New Zealand

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New Zealand is home to the world’s steepest street. In the delightfully Scottish-influenced city of Dunedin on the South Island, Baldwin Street obtains a slope of 19 degrees or 35 percent (that is, travel 2.86 metres for a one metre vertical rise). Over 161 metres, the street rises 47 metres in height. Joggers exercise on the street every day while it is a serious test of car brakes.Proudly ....Continue Reading >>
Complete with a lighthouse and guns to protect New Zealand from invading Russians in the late 1800s, Taiaora Head is the only mainland breeding colony of the superb Royal Albatross in the world. With around the clock protection from predators, a few dozen breeding pairs lay a lone egg every couple of years hatching in January. For eight months, the lone chick sits in their nest awaiting the ....Continue Reading >>
Named for the Maori place of the canoe, Owaka is the largest settlement in the naturally beautiful Catlins with a small population of around 300. The undoubted highlight is the quirky display of teapots in every shape, size, colour and heritage in a garden and neighbouring house on the main road through the tiny town. The letterbox comes in a classy white ceramic appearance while doves thrive ....Continue Reading >>
One of New Zealand’s finest drives is the Southern Scenic Route, a quiet, meandering road through national parks and tiny villages that encapsulates the best of New Zealand’s natural scenery. Marked by a maroon triangular sign with stylised “S”, the highlight section traverses the little travelled Catlins, a pockmarked coastal path connecting Invercargill and Dunedin. Glittering rugged ....Continue Reading >>
The coastal rocky ledge of Curio Bay was very different one hundred and seventy million years ago. In a time before birds, mammals and flowering plants (though the quirky tuatarawas well entrenched), a lush verdant forest stood proud.Soaking rains drenched the nearby volcanoes, covered with ash and debris from eruptions. The deluge turned to rivers of mud inundating, felling and drowning ....Continue Reading >>
Driving south towards the Catlins from surprising Invercargill is the South Island's most southerly point. Walking across lush pastures and past grazing sheep, a panoramic vista shows a coastline battered by the savage Southern Ocean, the roaring foriteswinds sweeping relentlessly across the rocky outcrop.Though the chilly temperatures would indicate differently, a sign shows that Slope ....Continue Reading >>
Invercargill is a Kiwi byword for the bottom of the world – New Zealand’s most southerly city. As such, it is often omitted from itineraries (along with the wondrous Catlins), people preferring to cut across the centre of the South Island between Queenstown and Dunedin.However the centre of Invercargill boasts a number of highlights. Impressively the town centre includes a tranquil ....Continue Reading >>
Grazing sheep dot verdant pastures throughout New Zealand. On this gloriously sunny day, I love the contrast of the emerald green farmlands and the turquoise blue ocean - something the sheep are clearly oblivious to. ....Continue Reading >>
While Milford Sound shares its bountiful beauty with many thousands of visitors, slightly more southerly Doubtful Sound shares its secrets with relatively few. Ten times larger than Milford (Milford would fit into one of Doubtful’s arms – see map), Doubtful Sound is accessible only via a boat trip across the clear and gentle waters of Lake Manapouri and via a comfortable bus ride over on ....Continue Reading >>
The touristy town of Te Anau runs alongside the beautiful lake of the same name (New Zealand's second largest lake). It is the starting point for the superb scenic drive to Milford, the trek along Milford Track and the boat cruise along Milford Sound.The town is Maori for Swirling Water Cave which were only rediscovered in the late 1940s on the opposite side of the lake to the town and which ....Continue Reading >>
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Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

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