, I did some pre-departure Googling. ‘There’s not much to do’ was always the first thing I’d read. ‘It’s really expensive’ was the second. On arrival, I discovered both these things were true, to an extent, but actually they were both positives.

‘There’s not much to do’

I’m the kind of traveller who will cram as much stuff as possible into my holiday. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it also means that I feel guilty if I simply want to just relax for a day and that I end a lot of trips needing another holiday to recover from my holiday (I’m working on slowing down and taking my time, it’s much more fun if you can!). So the fact that there wasn’t much to do actually sounded pretty good to me: so I’d be lazing on the beach with my best friend for a week, I really can’t see a downside to that!

Now that I’m home again, I will agree that a week here was the perfect amount for me, but there was plenty enough to do that filled up seven days with a perfect balance of exploring and relaxing.

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Snorkelling, island trips, water sports of all kinds, hikes, markets, remnants of colonial and WWII history, cycling, village visits; the list goes on (and I do with this list of my favourite things to do in Noumea). Basically, like Harvey Danger said, ‘If you’re bored then you’re boring.’

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As for nightlife, I wasn’t looking for any wild nights (I was here to be Queen of chill), but I must admit, the Air Cailin inflight promo videos for Noumea’s nightlife had me a little nervous. A two minute montage to ‘inspirational’ music felt the need to include McDonalds. Now I know the locals apparently are just really proud of their McDonalds. There may not be the same number of bars as a typical city, and there are only two nightclubs that I came across, but there are plenty of drinking choices, and most of them with a spectacular view! You can find my suggestions here.

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‘It’s too expensive’

This one was not untrue, but coming from Australia where food and drink can be quite expensive anyway, it wasn’t too much of a leap. The main problem I found, was that the quality of food didn’t match the prices. It was easily edible, but you’d never ask for more.

Does this ruin the holiday? Not even a little bit. Make like us and skip restaurants and cafes for bring-your-own picnics.

No matter where you stay (I strongly suggest L’Anse Vata), you’ll find convenience stores and larger supermarkets nearby. The prices are actually decent, compared to Australia at least, and there’s plenty of choice. Even better, head along to Noumea Morning Markets with fresh local produce for only slightly more.

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No kitchen facilities? You’re in French settlement, it’s all about the wine and cheese! Not to mention there’s an abundance of French bakeries, just thinking about them makes my mouth water. A baguette will only cost you a couple of hundred francs (or a couple of Australian dollars).

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Once you’ve stocked up, your only problem is narrowing down where to eat. Should you join the locals with their friends and family eating on the beach in the late afternoon? Maybe you’d just like to enjoy the view from your balcony with some tunes. You could always climb a mountain lookout, like Ouen Toro, for 360 degree views of Noumea as the sun sets.

Honestly, I feel like doing this actually enhanced our experience of New Caledonia.

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