5 Ways To Make Your Machu Picchu Trip Even Better


Machu Picchu is perhaps one of the most historically important places in South America and  has a rich history that will always be remembered.. Of course visiting is more than likely going to be a once in a lifetime trip, so you need to get it right. Here are some great tips for making your Machu Picchu tour as good as it should be.

Go at the right time of year

Beating the weather and the tourists can be one of the best ways to improve your trip to Machu Picchu. The dry season in this region of Peru runs from May to September. The best time to go is at the start or end of the dry season, to get a good balance between weather and the number of tourists. It is also important to note that the Inca Trail is closed during February each year, so that it can be repaired. So you should also factor this in.

HDR tonemapped

Book early

Booking early is crucial, especially because the Peruvian government has actually placed a restriction on the number of people allowed to enter Machu Picchu each year. You should book early to avoid disappointment and to start your preparations for the trip.

Have a look around Cusco

No visit to Machu Picchu would be fully complete without first taking a few days in Cusco to first get used to the altitude and also to see the multitude of other Inca sites in the area. Altitude sickness can really plague even the fittest people, so it really is crucial to get yourself used to the high altitude of the Andes. It really is not advisable to start hiking the day you arrive, take it slow and easy and most of all have fun, because altitude sickness is anything but!



When hiking the Inca trail it can get really tough, especially with all the heavy bags that you may have with you. Porters are local people (Quechua people) that can help you to carry your baggage on the Inca trail. These people know so much about the area and speaking with them is the perfect way to enrich your experience. They will also usually have many stories about the area and people they have travelled with before.

Prepare for wet weather

We already talked about the right time of year to head to Machu Picchu, but it is important to know that even during the driest months there is bound to be some sort of rain, fog or dampness. This is especially the case when you are at such a high altitude, therefore it is a good idea to bring a pair of shoes with good grip and perhaps some sort of waterproof capability. Some waterproof clothing will also be a lifesaver at Machu Picchu, particularly if you are hiking the Inca Trail.


Post-university gap years: what are my options?

Lots of people choose to take a gap year before they go to university, but what if you finish studying and decide that you’d like to take a bit of time out before joining the world of full-time work? You’ll be pleased to hear there are plenty of options open to you.

We’re going to run through a few of the possibilities that await when you’ve finished your finals and picked up your degree.


There’s a lot to be said for travelling at any point in your life and after you’ve finished university is as good a time as any to jet off overseas. In fact, this is a fantastic time to go, as you won’t have big financial commitments (like a mortgage) or family ties that need to come first.

The world really is your oyster when you’re in your early 20s and where you choose to travel and how long for is entirely up to you. If you’re nervous about going solo, consider joining an organised tour that will show you the world without the stress of having to arrange every part of your trip.

South America, Asia, Australia, Africa – the opportunities for discovering new places and meeting new people really are endless.

India is one destination that often appeals to gap year travellers because of its spirituality, variety and the opportunity to see somewhere completely different. If you’re not sure where to start, a tour – like those offered by Explore Worldwide – is your best bet. You can choose to focus on a particular region, such as Rajasthan, or spend longer and discover several places around the country.

Working holiday

If your budget won’t quite stretch to an extended holiday, working overseas is another brilliant choice and one that can give you valuable experience. To get the most out of this option, it’s worth carefully considering what you want to do when you return to normal life, so that you can pick work that will give you transferable or relevant skills.

However, there are some great seasonal jobs out there that will allow you to see a bit more of the world and try new activities, such as working a ski season in one of Europe’s or America’s winter resorts. This doesn’t mean you need to be able to ski, either, as there are always positions for chalet hosts, bartenders and chefs available, as well as instructor roles.

Voluntary work

Another option that is great for university leavers is voluntary work, which will allow you to help a charity or cause close to your heart and travel at the same time. There are various projects all over the world that enable you to get involved in conservation work, assist local communities and teach youngsters. It’s worth pointing out that you don’t need to travel to get involved in this kind of scheme – there are plenty of charities in the UK that would love to have some extra help.

Of course, carrying out voluntary work while you’re overseas is a wonderful way to give something back to the people you meet during your trip. It also presents a great opportunity for sustainable travel – ensuring that the communities you visit benefit from local tourism and that your stay doesn’t have a negative impact on them or the surrounding environment.

Muay Martial Arts- Sweat in Phuket

The national sport of Thailand is an ancient martial art called Muay. As international interest in the sport increases more and more tourists are flocking to Phuket to train, attend regattas, and take part in marathons and Ironman events. The health and fitness craze marries well with a tropical vacation.

Muay Martial Arts- Sweat in Phuket

Muay Martial Arts- Sweat in Phuket

The location independent sport of Muay is considered a mixed martial art that is fought in a cage making it a natural draw for both stadium and television audiences in addition to becoming a top individual fitness choice.

Anyone who is serious about becoming a mixed martial arts contender much add Muay to their training in order to develop their striking technique to its most powerful potential.  A small road in Chalong is the main spot for Muay training, though there are up to 25 camps in Thailand dedicated to teaching the sport. Not only are there gyms catering to training along Chalong but local business has grown to serve the tourists who until now had no real reason to visit the area.

One camp is presided over by American director Will Elliot who came to train and ended up staying to run the palace for American founder of Club tiger, Will McNamara, There is a small core group of elite athletes that train there regularly Tiger also welcomes between 200 and 300 guests each month for fitness training. Because once the discipline is learned it is location independent the fitness training is taking off as a part of CrossFit which can be added to Brazillian jiu-jitsu training, kick boxing, and even yoga. All of this is being marketed together at Tiger along with nutrition to brand itself as a conditioning program desirable around the world.

Making it an excellent way to visit Phuket, and even Thailand for the first time visitors to Tiger have everything taken care of for them. They have accommodations set up, a car or motorbike is rented on their behalf, and Tiger will even handle visa issues and provide tours of the area. The staff is hospitable and sets up a social schedule that allows everyone to feel at home. Guests are frequently muscle heavy men with plenty of tattoos but there is a “no judgment” policy in place.

Some locals worry that the fight club feel is bringing the type of tourist they don’t want to the area. This isn’t proving to be true, local business owners are happy for the increase in traffic to their area and say they’ve had more problems from British educators than from those studying the discipline of Muay Thai Marial Arts.

Living in Phuket for a vacation, spending your time seeing the sites, learning the local culture and eating the delicacies but while you are there take a chance at changing your life with a new location independent workout for you, though it is ancient to the world. You may just work off some holiday pounds, or you may find a new way to keep fit forever.

How to Spend 24 Hours in Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Germany and a lively city buzzing with energy you would expect from a major city in Europe. To soak up the vibe, base your adventures from the Jewish quarter in the central Mitte district where you can find various budget hotels such as the Circus Hotel or more expensive hotels with modern comforts such as Casa Camper.


Start your day with breakfast at either your hotel, or head over to Oliv in the Mitte area, where you can get yourself some energising coffee and egg dishes with the on the go professionals. Once you have finished your breakfast, you should be ready to start exploring. The UNESCO recognised cluster of museums known as Museumsinsel is your first destination.

The five museums that make up this area is filled with artefacts and treasures 6000 years old from around the world. As the doors open at 10 am, you will be arriving at the perfect time to avoid the long queues and hordes of screaming children on day trips.

Once you have had your fill of the museums, head over to the docking station for the Spree River cruises, which will take you along the river so you can admire historic Berlin. The docking point is just outside of the DDR museum and the boat will gently cruise past splendid old buildings, beach bars, the government quarter and the impressive train station.


Take a taxi over to Fischers Fritz where you’ll be treated to Michelin Star chef Christian Lohse cooking up some fantastic fish and seafood dishes. Three course lunch meals are 47 Euros which is great value for such good food or, alternatively, get two courses for 35 Euros and visit the nearby chocolatier Fassbender & Rausch which is famous for making chocolate models of Berlin’s landmarks.

Next is time to take in some of the attractions of Berlin. Head over to Gendarmenmarkt which is a graceful square sandwiched between German and French cathedrals and the brilliant Konzerthaus, Berin’s main concert hall.

Detouring from here, head over to Checkpoint Charlie and the infamous Brandenburg Gate, both important Cold War sites for their respective reasons. Nearby to the gate is a Holocaust Memorial site consisting of 2711 sarcophagi like columns that rise up in sobering silence.

Getting Around

Berlin is famed for its efficient traffic system, with jams rarely becoming a problem. This means that one of the best ways to explore the city in such a short space of time is to rent your own car. There are various online car rental services available for Europe, many of whom have dedicated pages for specific countries, like http://www.autoeurope,com/go/car-rental/germany/. So keep an eye out for those.


Make your way back over to the Jewish quarter where you can explore the winding lanes and check out some of the stores selling the local fashions. After you have indulged in some retail therapy, you can move on to get some dinner. Pork and beer are on the menu at Schwarzwaldstuben or you can go oriental with some Vietnamese pho (noodle soup) at Chi Sing.

Once you have eaten, head out into some of the bars for some evening drinks and get a feel for the nightlife of the city.

New Zealand: The Ultimate Road Trip

If you’re thinking about taking a road trip this summer, then look no further than the spectacular country of New Zealand. With its golden coastline, stunning landscapes and wealth of national parks and world heritage sites, there’s so much to see and do that you won’t know where to start your adventure. Whether you’re travelling with friends, family or on your own, New Zealand is home to some amazing stretches of road, and it’s the way to get to know the down to earth kiwis, as well as other backpackers and holidaymakers. Let’s take a look at some of the best road trips you can undertake in New Zealand this summer.


Christchurch to Greymouth via Arthur’s Pass

This route will take you past the Southern Alps, an engaging and truly wonderful site ranging out of the New Zealand landscape. In terms of getting out to Christchurch, online comparison sites are often the best place to book your trip to NZ in terms of getting the best picture of which months offer the lowest airfare prices. Generally speaking, prices around this time of year average at around $290 (Aus). Spanning over 250km, you’ll start your journey from the city of Christchurch, and make your way across the vast Canterbury Plains. You’ll be able to stop off at places like the Original Sheffield Pie Shop, and other attraction along the way to get to grips with your surroundings.

As the road slowly winds up the foothills, you’ll come to Arthur’s Pass, a village which marks the halfway point on your journey to the west coast. Hidden away in National Park HQ, Arthur’s Pass offers some amazing mountain bike and hiking trails, so there’s plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs. You can even camp here if you want to take time out of your road trip to explore the stunning surroundings.

Once you leave Arthur’s Pass, its then onto Greymouth, and you’ll be treated to panoramic sweeps of the Otira Viaduct, one of the biggest structures in the New Zealand countryside. Continuing your journey along the west coast, and as you get nearer to Greymouth, you’ll come across a wealth of wildlife, and also laid back communities of kiwis. Stop off for a few hours, take in the scenery, and then continue on to your final destination.


Queenstown to Dunedin via Central Otago

The road trip from Queenstown to Dunedin is over 250 kilometers, however it is one of the most exciting journeys you can make in New Zealand. Starting off in Queenstown, you’ll make your way toward the high mountain peaks of Cromwell, past shimmering lakes and inspirational landscapes. This part of the drive is extremely relaxing, so feel free to stop off and take a dip if you want to cool off!

Once you get to Cromwell, make sure you follow the Clutha and Kawarau rivers, and soon enough you’ll be surrounded by the vineyards of Bannockburn and Cromwell. There are a number of small bars and pubs located here where you’ll be able to try out the local wines, and some great ales too. Just before you get to Dunedin, you’ll make your way through Alexandra, an excellent place to cliff jump into the refreshing lakes.

How to Successfully Budget in Marrakech

Marrakech is a favoured destination for travellers given its rich cultural history, If you’re looking for an exotic destination for your next holiday but don’t have the cash to travel a long way, consider visiting Morocco and in particular Marrakech. This is a wonderful city to explore if you’re on a restricted budget.


Free and Cheap Sightseeing Opportunities

Marrakech is a wonderful place for sightseeing, as many of its top landmarks and monuments are free to visit. Among the main attractions is the beautiful architecture of buildings like the Koutoubia Mosque and the Ben Youssef medersa, a Koranic school that has been teaching students for hundreds of years. Both of these buildings are centuries old and boast intricate design features that are truly breath taking. While non-Muslims are unable to step inside the Koutoubia Mosque, it is possible for tourists to explore some of the small chambers that the students at the medersa would have used.

Another excellent site to explore during a trip to Marrakech is the El Badi Palace. Although the structure is now in ruins, you can still imagine how spectacular it must have been in its heyday. The palace was built by the Saadian princes whose nearby mausoleums are also worth a visit, but were destroyed in the 17th century by Moulay Ismail. He took many of the finest materials to construct his own palace in Meknes.

Head to the beach

Spending some time at the beach is an excellent way to make the most of the stunning Moroccan weather without burning any cash, which many backpackers take frequent advantage of as well as using flight comparison services like cheapflights.co.uk for their flexibility when planning long-haul travels and, obviously, finding low airfares. The city of Essaouira is one of the most popular options for those staying in Marrakech, as it’s not too far to drive – around three hours by coach, which is a cheap way to travel. The beach is a beautiful sweep of golden sand, although it can be quite windy, this has the bonus of making it the ideal place for kites and windsurfing. Essaouira also has a reputation for being laidback and friendly.

Best Hostels in Marrakech

Marrakech Rose

A charming little hostel right in the centre of town, with small dorms and friendly staff, the Marrakech Rose is a great place to meet other travellers and socialize.

Riad Amazigh

A former luxury riad that is now a beautiful hostel. The Amazigh has doubles, singles, and dorms which house up to 6 people, a roof top terrace with nice views. All rooms have full bathrooms and good appointments; the restaurant serves traditional Moroccan food. Open 24 hrs. You can also can book activities and excursions from here.

The Heart of the Medina Backpackers Hostel

First back packers hostel to be located in the Medina this hostel is just a one minute walk from Djemaa Place. Attractions/facilities include a rooftop terrace, hot showers, and comfortable surroundings. Breakfast included as are bed linens, towels, and free Wi-Fi. You can expect to pay €8 euro/person all year round per night if booked in advance via email or website. No lockouts, no curfews, and is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Hiking: Solo vs. Groups

Daniela Baker is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey, where travelers can compare airline credit card deals to prepare for next summer.  As someone who’s been bitten by the travel bug at an early age, she hopes this post will help other fellow travel enthusiasts and backpackers.

“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.  To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating.  I love to be alone.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

For many people, the idea of solitude is enough to make them entirely uneasy.  Not for nothing is solitary confinement considered a punishment.  Hiking in solitude must seem to these people the activity of the mentally unstable!  Hiking solo versus hiking in a group is no choice at all to so many people, however if approached in an intelligent manner, the choice can open up different worlds of hiking enjoyment.

I learned my hiking and enjoyment of the outdoors as a teenager.  Our parents might not always have been happy with the way I applied their lessons, however.  My friends, all between the ages of 15 and 18, decided early on that we didn’t have much place in the forming of younger scouts.  After one unfortunate incident involving matches, Coleman lighter fuel, and several sleeping bags, our parents agreed.  On campouts and hikes, we were allowed to do pretty much as we pleased.

This independent spirit followed me to college and beyond.  If I felt the need to go hiking and there was no one available to accompany me, I simply grabbed my boots and went by myself.  Conversely, if there were a group forming for a trek up one of the mountains that are nearby to almost everywhere on the East Coast, I joined that, too.  As time went on and the miles added up, I began to prefer solo hiking in most cases.  I found I came more and more to embrace Thoreau’s sentiments.

Hiking alone carries one overriding challenge: the fact that you are alone.  This is often seen as solo hiking’s greatest drawback, but it can also be solo hiking’s greatest benefit.  Nature can be very rewarding as an escape from everyday life.  The rewards can be somewhat muted if you’re sharing them with several people, some of whose enjoyment of nature takes on a different pace, a different noise level, and a different speed than your own.  Also, it is worthwhile for a backpacker to carry a cinch up backpack with them in these situations. It just makes things a bit easier.

Granted, if you get lost, there is no one to help you find your way.  If you get injured, there is no one to help rescue you.  Unless you take precautions to counter these types of potential problems, you’re putting yourself, as well as the people who may have to come and get you, at risk.  Be honest with yourself: “it will never happen to me” is almost the surest way to ensure that fate will strike you down at the first opportunity.

I’m doubtful whether anyone who has seriously considered hiking alone wouldn’t have already considered these points, and wouldn’t have a modicum of experience to mitigate them.  It goes without saying (although I’ll say it anyway) that any solo hiking trip requires both experience and planning.

There is a trade-off here: safety in numbers, as it were, versus being your own boss.  Hopefully, you will find a happy medium, or at the very least hiking companions who share both your views and your pace.  There is a place for hiking solo and for hiking in a group, as I’ve said before.  Embrace the situation, use common sense, and hopefully the times you find yourself weary and dissipated (with apologies to Thoreau) will be few.

3 Coastal Routes along the European Mediterranean

The allure of the Mediterranean keeps calling. Summer may be drawing to a close, but knowing that you can explore charming beach villages in Spain, Italy and Portugal, with views that truly take your breath away, make road tripping along Europe’s Mediterranean coast that much more fulfilling. Research the right car hire companies, familiarise yourself with road rules, pack your clothes, shoes and embarrassing ipod playlists, and prepare to be inspired by the beauty of the Med along these coastal routes. The Amalfi Coast offers Italian class by the sea, southern Spain provides the sunniest of trips with a rustic feel and Portugal’s Cascais is the answer to coastal perfection. European countries have done major overhauls of their roadways, bridges and highways which has made driving in Europe remarkably safe and a viable way to sight see. On top of all of that, you can find great hotel deals on Easytobook.com to make your Europe trips that much more affordable!

Driving the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Driving along the Amalfi Coast is a truly rewarding way to appreciate the beauty of the coast and sheer brilliance of the engineers who built the connecting roads 500 feet above the glistening sea. The Mediterranean is showcased in its most natural form, and the coast was given the highest honour as a world heritage site. Imagine beautiful coastal towns, perfectly built into hillsides, with decadent villas, restaurants and shops overlooking the turquoise waters. The beaches themselves are dazzling and the mountainous terrain serves as the perfect backdrop to the Amalfi Coast. Drive through the villages of Salerno, Ravello, Amalfi, Valle dei Mulini, Praiano and Positano. Positano<.em> is one of the more well -known, and although pricey, tourists flock to celebrate its coastal opulence and to relive movie moments such as ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, which was filmed in Positano.

Portuguese Coast

Portugal, the country of beautiful people, prego-roll-culture and mesmerising beaches, is the perfect place to explore by car. Escape the cramped tourist towns such as Algarve and rather drive along the coastal fishing town of Cascais. Located 30kms from Lisbon, this town is easily accessible by car. The beach sand is crystal white, and the villas and hotels are equally elaborate and beautiful as are the local beach goers. However Cascais has still managed to retain its character. The waterfront is a still an important meeting place for local fisherman and multi-coloured boats still decorate the harbour. From Cascais take a drive to the historic town of Sintra where you can explore ancient architectural wonders dating back to Roman times such as Palácio da Vila, and Palácio de Queluz.

Savour the South Coast of Spain

The southern coast of Spain is the perfect blend between traditional coastal port charm and holiday makers seeking sun and picturesque scenery. Driving along the Southern Coast is a foodies dream, offering the freshest of seafood that is delightful for the palate. The beaches are spectacular and the architecture showcases the true Spanish Gothic theme at its finest. Begin at Costa Del Sol and savour the lifestyles of the rich and famous at Peurto Banos. Continue to Gibraltar and marvel at the famed Rock of Gibraltar and then drive towards the fascinating town of Grenada – you can get a feel of small town Spanish lifestyle at its finest – siestas and parma ham are daily favourites. No road trip of southern Spain is complete without driving through the famous pueblo blancos (white villages). The town of Vejer , having managed to escape the tourist take-over, is a wonderful hilltop white village that has retained all its rustic charm and obvious beauty.

Road tripping along coastal highways is a rewarding way to experience culture, local feasts and stunning scenery. Holidays of this kind require preparation and it is important to know the rules of the road, as they differ across Europe, and also to ensure that you take out comprehensive cover for Europe. The allure of a road trip is that you are your own tour guide; your trip can be as simple or as luxurious as you choose and there is always a chance that you will come across little small-town delights on your journey.

Review: How to Take a Career Break to Travel by Alexis Grant

Hello Everyone!

I’m back and blogging at a horribly early hour, because I wanted to tell you about a rather good book I was asked to review that launches TODAY and can be purchased at a 25% discount this week only!

The book (if the blog title wasn’t obvious enough!) is called “How to Take a  Career Break” and it’s written by the lovely Alexis Grant. As I’ve mentioned before, I hardly ever review books, mostly because it takes a lot of time and sometimes because the books actually turn out to be complete crap. I’m happy to report that isn’t the case with Ms. Grant’s guide, and while I didn’t agree with everything she wrote (more on that later), I will say that I wholeheartedly wish a guide like this had existed before I went on my trip. It’s not groundbreaking or choc-a-bloc full of unknown travel secrets, BUT it is written from the realistic perspective of someone who’s been there and done that.

Alexis in Madagascar

I should be honest and say that as I was perusing the table of contents and looking for something to critique (I know, I’m a mean person before I’ve had my coffee), I zeroed in on the section entitled “Blogging While Traveling” and almost winced at how easy it would be to tear the chapter apart. Why? Because every travel book in world (it seems), has a vague and completely incorrect section which praises the benefits of travel blogging and how it will rain down riches upon those who are so intelligent as to think of it as an income idea.

Surprisingly, and to Alexis’ credit – her book is different. I swear to you, I almost dropped my cereal spoon when I saw that she espoused the benefit of travel blogging as platform for oneself and as a way to meet peers. True, she did mention that a few, select, lucky, and ueber talented individuals can make money on blogging but this admission is reasonable, and her perspective was so accurate, I found myself flipping through the rest of the book – reading bits and pieces and nodding quite often in agreeance.

For most of the book, she is spot on: she claims that traveling can help you build skills and test out a new career, and I’m a testament to that. Because of my travel blog, I was hired as a speechwriter for a politician last spring, and now I’ve successfully launched a conservation research career in Africa thanks to my connections and newly international CV.

She articulates the cost, planning, and choices required for traveling well; she articulates the difference between scheming and planning, and the address label ides she has is genius. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop dilly dallying and just buy the book already!

My biggest critique (if you can call it that)? In the book she  claims to be a backpack-user, while making concessions for those travelers who need actual luggage pieces. As I experienced horrid flashbacks to my 30-day trip around Europe using a rolling suitcase, I realized that I completely and totally disagree. No one person needs real luggage! The moral of the story is: DO NOT USE SUITCASES TO TRAVEL!

Moving on and stepping off my soapbox: this is a great book. From someone who has done the gap year/travel break/career switch/expat life, I can tell you that Alexis’ book will help you feel empowered when you probably need it the most: while you’re scheming your fantastic adventure abroad.

For more information  on Alexis Grant, click here! If you’re sold on the book, you can purchase it online here!

Magic Bus New Zealand

There are all kinds of ways to travel around New Zealand. You can explore the different car rental options and drive yourself around (it’s a relatively small country, like the UK). There are companies that drive small numbers of travellers around. There are notice boards on and offline where travellers sell second, third, or even seventh hand vans they have bought specifically to drive around the island. Or you can take a tour. There are a number of tours available but there are two major companies that run bus tours. These are the Kiwi Experience and the Magic Bus. The Kiwi Experience is aimed at young gap-year travellers. On board, you will find many eighteen year olds who have just finished school and students on holiday. The Magic Bus, on the other hand caters for those who are taking a break from the world of work or had some time off. They tend to be around thirty but it really is a mix of ages. The Magic Bus is perhaps the best option if you’re travelling alone, as it gives you the opportunity to meet a range of different people.

There are several routes Magic Bus tours take. You can do the North Island on its own or the South Island on its own or combine the two.

If you are only doing one island, a lot of people chose the south. That isn’t to say the North doesn’t have a lot to offer. The North Island has the thermal parks: large areas of volcanic activity which manifest as pools of bubbling mud and lakes which are green, yellow or blue with striking red-orange colours beneath the surface and steam rising above them. There are geysers – mounds of earth from which large jets of water shoot out sporadically. Much of it feels like the Land Before Time or Jurassic Park.  There is also a rather pervasive odour all over the areas main town, Rotorua. This is due to the sulphur beneath the ground’s surface that creates an egg-like smell.

The North Island also has Lake Taupo, which is important to the Maori people as well as being New Zealand’s largest lake. There are all kinds of adventure sports activities you can take part in here.

But the South Island is where most of the adventure sports fans find their fun. Taking the Magic Bus here is great because you pass through New Zealand’s adventure and party capital, Queenstown. Queenstown, as well as being part of the set of Lord of the Rings (along with a lot of other places in New Zealand) is famous for its sky diving, bungee jumping, rock climbing and rapid riding fun. And for the less daring, has some fun dry slope tobogganing opportunities too. At night the bars fill with locals and travellers and it’s a great opportunity to add to the friends you’ve already made on the bus. The South Island is also famous for its impressive Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, which even the novice can climb. It is also the gateway to the beautiful Milford Sound.



Sophie Collard (@QunoSpotter) writes about fascinating places to visit and people she’s met while on her travels. She’s travelled in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia and loves the sense of distance and changing landscapes.