Travel Guide: Noteworthy Waiheke Vineyards

If you’re sitting at your desk planning your next vacation, or checking up your favourite Instagram accounts for inspiration on the commute home from work, chances are you’d rather be in New Zealand sipping wine and soaking up the beautiful island views that Waiheke has to offer. Located just a 35 minute, ferry ride from downtown Auckland, (a few minutes longer on the car ferry), Waiheke Island is a tranquil, beautiful jewel in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Waiheke Island has an abundance of award-winning restaurants, cafe’s, and vineyards. Need an escape? Keep reading and check out my list of noteworthy vineyards.

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Travel Guide: Stockholm Hotspots

In collaboration with Downtown Camper by Scandic, I’ll take you behind the scenes of Stockholm’s best hotspots and tell you why they are worth a visit. Discover, more of Stockholm’s best-hidden gems together with me and other locals from our wonderful capital city of Sweden.

Rosendals Trädgård – Rosendalsvägen 38, Stockholm

This is one of favourite cafe’s to visit, located on the beautiful island of Djurgården. I love the rustic simplicity of the setting and the fact that all produce is grown sustainably and organically, using biodynamic ingredients, which are then utilised in the café. The food is absolutely delicious, you can really taste the goodness and freshness of all their dishes. The little boutique is also an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ with all sorts of garden and food goodies.

Artipelag – Artipelagstigen 1, Gustavsberg, Stockholm

This place is a real treat and probably one of the most beautiful art galleries and venues I’ve ever been to. Located on the island of Värmdö, approximately an hour’s drive from Downtown Camper, Artipelag was built to fit in with the natural surroundings. Designed by Johan Nyren, the building covers 10,000 m² including art galleries and 22 acres of natural scenery. I really enjoyed walking along the boardwalk from the carpark up to the cafe and art galleries. The walk offers spectacular views right across Värmdö archipelago, before reaching the impressive, white architectural building of Artipelag. It’s definitely on my list of must-sees!

Nirvana – Åsögatan 166, Stockholm

If like me, you find the long, dark months in Stockholm hard, then you’ll benefit from a good dose of Vitamin D3. Nirvana is a perfect location to lay back and lounge in the ‘Solrummet’, the Sun Room, soaking up the safe summer rays. Choose between a sun lounger or hammock and enjoy the sound of waves lapping at the beach, whilst sipping on healthy smoothy and snacking on a range of vegetarian or gluten-free snacks. Ideally located in the trendy district of Södermalm, Nirvana is a short walk from Medborgarplatsen tube station.

Dansskolan Yogansa – Pipersgatan 26, Stockholm

If you love dancing you’re going to love Dansskolan Yogansa, offering a range of all types of dance classes. Afrobeat is my personal favourite. I didn’t leave a single class without a massive smile on my face.

Boulebar – Rådhuset, Stockholm

I love nothing more, come a weekend, than a good game of Boule and brunch with my friends. Boules, originally from France, is making a trendy resurgence in Stockholm with a number of different locations popping up around the city. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long work week and get together with some friends over a game.

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Travel Guide: Bruges, Belgium: Where to stay, what to eat and do on your visit

IMG_2452Bruges is so steeped in history, you’ll be forgiven for believing you’ve gone back in a time capsule to the 15th century. Cobbled streets lined with gilded houses make for a picturesque setting, so beautiful you will be lost in awe, as you walk down the streets, and along the canals. It is no surprise then that this prominent city is listed as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.  

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Where to go and what to eat

Ho Chi Minh >> Cù Chi Tunnels  

Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, as some still refer to it as, is a city that never sleeps. One of the most vastly populated in Vietnam with well over 10 million people residing there. As a first taster to Vietnam, I’m overwhelmed by the number of mopeds whizzing about, the heat and humidity, the colours, and the number of skyscrapers that dominate the landscape. It’s a high-octane city, full of energy and life, with something to suit every type of traveller. From the finest of hotels for the sophisticated traveller to the cheapest of guesthouses for the backpackers and adventurers. Classy restaurants, tasty street food stalls, boutiques selling anything and everything and of course the markets. HCMC is modern but steeped in history, a fast-paced vibrant city.

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South Island, New Zealand

Christchurch > Tekapo > Mount Cook > Wanaka > Fox Glacier > Queenstown > Arrowtown

Driving through the rich landscape of New Zealand’s, South Island is like glimpsing a freshly painted canvas on every turn you take. Vast snowy capped mountains, enchanting green forests, a verdant oasis covering the lower rolling valleys, golden grass and a scattering of white sheep, depict a perfectly painted picture. The scenery is just magical and leaves you feeling at one with nature.

I had heard and seen a lot about the South Island of New Zealand but nothing can quite prepare you for the astonishing beauty, picture perfect, scenery that presents itself to you and makes you feel a ease in its vastness.

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Part 2: North Island, New Zealand

WaitomoRotorua > Auckland

Waitomo is a place I have fond memories of from my families last visit. So packing only our essentials, we waved goodbye and headed off for a few days away south of Auckland. A 2hr45min drive led us through countryside not unlike Wales, beautiful rolling valleys and plenty of sheep.

We arrived at our first destination Waitomo Kiwi Cave Rafting, where we would spend the next 4hrs navigating Waitmomo’s famous cave system. First things first was to get kitted up in some rather fetching wetsuits, multicoloured trousers and whites wellies. We looked an absolute picture, Edina and Patsy would have been proud. Once we’d suited and booted and with all our safety gear on we were ready to make our way to the entrance of the cave. One by one we were lowered or should I say abseiled down into a small riven where we met the river and opening of the cave. Now all down we made our way into the mouth of the cave, our guide leading from the front. We were in for a treat once inside the cave, switching our headlamps off we were plunged into total darkness.

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Waiheke, New Zealand

Waiheke Island is a tranquil, beautiful jewel in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Located just a 35 minute, ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Perfect for a day trip, wine-tasting tour, Honeymoon or just a relaxing vacation.

Having been to New Zealand before, when I was 17yrs old, I had high expectations for my return visit. We have been travelling for 6 weeks now, from Tokyo, right down the East coast of Australia and now to New Zealand, North and South islands. My excitement mounts as we touch down in Auckland, I can’t wait to see what this trip has to offer and how I will feel 16yrs on about the country I have held with such high regard.

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Melbourne, Australia

We’ve been travelling for 5 weeks now, it seems like longer, and very few places have captivated us in the way that Melbourne has. There is a sense that we’re home, a home away from home. This city has a little bit of everything; the skyscrapers are all neatly contained together, there is plenty of greenery the botanical garden being my favourite sanctuary, there’s the quirky, the cosmopolitain, a gaggle of sports arenas to suit every taste, the beach a stones throw away, and the Yarra River running through the city, I mean what more could you want.

Before leaving on our trip, Melbourne was the one place that everyone had an abundance of recommendations for, and I can totally see why. We have also left with our list of favourite restaurants, cafes, hangouts, and places to visit, which we will also pass onto our family and friends and of course you. We left a little piece of our heart back in the city that truly captured us.

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Sydney, Australia

Our road trip through Australia has taken us right along the east coast of Oz, stopping at some beautiful places along the way. After a long road trip from Forster, we finally arrived in Sydney. Our first taster was driving over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, within minutes we had seen the two iconic landmarks of Sydney, with Sydney Opera House appearing in the horizon rising out of the sea majestically, as we crossed the bridge. I couldn’t help but squeal with delight at the sight of them, they really are very remarkable.

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Queensland, Australia

Before heading to Australia I wasn’t really sure what to expect I had no real expectations, honestly I was pretty preoccupied with my fear of spiders, and for that reason it wasn’t top of my list of places to go. A wedding invite from a good friend I’ve not seen for 11 years and an opportunity to travel the southern hemisphere and suddenly we were on our way to Oz. What I wasn’t prepared for is to fall in love with this beautiful, richly diverse country, Australia has something for everyone.

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