A Guide to Exploring Australia’s Premier Wine Region: Hunter Valley – ‘Grape’ Times Await!

Whether or not you enjoy a glass of wine, Hunter Valley is a wonderful retreat, with something for everyone. With its verdant vineyards and rustic charm, read this guide to uncover the best of Australia’s favourite “Wine Region”.

Gorgeous Stays

Weekend escapes deserve idyllic stays and the Valley’s teeming with options to suit every traveller! Make the most of Hunter Valley accommodation deals and take your pick, from beautiful B&Bs to cosy but luxurious resorts such as Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort.

Exciting Mornings

Imagine having a bird’s eye view of the sun’s warm morning glow, slowly light up the lush landscape? Book a morning hot air balloon ride to enjoy this experience first-hand. You can even opt to have a bubbly breakfast, as you soak in the morning sun. It’s the perfect excursion to book for a group of friends or even as a romantic date in the clouds.

Image via Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort

Wine Tastings

With so many winemakers in the regions, book a tasting and tour and you’ll come out of your holiday feeling like a real sommelier! The tours are comprehensive and will give you a great opportunity to learn a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes. That’s not all, you’ll be able to enjoy the local wine and all the accompaniments that would pair well with it.

Enchanting Gardens

The Hunter Valley Gardens are beautifully maintained and are a great choice for those travelling with family. Apart from the serenity this little haven offers, there are lots of special nooks and surprises for all those who visit. From special rides for kids to even Indian, Chinese and Oriental gardens – prepare yourself for a real treat!

Guide to Adventure and Do Fun Things in Dubai

Dubai is a highly-sought destination by luxury holidaymakers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the best things to do in Deira Dubai.

Skydive at iFLY Dubai

Skydiving is a thrilling activity, which can be terrifying for some. Why not take it slow by opting to skydive indoors at iFLY Dubai in Mirdif City Centre – the largest indoor adventurous-activity centre in the UAE.

Experience a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Soar over the glistening desert of Dubai with the help of a serene hot air balloon ride – witness a glorious bird’s-eye view of these spectacular desertscapes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Enter a World of Illusions

Do you simply love tricks and illusions? Then don’t miss a visit to the Museum of Illusions in Dubai, which is located within a 17-minute driving distance from Avani Deira Dubai Hotel via Tariq Bin Ziyad Road.

Be Part of a Camel Safari

If you want to explore the desert in the most authentic way, Camel Desert Safari would be the way to go! Enjoy a 45-minute journey on these calm, breathing ships of the desert after which you could get entertained with cultural shows such as traditional Emirati dances and drumming sessions.

Unusual Things to Do in Sri Lanka

Not many know of the off-the-beaten-path adventures that Sri Lanka hides within – so they often end up travelling in touristy places and miss out on the best of what this country has to offer.

Experience Village Life
Ditch the rich towns to seek the true essence of Sri Lanka – ask your travel guide to introduce you to rural village life. You’ll even be able to enjoy the authentic Sri Lankan cuisine while striking up a conversation with the friendly villagers.

Fly Over the Clouds

Vnonymous, Penang Hot Air Balloon, CC BY-SA 4.0

No, it doesn’t mean plane rides – prepare yourself for a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of Dambulla, Sri Lanka with hot air balloon rides! It is an unparalleled experience to which you can look forward during a stay at a property such as Heritance Kandalama.

Climb Pidurangala

This is a lesser-known alternative for Sigiriya, but many tourists are only made aware of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climbing Pidurangala will help you to avoid crowds that make their way up in Sigiriya.

Discover Stilt Fishing

The fascinating sight of fishermen perched atop branched poles is something you have to witness in Sri Lanka. Visiting Koggala, Ahangama, or Kaththaluwa will let you experience this unique method of fishing.

 

 

Air Ballooning in Dambulla

Get aboard a hot-air-balloon and fly over a magical land where great kingdoms flourished millennia ago and be awestruck by the immaculate vistas that comprise of ancient edifices, mountains and lush vegetation! Read on to know more about this enticing experience.

Ballooning over dambulla

Located at the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural triangle, Dambulla is an ancient city that is home to many historic attractions. Though visiting the region by foot is exciting, seeing them from above is certainly a unique experience. Seeing attractions such as Sigiriya, Pidurangala and surrounding forestland from a hot air balloon will create memories that will certainly tug at your heartstrings.

When can you partake in this experience

The experience entirely depends on the weather and due to monsoonal winds and rain conditions, you cannot partake in this experience during the rainy season. But the weather clears up during the months between November to April which is the ideal time for this experience.

How can you join a hot air balloon tour

Several tour operators offer this experience and you can get in touch with them easily if you are stationed at Sigiriya hotels the likes of Heritance Kandalama; all you have to do is reach out to the front desk and they will make the necessary arrangements.

Things to remember

Make sure that you wear light and comfortable clothing if you have the experience scheduled during day-time. Make sure that you bring your camera and also a pair of shades and a hat will come in handy. Listen and follow the instructions given by your pilot during your journey.

 

Adventuring Chiang Mai from the Skies

Incredibly popular among almost everyone who visits, hot ballooning in Chiang Mai offers the greatest view of the entire area. Want to know how it happens?

Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Image Credit: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort,

Booking

Offered by almost any Chiang Mai Hotel, you must make sure to make an advanced booking, especially if you are booking it during the December winter season of Chiang Mai. Most flight bookings include a 2-way transfer from the launch site to the hotel.

The process

With most places offering two flights per day, it’s best to stick to the schedule. Each basket can generally hold up to six adults, however, they usually limit it to one pilot and four passengers. First, the balloon is laid out, the crew then proceed to inflate it with cold air utilizing a powerful fan as well as turning the burner flame on afterwards.

The views

You’ll witness a breathtaking sunrise if you fly in the morning, upon a backdrop of terraced paddy fields and mountains. The highlight of the trip.

Wrapping up

It is a common tradition to have a champagne toast at the end of the journey upon landing, before heading back to the hotel. If you’re staying at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, the launch sites are pretty close by.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Desert animal survival adaptations that will blow your mind!

Deserts are certainly one of the harshest environments on the planet but even in these environs, nature has amazed us giving a number of creatures abilities to tackle these unforgiving conditions. Read on to know about some of these unique survival adaptations of animals who live in deserts.

WikimediaImages, Camel Race Algeria Desert Animal Track Riding, CC0 1.0

Scaly Skin

Most of the creatures of deserts particularly reptiles have scaly and patterned skin, these are an adaption formed through thousands of years of evolution. Scaly skins of these creatures retain moisture and help them evenly dissipate heat. The sidewinder snakes, the thorny devil, Earless lizard, the Gila monster are some of the creatures who have developed this adaptation.

Sophisticated digestive system

Almost all the desert creatures have a highly adapted digestive system that can synthesise food to extract water. Since these environments do not hold water for these creatures to drink, most creatures like The desert tortoise, the Greater Roadrunner, Brewer’s Sparrow, camels are some of the examples of desert creatures with sophisticated digestive systems.

Nocturnal lifestyle

Most of the desert creatures avoid the scorching sun by this ingenious method. That is by becoming nocturnal. This particular behaviour can be seen among Mammals and other warm-blooded creatures such as badgers, coyotes and foxes.

Heightened Senses

Finding food in the desert is like finding a needle in a haystack and some of these creatures have developed adaptations such as an acute sense of hearing and smell to pinpoint the location of food. This works both ways i.e. predator such as fennec foxes and coyotes use them to hunt their prey and creatures like the desert hare use their sense of hearing to not become the hunted.

Animals of these special survival adaptations can be spotted in desert regions and you are more likely to spot one of these during your Abu Dhabi Desert Tour or a stroll on the deserts during your stay at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

 

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Wildlife Tours and Safari Holidays in Sri Lanka

 

Want to experience a wildlife adventure tour in Sri Lanka? Most of the paths in the country hold an abundance of nature and adventure, like those given below.

Image by Schnobby, Scenery in Yala National Park, CC BY-SA 3.0

Yala National Park

The Yala National Park is well known among many a tourist as the nature reserve that holds the highest number of leopards on earth. It is made up of dry woodlands, wetlands, grassland, sandy beaches, thorn forests, and lagoons. Apart from stealthy leopards, one can witness freely roaming mammals such as loris, fishing cat, and the sloth bear.

Wilpattu National Park

Your wildlife excursion will be incomplete until you visit the Wilpattu National Park. The name Willpattu refers to the sand-rimmed ‘Villus’ (natural lakes) that are scattered around the park. Those who are interested in Sri Lanka wildlife holidays can look forward to a multitude of wild encounters in Willpattu. If you wish to spot an array of wildlife including sloth bears, elephants and even exotic species of birds, the best time to visit the park is from February to October.

Kumana National Park

Also known as ‘Yala East’, spotting animals is not an easy task in Kumana! However, it possesses a certain authenticity and a significant bird population. The nesting season which comes in the months of May and June makes it an ideal place to visit the park. You can request organizers such as Cinnamon Nature Trails to schedule a safari to coincide with the nesting season.

Bundala National Park

This park is well-known as a wildlife hotspot for aquatic bird life! The most impressive aspect of the park is its terrain made up of sand dunes, scrub jungle, salt pans, lagoons and long stretches of coastline.

 

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Parachuting in Yarra Valley Melbourne

Are you an adrenaline junkie? Then engaging in a spot of skydiving in Yarra Valley, when you’re next in Australia should most definitely be on your agenda!

Image by MKFI of Parachuting via pixabay.com

The Experience
The experience includes diving from up to 15, 000 ft at a speed over 200 km/hr along with a 60-second free fall, which will set your heart racing! Once the parachute is released you will be able to enjoy a 5-7-minute flight over the verdant region while taking in aerial views of the picturesque countryside and charming vineyards.

Where to Sign up
Interested parties can sign up for the exhilarating activity with Yarra Valley Skydiving for great rates either online or in person. Free transfers too are available for selected packages and sessions. If you happen to be staying in South Yarra hotels including the likes of Oaks South Yarra, the staff would arrange the excursion upon request.

Safety
Regardless if you are an experienced jumper or a first timer, friendly skydiving experts will ensure that everyone is comfortable while they take the customers through a safety briefing in preparation for the dive.

Packages and Price Point
Offered packages such as the Tandem Skydive from up to 15,000 ft. starts from $299 while a dive from 7, 000 ft. would be $199. Photos and videos are also available for purchase, so you can relive the thrilling experience all over again.

 

Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting. Google+