Uluru: The Big Rock Northern Territory, Australia

Uluru/Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s most iconic sights. In fact, a picture of Uluru is like a synonym for Australia and of course it ranks high on any traveler’s bucket list. But is it really the greatest sight in the country? The one place you absolutely have to see if you’re going to Australia? A…

West MacDonnell Ranges: Gorgeous Gorges Northern Territory, Australia

Stretching east and west of Alice Springs, the MacDonnell Ranges are a series of mountains with spectacular scenery, gorges and gaps, and diverse flora and fauna. West of Alice Springs, a road leads along the mountain range and to some of the gorges. An unsealed road then continues all the way to Kings Canyon. Gosses Bluff At…

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…

Kakadu National Park: Open Air Gallery Northern Territory, Australia

The area of UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park has been continuously inhabited by Aboriginal people for over 50’000 years. Aboriginal history and culture is illustrated by some 5000 recorded rock art sites; however, only very few of them are accessible to tourists. The national park covers a huge area (about half the size…

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,…

Ibu Volcano: The Ultimate Camping Experience Halmahera, North Maluku, Indonesia

Yet another active volcano on Halmahera Because Dukono was great and because on Halmahera island there’s another one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, we absolutely wanted to go to Mount Ibu. Plus, we were told that there we’d be even closer to the action (is that even possible?!). Our guide for this tour was Alex Djangu, a native…

Dukono Volcano: Playing With Fire Halmahera, North Maluku, Indonesia

Force of Nature It’s dark. You walk up the steep crater, on loose ash. The ground shakes with every thunder from the active volcano underneath you. The closer you get to the smoking crater, the louder the thunder and the faster your heartbeat. You’re scared. You know this is crazy and you should better turn back,…

Arfak Mountains: A Bird’s Paradise West Papua, Indonesia

Situated on the east of West Papua’s Vogelkop, the Arfak Mountains are the habitat of some of the world’s most unique and astonishing birds: birds-of-paradise. Only few people live in the Arfak Mountains and just a handful of tourist guides offer tours and accommodation in the Arfak region. One of them is Hans Mandacan, a…

Thousands of Dolphins & One Boat Sulawesi, Indonesia

Dolphin watching and snorkeling in Batuputih Batuputih is not only the gateway to wonderful Tangkoko National Park, it’s also a great place to go snorkeling, diving, or dolphin watching. Lea, the local guide and divemaster (find her contact info below) with whom we booked a snorkeling and dolphin watching tour, promised us that, if we’d go, our boat…

Tangkoko: Where the Wild Things (Still) Live Sulawesi, Indonesia

On the easternmost tip of North Sulawesi lies Tangkoko National Park. According to the Lonely Planet, it’s possible to get there by public transport from Manado, but in reality this proved to be close to impossible. Even if you’d manage it, it wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper than a taxi from the airport directly to Batuputih,…

Kinabatangan Cruisin’ Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Wildlife spotting in Borneo A great place to spot wildlife in Sabah is along the Kinabatangan river, the second longest river in Malaysia. Actually, the reason why there are so many animals, is a sad one: They have been pushed ever closer to the river by logging and clearing of forest for palm oil plantations. Most of…

Sepilok: All About Orang-Utans Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Endangered orang-utans Orang-utans, native only to Borneo and Sumatra, are endangered due to habitat loss (because of logging and palm oil plantations), poaching, and the illegal pet trade. Until it’s seven to ten years old, an orang-utan baby depends heavily on its mother and if the mother dies, the baby is likely to perish as well….