Through Deserts and Wadis Getting around in Oman

Oman is a great country to visit. It’s safe and people are very friendly and helpful and open to foreign cultures. The country has a long history of trade and has for thousands of years been an important trading port and a meeting point of cultures. Nevertheless, tradition is still very important in Oman and it’s…

One Lane Bridge From Cape Reinga to Bluff: Driving in New Zealand

There are so many bends in the New Zealand’s roads, that the roads are much, much longer than they seems on the map. So many bends, that you forget how it is to drive on a straight road. That’s exaggerating things a little but I guess you get my point. It means: plan much more…

Waterfalls and Paua Shells The Catlins, South Island, New Zealand

Not too many travelers go further south than Te Anau and Milford Sound. Those who do, however, and travel between Invercargill and Dunedin, have the possibility to take the scenic route through the Catlins and are rewarded with amazing beaches, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. And lots of gravel roads, yes, that too. The southernmost…

The Glacier or What’s Left of It Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Matheson, Haast Pass. South Island, New Zealand

Franz Josef glacier on the South Island’s west coast is about 12 km long. Once, it reached the Tasman sea; today, it finishes about 19 km from the ocean. Franz Josef Glacier It’s more than 10’000 years ago that the glacier reached the ocean. It’s not so long ago however, when the viewing point, that…

Go West Coast Wharariki Beach, Westport, Punakaiki. South Island, New Zealand

After crossing to the South Island by ferry – a wonderful journey across the Cook Strait and through Queen Charlotte Sound – we drove along the South Island’s north coast all the way to the beginning of the Farewell Spit at the northern end of Golden Bay. Wharariki Beach The spit can only be visited…

The Land of Giant Trees and Dunes Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga, Kauri Coast. Northland, New Zealand

New Zealand’s South Island may be more beautiful than the North Island (according to most travelers), but the North Island has some stunning scenery too. Bay of Islands A few hours drive north of Auckland, on the east coast, is the Bay of Islands. A bay with many islands, that simple. It’s a major tourist…

The Long and Windy Road Driving the Stuart Highway, Australia

Rumor has it (at least in Europe) that Australian roads are straight as if drawn with a ruler. That’s not true. What is true however, is that the roads are long and you can drive literally hundreds of kilometers without turning or stopping. From Darwin to Alice Springs You don’t need a GPS on the…

Great Ocean Road Trip Driving along the wild coast of Victoria, Australia

The Great Ocean Road was built after WWI by Australian soldiers who had returned  from the war. They used picks and shovels to build a road along the rugged coast. Even at the time, their methods and equipment were considered outdated. Nevertheless, they managed to build the road (it was opened in 1932) that today is…

Coober Pedy: Dig In! South Australia

When approaching Coober Pedy from the north, the landscape gets ever more flat and arid until just a few bushes dot the ocher colored desert. And then – small hills. More and more, some big and some tiny -mounds of debris. The whole area has been turned upside down. Like a movie set Coober Pedy is…

Karlu Karlu: Where the Devil Dropped His Marbles Northern Territory, Australia

Karlu Karlu, or the Devils Marbles (yes, without an apostrophe. Really.) are huge granite boulders that are of great cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people of the area. After hours of driving through flat, never-really-changing landscape, the boulders come as a real surprise. Huge pieces of rock strewn over a big area rise…

From Darwin to Litchfield Northern Territory, Australia

Welcome to Australia! After four months (I guess it was four… I kind of lost track of time) in Asia, we headed even further south and further away from Europe: to Australia. Australia is different in many ways – landscape, geology, wildlife – from all the places we’ve visited so far. Arriving late in Darwin,…

Vancouver Island: Naturally Wild West Victoria, Ucluelet, and Tofino

Vancouver Island is a 1.5 hour ferry ride away from the mainland. Not very far away but we imagined it would be totally different from southern British Columbia, which is densely populated and very different from central BC. But no, the area around Victoria is just as populated and traffic just as heavy. Victoria Victoria…