New Zealand

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In a freak of nature, New Zealand has two of the only sea-level glaciers in the world outside of the arctic regions. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are easily accessible and are only 25 kilometres apart on New Zealand’s South Island and compete heavily to attract travellers for their various hiking options on the glacier. Each is served by a small town of the same name and both comprise a small fraction ....Continue Reading >>
Fox and Franz Josef Glacier each squelch, groan, grind, gouge and meander around 12 or 13 kilometres from the heights of New Zealand’s Southern Alps ending in lush rainforest. From small townships with matching names, they are among the most accessible glaciers in the world with an easy and open stroll along a marked path to any visitor to the nose or start of the glacier. For a walk on the glacier, ....Continue Reading >>
Driving only a couple of blocks through along Hokitika’s main street leaves no-one in any doubt as to the main attraction of the area – greenstone. The local Maori population has always treasured the valued greenstone (or jade) found in nearby rivers and along the beach. The Hokitika Museum has many beautiful pieces of greenstone, from boulders straight from the river to wonderfully worked pieces.Numerous ....Continue Reading >>
Sandwiched between the uninspiring towns of Westport and Greymouth are the extraordinary Pancake Rocks - the ocean sprays, pounds and bursts through fissures in unusually carved and layered rocks near the tiny village of Punakaiki. Relatively unknown outside of the area, the weather-beaten rock shaped over millions of years are an exceptional sight.Constructed of stratified limestone formed thirty ....Continue Reading >>
The day is foul – a wind howls across the point resisted by only the hardiest of scrubby bushes and toughened grasses. Surf pounds relentlessly into the west coast’s limestone cliffs and volcanic beaches. Brooding dark seas merge into the pewter grey clouds blurring any idea of a horizon, a lonely characterless lighthouse warning all things marine to steer a careful path around this treacherous ....Continue Reading >>
The Rai Swingbridge crosses the deep aquamarine blue of Rai River as part of a beautiful gentle walking circuit through totara forest (one of several walks in the area). This sturdy structure has far less swing and sway than its cousin over Buller Gorge.It is all part of Pelorus Sound Scenic Reserve, a wonderfully preserved pocket of historic forest encrusting the far sinewy reaches of Pelorus Sound. ....Continue Reading >>
The road from Nelson to the west coast of New Zealand weaves through some spectacular mountain and gorge country. The road follows and falls with the river the scenery draped in a veil of verdant green foliage and murky mists.At over 100 metres in length near the uninteresting town of Murchison is New Zealand’s longest swingbridge. Spanning dramatic Buller Gorge carved by energetic aquamarine green ....Continue Reading >>
With ideal growing conditions for hops, the Nelson region boasts around 20 craft breweries many producing novel and unusual beers along with the more traditional brewed offerings. One highly recommended place is McCashin's Brewery in Stoke only a few kilometres from the centre of Nelson (and near the unique World of WearableArt Museum). Working in an old cider factory, McCashin's produce beer, cider, ....Continue Reading >>
With no map, we checked at a local restaurant for directions to the Wheelhouse Inn. The owner said “Oh, that’s Ralph and Sally’s place. It’s beautiful. You’ll love it”. And he was so correct.From when we first moored our car in the anchorage – everything at The Wheelhouse Inn has a nautical theme – the place has a wonderful relaxed feel. Opening the door of the Wheelhouse, a modern ....Continue Reading >>
"Athletes have the Olympics; actors have the Oscars; musicians have the Grammys; and designers and costume creators have WOW"Bob Haven, professor in Costume Technology at Kentucky University.Like a cocktail of Cirque du Soleil and Carnivale, every September an extraordinary Wellington spectacular morphs choreographed music, theatre, colour, lighting and dance to showcase a magical evening of fantasy, ....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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