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8 Things to Know About New Zealand’s South Island

June 25th, 2015 by amorton

Known for its snow-capped Alps, misty valleys, and ancient rainforests, the landscape of New Zealand’s South Island is unlike anywhere else in the world. Boundless Journeys is returning to Kiwiland this winter, and we want you to join us! If you’ve ever considered adventuring in New Zealand or are just looking to expand your travel horizons, here are eight great reasons to visit New Zealand’s South Island:

1. In Nelson, they don’t just look at art, they wear it.
The country’s second-oldest city (and oldest on South Island) is known for its quirky and charming arts and crafts scene, helmed by its famous World of Wearable Art Show and Museum.

Jane Nearing World of Wearable Art

Scenes from the annual World of Wearble Art Show. (via flickr.com/Jane Nearing)

2. Buy the Lord of the Rings’ ring in Nelson.
Jens Hansen designed the original “ring” for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and created more than 40 variations for the films. Today, Hansen sells replica gold and silver models (and world domination) from his acclaimed jewelry shop in Nelson.

The One Ring

(via youtube.com/Melusaaste)

3. Marlborough is the place to go to sip the world’s best sauvignon blanc.
Known for dry weather and hot, sunny days and cool nights, Marlborough’s mountainous coastal climate creates the unique expression in its grapes that makes the region one of the best places to grow sauvignon blanc in the world.

Sauvingnon Blanc

(By Agne27 via Wikimedia.org)

4. The local dolphins are friendly.
Since the late 1980s, a group of locals from the Kaikoura Coast have been running wild dolphin encounters with pods of dusky dolphins, which guests can view by boat or swim alongside in the ocean.

Friendly dolphins

(via flickr.com/Mark Groves)

5. The colonial homes incorporate unique building materials.
In Kaikoura, pay a visit to the Fyffe House, one of the region’s first colonial homes. Built in 1842, the house’s foundations were constructed using whalebone scavenged from the surrounding beaches.

Colonial homes in NZ

(via flickr.com/ Allie_Caulfield)

6. The country’s sheep outnumber people seven times over.
Meet the locals at the Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass, where hotel guests can take in a slice of life at the 6,000-acre working sheep station. Watch the sheep dogs herd, bottle-feed lambs, and learn about merino wool and sheep shearing—still done with old-fashioned hand blades in order to leave the animals enough coat for the cold mountain weather.

NZ lambs

(via flickr.com/kiwinz)

7. Even the rocks are interesting.
In Punakaiki and Paparoa National Park, unique geologic formations of heavily eroded limestone form vertical shafts and stacks of what are known as “Pancake Rocks”. As the high tide rushes in and under the limestone, geysers of seawater burst through the holes, creating “blowholes” in the formations.

Fascinating NZ geology

(flickr.com/empty007)

8. The UNESCO World Heritage sites are a big highlight.
Te Wahipounamu, on South Island’s western coast, comprises 10 percent of New Zealand’s entire landmass. Here, successive movement of the glaciers over the millennia has created a scenic land of fjords, cliffs, lakes, waterfalls, and other rare habitats that shelter 800-year-old podocarp conifers and the kea, the world’s only alpine parrot.

Te Wahipounamu in NZ

(via flickr.com/Jocelyn Kinghorn)

8 Tips for Easing the Effects of Jetlag

June 1st, 2015 by amorton

Most citizens of the world are infinitely familiar with that ever-present traveler’s companion, jetlag. You know the feeling: chronic exhaustion, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, insomnia … the list goes on. But while there’s no steadfast cure for jetlag—a temporary disruption to our circadian rhythms measured by the plasma levels of certain hormones, changes in body temperature, and more—there are some things you can do to lessen its effects and adjust your internal clock. Meaning you’ll be on your way to enjoying that Himalayan hike or epic safari game drive that much sooner.

(via flickr.com/David Berkowitz)

(via flickr.com/David Berkowitz)


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Wines of the World: What to Sip in Croatia

May 15th, 2015 by amorton

 

Croatia is a food-lover’s paradise, a place where you can taste the countryside while trading stories with honey makers, fishermen, and olive farmers. But our 2015 National Geographic Traveler Tours of a Lifetime winner is also one of Europe’s most talked about emerging wine destinations, with more than 800 wineries and a history of viticulture that dates back for centuries.

Today, 64 indigenous grape varieties and a new system of wine appellation are introducing Croatian wine to the world, dividing the country into four regions, 12 sub-regions, and 66 appellations. And while it’s easy to see how even the most enthusiastic oenophile could struggle with the fine print, finding your next great bottle of Croatian wine isn’t as hard as you think. Read the rest of this entry »

The Top 10 Quotes That Inspire the Adventure Traveler

May 1st, 2015 by amorton

As travelers of the world, it’s heartening to share in the journey with others who enjoy the thrill of the unknown road as much as we do. And even if we’re on our own, it’s comforting to know we have the wise words of those who have gone before us to offer a sense of camaraderie, courage, and inspiration. Whether you post them on your bedroom wall or tuck them away in your passport holder, here are 10 quotes that inspire the adventure traveler in all of us.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel
read only one page.
– Saint Augustine

 

Ibn Battuta Quote

(via flickr.com/Latin America for Less)


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Spend A Night in These 5 Historic European Hotels

April 23rd, 2015 by amorton

Spring is a great time to plan a hiking trip in Europe, and after long days on the trail, our carefully selected boutique hotels are the perfect place to rest your head. But what you may not know is that many of our favorite properties are also housing centuries’ worth of history. From famous writers’ hideaways to a medieval traveler’s hospital, here are five of our favorites. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Assemble a First Aid Travel Kit for Your Next Adventure

April 2nd, 2015 by amorton
(via flickr.com/Chris Zielecki)

(via flickr.com/Chris Zielecki)

When traveling in remote or developing areas of the world, it’s never a bad idea to bring along your own first aid travel kit to ensure you’re prepared if the unexpected happens. There are a few basic types of travel medical kits, and each serves a variety of purposes: straightforward Basic First Aid for treating minor injuries, Health Kits to help with common travel-related illnesses, and more comprehensive commercial kits, such as an Adventure Medical Kit, for treating potentially serious injuries sustained during activities like mountaineering or river rafting.

What kind of kit you require depends in large part upon where you’re traveling and what you’ll be doing, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer some great travel planning resources to help protect you while you’re on the road. We recommend visiting the CDC directly before trying to assemble or purchase your own kit, but here’s a quick rundown of each type to get you started. Read the rest of this entry »

Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day: 5 Highlights of Ireland

March 17th, 2015 by Matt

Of course, there’s never a bad reason to visit the Emerald Isle, but if you’ve been dreaming of seeing this magical land in person, now’s a great time to make this promise to yourself: don’t let another St. Patrick’s Day go by without booking your ticket.

Of course, we know you’ll want to see the best of Ireland and its incomparable sites, and with that, we can help. Boundless Journeys’ Ireland: Walking Trails of the Emerald Isle itinerary is packed with scenic and culturally focused walks that bring you face to face with the best the island has to offer. Along the way, you’ll hear the surf crash along secluded beaches, observe ancient ruins and brightly colored wildflowers, and listen to the joyous, time-honored sound of a traditional Irish music session.

Here are five of our favorite places to visit in this magical land. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Adventure Travel Books

March 3rd, 2015 by amorton

When you’re not making your own adventure travel memories, a great travel book is often the best way to bridge the gap. Immersive and beautifully written, these 10 books will whisk you away to far off places—all from the comfort of your own home.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get Ready for the Trails in 2015: Classes, Gear and More…

February 16th, 2015 by amorton

Heading out on the trails with us in 2015? Travel smarter with these new hiking classes, gear, and more:

REI Outdoor School classesGet Fit: REI Outdoor School Classes

There’s nothing pleasant about finding yourself less prepared for a hiking trip or trekking adventure than you hoped to be. Proper fitness training before you go is key, but finding a program that understands the unique stresses that hiking can put on your body can be a challenge, especially if, like many of our travelers, you don’t happen to have a mountain range in your backyard. The good news? You might not need one. Instead, just head to your nearest REI store. (http://www.rei.com/outdoorschool/outdoor-fitness-classes.html)

Starting this month, REI and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) have joined forces to offer specialized classes for mountain climbing, backpacking, and training for 5-10K runs in select REI store communities. The brand hopes to bring a deeper understanding of fitness to its current Outdoor School, preparing participants to achieve their various goals—whether they be navigating the Annapurnas or crossing the finish line at a local 5K.
Read the rest of this entry »

5 Top Destinations for Women Who Love Adventure

February 10th, 2015 by amorton

It’s never too late to make 2015 your year of adventure, and at Boundless Journeys, we offer plenty of opportunities for our female travelers to get out on the trails in remarkable places, see sights they’ve only dreamed of (and capture them on film!), and enjoy rich cultural encounters with local schools, artisan groups, and more.

Whether you’re traveling with a group of girlfriends or are a single traveler looking to make new friends and escape the ordinary, here are five destinations for women who love adventure.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Bhutan Hiking Tour"Bhutan really exceeded my expectations. They really are in their own world, and the people and the country are absolutely amazing. Bhutan is glowing in my dreams and I still can’t believe this place really exists."
 - Albert Normandin, Bhutan Private Adventure

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