Monday, January 24, 2011

Rotorua Road Trip

Beginning in the city of Auckland, where you can participate in a variety of activities from whale watching to extreme sports, this road trip will take you through three wonderful cities in New Zealand. South of Auckland you will find beautiful Waikato farmland and the magical Waitomo Caves. Then move on to the unique city of Rotorua, which has been welcoming tourists for more than 200 years. When you arrive at this heart of New Zealand Maori culture you will be met with the scent of sulphur wafting in the air, a sign of the geothermal hotspots dotted around the city. Rotorua is a great spot for fishermen and those looking to relax amidst natural beauty and hot springs.

Prince of Wales Feathers thermal spring erupting - Photo by
Valley2city, Creative Commons

Things to Do on this Rotorua, New Zealand Road Trip

Explore Cromwell Park

Watch Whales and Dolphins at the Hauraki Gulf Safari

Visit the sand cliffs and harbours of the Awhitu Peninsula

See Tiritiri Matangi, one of the world's most successful conservation projects

Take a Tour of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves & Grotto

Enjoy a Maori Hangi & Concert

Relax with a Te Puia Geothermal Experience or Guided Tour

By Connie Limoncelli

New Zealand Glaciers Road Trip

This roundtrip route, which begins and ends in Christchurch (one of Flight Centre's Top 10 Destinations for 2011), is the perfect way to begin an exploration of the gorgeous natural beauty that is New Zealand's South Island. Along the way you'll get a chance to stop in Lake Tekapo, Queenstown, Haast and Greymouth. The activities you can choose to participate are really endless from great dining and wine tours to extreme sports, wildlife watching, skiing, hiking and golf.

Otira Viaduct, Arthur's Pass - Photo by Ville Miettinen, Creative Commons

Lake Tekapo - Photo by Achim, Creative Commons

Things to Do on this New Zealand Glaciers Road Trip

Enjoy great food and wine trails in Christchurch (“The Garden City”) and the Waipara Valley.

Explore Christchurch’s great gardens and parks (Botanical Garden, Hagley Park), the Orana Wildlife Park, Canterbury Museum and the attractions of the Cultural Precinct.

Visit Arthur's Pass in the Southern Alps

Discover the stunning natural landscapes that surround Lake Tekapo

Participate in a multitude of activities in the resort town Queenstown, also known as the Adventure Capital of the World.

If you visit in winter try the skiing at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Crone. If you prefer cross country there is Waiorau Snow Farm.

Climb to the summit of Ben Lomond Mountain for some awesome views.

Go for a round of golf at luxury resort Millbrook Resort.

Discover the town of Haast, which is set within the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site.

Take a Guided Walk on the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers in Westland National Park.

By Connie Limoncelli

Lakes Discovery Road Trip

From Auckland to Waitomo this road trip will take you through a variety of landscapes and cultural environments. While Auckland is an urban oasis and Rotorua is the heart of New Zealand’s Maori culture, Lake Taupō remains a mix of the two, with both relaxing and adventurous activities available. In Waitomo be sure to take a tour of the Glow Worm Caves and Grotto, a truly unique experience.

A North Island Brown Kiwi at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park - Photo by
The.Rohit, Creative Commons

Modern Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo - Photo by Pseudopanax, Creative Commons

Things to Do on this Lakes Discovery, New Zealand Road Trip

Enjoy a Maori Hangi & Concert

Relax with a Te Puia Geothermal Experience or Guided Tour

Discover Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park

Indulge in Lake Taupō’s variety of fine dining options, as well as its cafes and boutique shopping.

Hike and Cycle in Lake Taupō

Take a Tour of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves & Grotto

By Connie Limoncelli

Coromandel Discovery Road Trip: Auckland, Whitianga & Coromandel

If you want your road trip to include dazzling natural beauty, idyllic beaches and golden sunshine then think about taking a drive around New Zealand. This is a road trip route that works for just about anyone—couples, families or singles. Possible activities range from discovering the islands off the coast of Whitianga to heading to Cathedral Cove and Shakespeare's Cliff.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel - Photo by Micknz, Creative Commons

Forest, Coromandel Peninsula - Photo by JShook, Creative Commons

Things to Do on this New Zealand Road Trip

Bungy Jump Off the Auckland Harbour Bridge

Watch Whales and Dolphins at the Hauraki Gulf Safari

Go Canyoning at Waitakere Ranges

Visit Quaint and Historic Coastal Devonport

Take a Trip to Gorgeous Motuihe Island

Theme Park Fun at Rainbow's End

Enjoy the Surf at Piha Beach and the View from Lion Rock

Hire a Banana Boat in Whitianga

Visit the Lost Spring Thermal Pool for a Relaxing Spa Day

Explore the Coromandel Ranges

Eat Delish Local Seafood

Scuba Dive at Cathedral Cove—or rent a kayak instead!

Take in Shakespeare’s Cliff and Beach

By Connie Limoncelli

Bay of Islands Road Trip

Beginning in the diverse city of Auckland, this road trip will allow you a unique look into New Zealand culture and the natural splendor of the country. Diving, water and adventure sports, sailing, whale watching, fishing and golf are just some of the possible activities available to you when you visit the beautiful Bay of Islands area. Explore the ancient Puketi Kauri Forest and stunning 90 Mile Beach on your way north to Cape Reinga. In Maori mythology the Cape and its famous lighthouse are the spot that spirits enter the underworld, it also the place where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.

View of Motukiekie Island, Bay of Islands - Photo by Fuadounet, Creative Commons

The Hole in the Rock in Piercy Island, Bay of Islands - Photo by Matt Lemmon, Creative Commons

Things to Do on this Bay of Islands, New Zealand Road Trip

Participate in the Treaty of Waitangi Night Show

Sign Up for a Waka Taiamai Heritage Journey

Take a Hole in the Rock Dolpin Cruise

Discover Puketi Kauri Forest

Enjoy the seemingly endless stretch of sand that is 90 Mile Beach

By Connie Limoncelli

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Darwin to Ayers Rock Road Trip in a Motorhome Rental

A motorhome rental road trip in Australia’s Northern Territory is an eye opening experience. View the unique landscapes of this area while driving across large expanses of land and road towards a final destination at Ayers Rock, the symbol of Australia and a World Heritage Site due to its living cultural significance for the Aboriginal people of the area. Along the way stop in national parks and quaint towns, visit thermal pools and mountain ranges, all the while taking part in any number of activities that may catch your fancy.

Uluru - Photo by dincsi, Creative Commons

Sunset at Darwin, Kok Leng Yeo, Creative Commons

Darwin to Kakadu: Day 1

our drive from Darwin, the laidback capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, to Kakadu is about 257 kilometres along the Arnhem Highway towards Jabiru. Along the way you may want to stop to sample a variety of activities from a river cruise on the Adelaide River (see if you can spot the famous jumping crocodiles!) to a trip to the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. Kakadu National Park stretches out over 20,000 square kilometres and has been named a World Heritage Site for both its natural beauty and cultural value.

Kakadu to Katherine: Day 2

If you feel up to it you may want to get up a bit early before starting out on this 300 kilometre drive. If you like stop at Pine Creek, a town created during the gold rush, before making it to your final destination in Katherine. Once you arrive there are a few must-sees that you may want to add to your list including the fascinating Cutta Cutta Caves, Edith Falls and Katherine Gorge, not to mention the School of the Air.

Katherine to Tennant Creek: Day 3

Did yesterday’s drive feel long? Well, today’s drive will be even longer so make sure you’re well rested and alert before starting the approximately 667 kilometre journey. A great place to take a break is Mataranka and its famous Thermal Pool. Another very cool spot is Daly Waters Pub, the oldest in the Northern Territory. The quaint Tennant Creek, a town built on its mines and gold rushes past, will be your final motorhome rental resting place for the evening. A wonderful aspect of Tennant Creek is the strong Aboriginal culture in the area. The Warumungus consider
several local sites to be sacred, among them the Devils Marbles, which can be found about 100 kilometres south of Tennant Creek. In town you can visit the Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre to learn more about local stories and art.

Tennant Creek to Alice Springs: Day 4 & 5

If you prefer, you can stop to look at the Devils Marbles along the way to Alice Springs. Be warned that this is another long day of driving, about 500 kilometres, through Barrow Creek, Ti Tree and Aileron. Your final stop will be Alice Springs, a town known for being the capital of the Australian Outback and a rather romantic rural town. Many think of this area as flat and dusty, but it’s quite different in reality. Alice Springs has greenery, great wildlife and watering
holes. While two days is hardly enough to see everything in the area you can definitely participate in a few choice activities—like visiting the MacDonnell (Macs) Mountain Ranges or fossicking for your own gems!

Alice Springs to Ayers Rock: Day 6

Along the smooth road from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations: Uluru. While the entire drive to Ayers is just over 450 kilometres it is pretty smooth and easy. The large sandstone formation known as Uluru is a symbol of Australia and can be found in Ulura-Kata Tjuta National Park.

By Connie Limoncelli

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drumheller Dinosaur Highway Roadtrip - Alberta Canada

This is a great one for kids or Dinosaur Buffs. Visit the Dinosaur Capital of the world in Drumheller Canada. But don't this roadtrip is just for Dinosaurs - there are heaps of other things to do here from skiing to white water rafting.

Horseshoe Canyon, Magnolia1000, Creative Commons

Inside the Dino-jaws, Mastermaq, Creative Commons

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dempster Highway Roadtrip - Yukon to NW Territories

For all of those who love going north (I mean far north) - The Dempster Highway is for you! The Dempster Highway is Canada's only all weather road into the Arctic Circle. If you are so inclined, you can in winter when the road is extended 190km north and uses an ice road to get to Tuktoyaktuk.

Things to see and do:
  • Don't leave your camera behind - this is nature photographers paradise. There are many 'pullouts' on the highway so take your time!
  • See Tombstone Territorial Park
  • See Moose, Grizzlies, Caribou, Peregrine Falcon, Gryfalcons, and Golden Eagles from this road.
  • Go Hiking
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Reach the Arctic Circle at Kilometer 403 (Mile 250)
Dempster Highway - PierreWiki Creative Commons

Northern Lights from Dempster Highway, madmack66, Creative Commons

Dempster Highway - rocco degiacomo Creative Commons

Dempster Highway - Mschacter Creative Commons

Directions starting from Dawson City
1Head northwest toward Klondike Hwy/YT-2 S
2Turn left at Klondike Hwy/YT-2 S
3Turn left at Dempster Hwy/YT-5 N
4Turn right to stay on Dempster Hwy/YT-5 N
Continue to follow Dempster Hwy
Entering Northwest Territories
5Take the Dempster Hwy/Fort McPherson NT Highway 8 NT/NT-8 N ferry
6Continue straight onto Dempster Hwy/NT-8 N
7Take the ferry
8Continue straight onto Dempster Hwy/Ferry Ramp/NT-8 N
Continue to follow Dempster Hwy/NT-8 N
9Turn right

Total: 765 km - about 16 hours 29 mins

Auckland to Port Waikato

The mouth of the Waikato River river offers a unique coastal experience only an hour away from Auckland City. Experience massive sand dunes, great fishing, and an interesting hinterland where part of the Lord of the Rings was filmed.

Some things to do at Port Waikato or close by
  • Take a walk through the Sand Dunes
  • Enjoy a beautiful Sunset at Sunset Beach
  • Explore the backroads and see beautiful limestone formations (note: most of this is on private land, so be respectful)
  • Go Fishing
  • Go Surfing
  • Go Horseback Riding
  • See the Nikau Caves (one hour from Port Waikato)

Sunset Beach at Port Waikato - photo from

Limestone region close to - photo from

Dunes at Port Waikato - photo from

Driving Directions from Auckland Starting from Victoria St West
1Head northwest on Victoria St West toward Federal St
2Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Hobson St
3Take the ramp to Route 1
4Keep left at the fork, follow signs for 1/Manukau/Hamilton and merge onto Route 1
5Take exit 476 for Helenslee Rd toward Razorback Road
6Turn right at Helenslee Rd
7Turn right at Munro Rd
8Turn right at Pokeno Rd
9Continue onto Whangarata Rd
10Turn left at River Rd
11Turn right at Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Rd

Arriving at Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Rd
Total: 87.9 km - about 1 hour 9 mins

View Auckland to Port Waikato in a larger map

Port Waikato to Nikau Caves Starting from Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Rd
1Head north on Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Rd toward Cobourne Pl
2Turn right at River Rd
3Continue onto Highway 22
4Slight right at Waikaretu Valley Rd
Arriving at Waikaretu Valley Rd
Total: 72.2 km - about 1 hour 8 mins

View Larger Map

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Flavour Trail - Charlevoix Quebec Canada

If you are a foodie, we have a great little Canadian roadtrip for you in Quebec. The 143-km (89-mi.) route is chock full of farmers and chefs eager to show off the fine produce of the Charlevoix region. So when you are in this region, check out the Flavour Trail, or the Route de Saveurs. Read more about it here.

Places to Check out along the way (use google translate if French isn't your native tongue):

Charlevoix, Quebec photo by Mélanie Plante, creative commons

Charlevoix, Quebec photo by grongar, creative commons

Official Map from the Flavour Trail Website:

View Flavour Trail, Quebec Canada in a larger map

Humboldt Redwoods Forest Drive California

If you are going to be in Northern California, you have got to check out the majestic Redwoods - particular the Humboldt National Forest where you can not only drive amongst these giants - you can actually drive through them (though I wouldn't try it in a motorhome)! Words can not describe the feeling of being among these massive trees!

Here are some highlights:
  • Avenue of the Giants - The Avenue of Giants is part of the Redwoods Highway.
  • Go Hiking - Here is a list of great hikes through the forest. Most of these are easy to moderate, so they are perfect nearly all fitness levels!
  • Founders Grove - Contains many wonderful trees (including the Dwyerville Giant) and is must of on the Avenue of Giants
  • Have a Picnic At Four Fireplaces - Just a little drive down from Founders grove is Julia Morgans Four Places - a perfect spot for a picnic amongst giant trees and a river.
  • Dyerville Giant - The Dyerville Giant is a fallen redwood in the Founders Grove. It was as high as 370ft tall before it fell. It is also 17 feet in diameter and 52 feet and weighs over 1,000,000 pounds.
  • Rockerfeller Forest - Home to many champion redwood trees, including the world's second tallest - this 10,000 acre forest has something for everyone
  • Shelter Cove - Just before you get to Redwoods National Forest, check out Shelter Cove to experience a of the Pacific Ocean
  • Drive through Trees - Believe it or not, most of the these trees survived the tunnel built through through them. You can still drive your car though them. Check out the Shrine Drive Through Tree and the Chandelier Drive Through tree just before the Humboldt forest.
Shrine Drive Through Tree, picture by Keirn, Creative Commons

Dyerville Giant, picture by Diricia De Wet, Creative Commons

Shelter Cove, picture by Jason Hollinger, Creative Commons

Avenue of Giants picture by Jason Sturner, Creative Commons

Drive from San Francisco to Eureka, through Avenue of Giants and Shelter Cove.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mt Evans, North America's Highest Roadtrip

Just about an hour and a half outside of Denver is one of North America's most breathtaking roads, literally. Driving on Mt Evans Road up to 14,260 ft (4346 m) - you may find both yourself and vehicle heaving for oxygen. However, spectacular views abound so make this part of your holiday when you visit the US Rocky Mountains. Note that this road is seasonal and closed during winter.

Some Highlights of this Roadtrip include:
  • Visit Buffalo Bills Grave, at Look Mountain - This is a side trip from Denver - but a great place to bring the kids and learn about this iconic American cowboy. His gravesite is located at Lookout Mountain, which has great views Golden Colorado (where they brew Coors beer)
  • Echo Lake Park - See this beautiful lake formed by Glaciers just before you head up on Mt Evan Road
  • Go Hiking - Get out of the car and into the wilderness. Mt Evans has some great hiking trips for you - check out Hell's Hole Trailhead if you are feeling fit!
  • On top of Mt Evans - See the Crest House Ruins and Meyer Womble Observatory - one of the world's highest Observatories.
  • Squaw Pass Road - on your return leg back to Denver, drive down Squaw Pass road for even more spectacular views.

Biker on Mt Evans Road - photo by krossbow, creative commons

Mt Evans Road Sign - photo by krossbow, creative commons

Crest House Circa 1950 - Picture via Wikipedia

Mt Evans Summit, photo by Zach Dischner, Creative Commons

Squaw Pass, photo by Todd Carpenter, Creative Commons

Driving Instructions - Denver - Mt Evans - Squaw Pass - Denver

  1. DCO-5 N/Mt Evans Rd and Squaw Pass Rd 117 mi enver, CO USA
  2. Head south on Sherman St toward E 13th Ave 0 1 mi
  3. Take the 1st right onto E 13th Ave 0 8 mi
  4. Turn left at Kalamath St 0 7 mi
  5. Slight right at 6th Ave Fwy 1 3 mi
  6. Continue onto US-6 W 8 2 mi
  7. Take the exit onto I-70 W toward Grand Jct 21 3 mi
  8. Take exit 240 for CO-103 toward Mt Evans 0 1 mi
  9. Turn left at CO-103 S/Chicago Creek RdContinue to follow CO-103 S 13 2 mi
  10. Turn right at CO-5 S/Mt Evans RdThis road may be seasonally closed 14 5 mi
  11. Destination will be on the left 60 3 mi – about 1 hour 36 mins
  12. Mt EvansBailey, CO 80421United States
  13. Head southwest on CO-5 N/Mt Evans RdThis road may be seasonally closed 14 4 mi
  14. Turn right at CO-103 S/Squaw Pass RdContinue to follow Squaw Pass Rd 17 8 mi
  15. Turn left at CO-74 N/Evergreen Pkwy 2 8 mi
  16. Take the ramp onto I-70 E 9 6 mi
  17. Take exit 261 for US-6 E/W 6th Ave 0 4 mi
  18. Merge onto US-6 E 8 4 mi
  19. Take the I-25 S exit toward Colo Springs 0 1 mi
  20. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-25 N/Ft Collins and merge onto I-25 N 0 8 mi
  21. Take exit 210A for US-40/US-287/Colfax Ave 0 4 mi
  22. Turn right at US-287 S/US-40 E/W Colfax Ave/I-70 BUS E 1 3 mi
  23. Turn right at Broadway 449 ft
  24. Take the 1st left onto E 14th Ave

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great Ocean Road Roadtrip Australia

There are few drives in the world more spectacular than Australia's Great Ocean Road. Though it can be driven in a day in about 7 hours you can easily spend days here exploring the specular coastal scenery and lush hinterland. Here some highlights

  • 12 Apostles - This is the iconic view of the Great Ocean Road. These 12 limestone formations are one of the most photographed landscapes in Australia. Near Port Campbell.
  • Bells Beach - A renown surfers beach, just south of Torquay on the Great Ocean Road.
  • Apollo Bay - Picturesque Ocean village with access to beautiful walks and waterfalls.
  • Glow worms - See glow worms in the Melba Gully near Apollo Bay
  • Anglesea Golf Club - Near the start of the road, many kangaroos frequent this course, so if you are golfer - get prepared for an interesting experience.
  • Koalas - See these wonderful creatures on Wild Dog Road or Skenes Creek road just before you get to Apollo Bay
  • Bay of Islands - The bay of islands is located south of Peterborough. It stretches over 30kms. Lesser known than the 12 Apostles because its 60km south, its offers stunning coastal views and walks.
Marriners Falls photo by Peter Barber, creative commons

Koala, photo by thetejon, creative commons

Bay of Islands, photo by JimmyHarris Creative Commons

Anglesea Golf Club, photo by a.meins Creative Commons

12 Apostles, photo by CmdrGravy Creative Commons

View Great Ocean Road Australia in a larger map

Directions to Great Ocean Road from Melbourne
  1. Head west on Little Bourke St toward Elizabeth St 250 m
  2. Turn left at Queen St 600 m
  3. Turn right at Flinders St 110 m
  4. Turn left at Queensbridge St 450 m
  5. Turn left at Power St 600 m
  6. Turn right to merge onto West Gate Freeway 13 9 km
  7. Continue onto Princes Freeway 45 8 km
  8. Continue onto Geelong Ring Rd 22 3 km
  9. Take the exit toward Colac Rd/Princes Hwy 700 m
  10. Turn right at Colac Rd/Princes Hwy 900 m
  11. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Anglesea Rd 16 2 km
  12. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Great Ocean RdGo through 4 roundabouts 132 km
  13. Slight left at Route 21 48 3 km
  14. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Morris St 400 m
  15. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Great Ocean Rd 950 m
  16. Turn left to stay on Great Ocean Rd 12 1 km
  17. Turn right at Old Peterborough Rd 6 3 km
  18. Continue straight onto Great Ocean Rd 12 4 km
  19. Turn right to stay on Great Ocean Rd 5 7 km
  20. Turn left to stay on Great Ocean Rd 15 1 km
  21. Turn left at Princes Hwy (signs for A1/Warrnambool/Portland) 105 km
  22. Slight left toward Henty Hwy (signs for Portland/A200/Cape Bridgewater/Nelson) 290 m
  23. Continue straight onto Henty Hwy 2 4 km
  24. Continue onto New St 1 0 km
  25. Turn right at Garden St 230 m

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Drive around Acadia National Park in Maine

This figure 8 drive on Maines Mount Desert Island features some of the most beautiful scenery found anywhere in the United States. Though its popular in Autumn, anytime of year is great to see 47,000 acres of Acadia National Park's wilderness Area. Give yourself at least 2 days to enjoy most of the sights here.

Here are some Highlights:
  • Bar Harbor - the 'capital' of Acadia National Park - here you can enjoy the laidback fishing village. See some of the old remaing 'cottages' that used to be part of "Millionaires Row" that were destroyed by a fire in 1947.
  • Acadia National Park. Explore more than 120 Miles of hiking trails and 16 lakes and ponds open to watercraft.
  • Park Loop Road - take this 20 mile side trip and see some of the best sights Acadia Park has to offer
  • Cadillac Mountain - Named after a French explorer and not the car, its the highest point on Mount Desert Island. It is 466 metres (1528 ft) high and offers some of the best views of the area.
  • Go to Southwest Harbor and enjoy the delicious lobster!
  • Photography - Check out Bob Atkins photography guide for photography at
  • Cranberry Isles - take a ferry and visit the charming Cranberry Isles off the coast of Mount Dessert Islands
  • Bangor, ME 50 miles, 1 hour
  • Portland, ME 161 miles, 3.5 hours
  • Kittery, ME 211 miles, 4.5 hours
  • Boston, MA 264 miles, 6 hours
  • New York, NY 492 miles, 10 hours
  • Saint John, New Brunswick 227 miles, 5 hours
  • Montreal, Quebec 424 miles, 8 hours
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia 500 miles, 10 hours
Aerial view of Bar Harbor
Photo by Smudge 9000, Creative Commons

View from Cadillac Mountain
Photo By AudeVivere, Creative Commons

Acadia National Park
Photo by Dana Moos, Creative Commons

Autumn Foliage Acadia National Park
Photo by InAweofGod'sCreation, Creative Commons

Sand Beach, Mount Dessert Island
Photo By Lee Coursey, Creative Commons

View Acadia National Park in a larger map