Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fiji: On Pacific Time

MV Fiji Princess - renovated in 2014

Since his first cruise to Fiji aboard P&O's SS Himalaya in 1971, Roderick Eime has made numerous return voyages sampling the country's fleet of small ships.

He has just returned from a re-acquaintance with an old favourite, MV Fiji Princess, of Blue Lagoon Cruises. The 55m, 68-passenger boutique vessel underwent a makeover in mid-2014 and now sports renovated cabins and public spaces as well as technical updates.

Entertainment on Nanuya Island (R Eime)
Join Rod on a leisurely cruise through the Yasawas, or recall one of his longer, more comprehensive explorations as far as Rabi, Levuka, Kioa and Taveuni. Experience natural beauty above and below the water and discover why Fiji is a lot more than just luxury resorts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ten incredible ski resorts in the USA and Canada

Australian ski resorts had a bumper season this winter with snow aplenty. But with spring now spreading its aromatic tentacles of green over the Australian Alps, families with a passion for the white stuff must wait until next winter … or do they? Helen Hayes looks at ten incredible ski resorts in the USA and Canada, giving the lowdown on what to do, what to expect, where to dine and where to stay.

(This pre-written story available on short notice with images supplied)

South Australia - Wine away the hours in Langhorne Creek

Want to visit gourmet regions where the winemaker greets you at cellar door? It pays to travel off the beaten track to regions like Langhorne Creek. Winsor Dobbin is your tour guide to roads less travelled.

Langhorne Creek is one of the underrated wine regions of Australian Viticulture and is among Australia's oldest and most significant wine regions. The first grapes were planted in the 1860s at the now heritage-listed Bleasdale Winery in area founded on the broad flood plain influenced by the local Bremer and Angas Rivers and dominated by magnificent River Red Gums.

Also along a similar theme:

Festival time in Heathcote
The Heachcote region of Victoria is renowned for its shiraz and the famous ancient red Cambrian soils which produce outstanding examples of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and excellent Rieslings and Viognier.

New Zealand: 'Hoodwinked' - the art of falconry

Wingspan, New Zealand’s National Bird of Prey Centre at Rotorua, is a place where people can visit and see birds of prey up close, guided by the country’s leading experts. Wingspan’s core is a commitment to the conservation of the threatened ‘Karearea’ New Zealand falcon. Being part of New Zealand’s unique natural heritage, falcons are a taonga (treasured) species to New Zealand’s Māori people. Our animal and eco-specialist, Kris Madden, interviews founder Debbie Stewart about her dedication to the conservation of New Zealand’s birds of prey, and the bird-characters you can meet including ‘Millie the Millennium Falcon’; and Ozzie, a NZ Falcon named after Ozzy Osbourne, as well as some interesting facts about the art of falconry and these amazing birds. [ Tell me more ]

Monday, October 5, 2015

Japan: The Sake Samurai

Often called the ‘Drink of the Gods’ by the Japanese, premium sake is like fine wine. Each brand has its own distinctive flavours and is paired with food in much the same way as wine. With names such as ‘Divine Droplets’; ‘Wandering Poet’ and ‘Snow Maiden’, premium sake brewers are family artisans, distilling their sake by hand using the purest ingredients sourced from around Japan. Kris Madden talks to the Sake Samurai; explores the role of sake in Japanese culture and reveals where to visit Japan’s premium sake breweries.

Philippines - home to some of the world's premier scuba diving

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7100 individual islands with 3500 (and counting) marine species and is touted as perhaps the premier diving location in the world.

School of Jacks (Balicasag Island, Bohol) by Jerome Kim
“The Philippines is jam-packed with diverse and threatened species—it’s one of the most astounding regions of biodiversity on Earth,” says Terry Gosliner, PhD, Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences.

Amorita Resort, Bohol
 Roderick Eime explores beneath the waves as well as the shore-side attractions in Bohol and beyond.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Class by the glass - Argentina

The Mendoza region of Argentina is known for its world-class red wines, but many of the wineries also make spectacular architectural statements in the shadows of the dramatic Andes mountains. Winsor Dobbin reports.