Zanzibar Island | My African Adventure

Zanzibar Island, East Africa

What to do when you’re in East Africa?

Take a visual tour with me on the most beautiful island in the Indian Ocean that’s still untouched by many!

If you ask me if I have ever been to Africa and what I love the most about it? Then the answer would be many times and for the latter, it is “Zanzibar Island”.

Zanzibar Island, Africa

#Zanzibar Island

By now, you must have realised I am an Island girl, there’s a strange fondness that I have towards islands and island life. I prefer to spend days and months over various untouched, virgin islands, where mankind is yet to venture. One such place which never makes me fail to amaze is the beautiful jewel on the Indian Ocean called as Zanzibar Island, well many wouldn’t know about this small island which lies off the coast of the mainland Tanzania, Africa.

I had some wonderful opportunity to visit this archipelago; It’s characterized by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magical historic Stone Town – said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.

#Chartered Flight

This destination in the east of Africa is well serviced by Emirates from Dubai, probably the most convenient way to fly, when you do so across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Post reaching the mainland Tanzania (Dar E Salaam) Airport, you get transferred to the Ferry terminal to catch a short bumpy ride to this beautiful island. Needless to say, it’s always Visa on arrival to most of the African destination.

It was a fascinating way to reach the island just a 30 mins ride by Ferry wherein if you are lucky you can catch a dolphin or two; the other way to travel is a personalized chartered plane that takes 15 mins only and it was fun boarding it. This Chartered flight has a capacity of 6 passengers and flies at an appx 5000 Feet, make sure to keep your camera ready for the stunning views of the coral and the islands below.

 

The chartered 6 seater flights
The chartered 6 seater flights that carry passengers from the mainland to the Island!

#Stone Town

The fabled Stone Town, where history appears to stand still; for me, Stone Town is Africa at its best. The bustling market, winding alleyways, ornately carved and studded doors, two cathedrals and countless mosques, characterized by the beachside food joints, where you can happily cherish the local cuisines.

African coffee cant be given a miss, specially the Ethiopian Coffees, so if your in Africa make sure you carry some packs of Ethiopian Coffee or Kenyan tea along with you like i did!

 

#Mweni Ruin Resort

Talking of the food reminds me I stayed in this wonderful resort a few miles away from the Stone Town known a Mweni Ruin Resort located on the warm turquoise  water of the Indian Ocean; it has the best sunset I have ever seen, if you ever happen to spend a night on this island, don’t ever miss the sunset.

I recommend this resort, solely because of its location, they allow you to dine under the stars and celebrate a special occasion with a whole seafood platter with Indian curries.

Sunset on the Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

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#The Sunset

Sunset on the Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Sunset on the Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Sunset on the Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Sunset on the Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Needless to say, the curries in Tanzania are no different than the Indian curries and the freshest catch of the seafood will make you drool for sure. Food has been

majorly influenced by the incredible mixture of the ethnic backgrounds across the country.

 

#Pemba Island & the archipelago

Along with Zanzibar, there’s another island which also forms a part of the archipelago is the Pemba island, known for its clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and many other spices and major exports of clove happen from here.

The west part of the island has a long stretch of white sandy beaches surrounded by private resorts, which are ideal for family outings, people also own their own private holiday home.

While I was taking an evening walk and waiting for the sun to set; I spotted a small island across the Ocean; which is known as the Prison island. Here years back as the name suggests misbehaving slaves were kept; it is the home of ancient Aldabra tortoises. Prison Island is an excellent place for snorkelling and ideal for day tour!

Partially towards the north part of the island still remains untouched, so I took a drive into the unknown corner, the drive along the sea coast was worth it.

Therefore, if you think of Africa, don’t forget to book this East African Island in your travel list the next time.

Only to relax, soak and take a break in the beautiful paradise on the Indian Ocean called “Zanzibar “ in East of Africa!

If you love reading my travel Blogs! Don’t forget to check out the Whitsundays Islands, Queensland Australia! and the Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef!

Let me know what you feel about this beautiful Indian Ocean island? Would you like to visit this?

 

Why fly to Whitsundays?

Hill Inlet, Whitsunday Island Queensland

A postcard -perfect beach lapped by clear waters, with swaying trees in the salty breeze and the jungle-covered mountains rising above.

Stop dreaming!!  I actually enjoyed this for real!

A 3-hour flight from Melbourne by Qantas, Jetstar or Tiger Airways, Whitsundays was my Winter Holiday destination.

Well, if you ask me to describe my vacation stay at the beautiful and 3rd best beaches in the world, it would be something like this.

The crystal-clear water and the powdery white sands of the Whitsundays island are no less than a fairy tale stay. People dream of getting married in this beautiful Whitehaven beach and I was fortunate to celebrate my 6th Wedding Anniversary in this beautiful untouched island away from all the mundane Hussle. 

So, thinking what a harbour city made up of 74 Wonder islands had to offer, other than the obvious? Here it is.

Whitsunday Islands

6 must do things at Whitsundays, Australia! 

#Stranded in Paradise

We started our Whitsunday adventure with sailing.

Have you ever thought of waking up in paradise? Well, the Whitehaven beach is nothing less than one. The Ngaro people, who used to live in these lands, no longer inhabit these parts. So, we decided to sail through in a private yacht and spend our special day on the crystalline waters.

Perched at a 2-hour long Sailing distance, this beach offers everything you want, unfortunately, there isn’t any stay on the island, the long beach stretch and a national park are what this beach offers. Our overnight stay included a barbeque by the beach and sleeping under the stars and waking up before the sunrise. Plenty of sunshine during the month of July and August, the winter sun offers a pleasant weather.

Snorkel through the Hook and the South Molle islands, the reefs are colourful and if you’re lucky enough, a turtle might pay you a visit too.

#Whitsundays Islands

The Hill inlet is considered as the 3rd most photographed places in Australia, well the picture says it all. A peaceful place, fringed by lush green bushes and mountains, overlooking the azure sea. Yes, this Hill Inlet located at a 25 mins trekking distance from the Whitehaven beach is a must visit place. Venturing beyond the resorts and catching this view at the day end of sailing took away all the pain and stress from us. There are 2 photo points offering the same view, make sure to stop by both of them to grab a selfie and a family portrait.

 

Whitehaven Bay, Great Barrier Reef
Whithaven Bay

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#Go Sailing

There’s no dearth of islands in this beautiful Part of the Great Barrier Reef, but due to the Cyclone Debbie (Well, I have no connection for this, if you have been thinking why this name sounds like mine), the reefs, islands and the shores have been devastated. Therefore, we had only 2 islands Hamilton and the Whitehaven beach at our disposal to explore.

Just an hour by a day Cruise from the Airlie Beach ferry terminal, (Whitsundays Cruise) ensures you sail luxuriously along with their wide variety of morning tea which they offer.

Hamilton is the biggest island and has an airport of its own too, so if you don’t wish to fly to Whitsundays airport from anywhere in Australia, you can fly directly here as well. There are 3 different Island resorts to choose from, however, we stayed at the Hamilton Island Resort, I won’t suggest this island has the best of the beaches, but the island stay was worth it.

Take a buggy and roam around the island, or grab a quick lunch in any of the beach shack enjoying the waterfront view with the various shades of blue. The Tavern Marina is probably the best place to relax and enjoy a meal with family. Don’t forget to pose in front of the gorgeous waterfront.

The resort has their own private beach and the villas were all self-contained, so travelling with a kid is hassle-free. My 3-year-old toddler absolutely loved this lush green island stay. There’s a Wildlife Park, but unfortunately, due to the cyclone Debbie, this was closed for renovation. My 2-day Island stays included a dip in the Catsey Beach, Hamilton Island, lazing around on the beach, spending some quality time in the pool, the Summery Winter sun is harsh, so make sure to dab a lot of sunscreen lotion with 50 +SPF.

The Resort offers a free buggy so post grabbing a seafood lunch we ventured out in our very own vehicle to explore the island.

 

#Airlie Beach, Bicentennial Boardwalk

Airlie Beach is known as the gateway to the Whitsundays, but don’t pass through without stopping here. Sailing the warm blue waters of the Whitsundays is a popular pastime for the locals here. So, what could have stopped me in doing so? We stayed at the Whitsunday Terraces, the balcony of my suite opened right in front of the water-front giving me the gorgeous view of the Airlie beach and the neighbouring islands. I had a private pool overlooking the Coral Sea, if you happen to stay here or pass by don’t forget to grab a drink and enjoy this view.

Another delight of the Airlie beach is the Bicentennial Boardwalk, which runs 3.7kms from the Port of Airlie along the coastline to Cannonvale, with fabulous views of boats bobbing on the Coral Sea. Along the main street, Airlie’s holiday atmosphere reigns, the Airlie central which is a stone’s throw from here is the heart of Airlie. They provide a plethora of dining options, pubs, bars and fast food joints.

Do stop by the Rainbow Bakery, while walking past the Boardwalk, their afternoon tea is worth a try and the views this place offers is beyond any description. The afternoon tea comes at 10AUD/person and includes a fair share of fruits, a curry puff, a home baked cake along with an English breakfast tea. I highly recommend this place for family and friends but make sure to drop down before 4 pm any day.

 

If you’re looking to gorge on a sumptuous Sea food then Fish D’vine is the place to be, we enjoyed our Anniversary dinner with their famous Chilly Mud Crab and Mojitos. The best part of this place is you can choose your own seafood platter and request them a choice of a curry you want. Super-fast service and wonderful ambience to go along.

#Sceneric Helicopter Tour

The Reefs are best enjoyed from above and ideally, this is the perfect way to catch the bay views. Take a 30 mins Helicopter ride, which makes you fly over the 6 gorgeous islands and the Coral reefs.

#Out & About in the Whitsundays

There are myriads way of enjoying the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays is just one of the Gateways if you missed my Cairns Travel blog and the Fitzroy Island stay do read them here.

This is out and out family destination and 100% kid’s friendly too, most of the resorts offer free meals for kids under 12 and plethora of kid’s activities are arranged by the cruising company.

So, if you’re thinking where to spend your winter school holidays or rejuvenate your wedding vows well, this is the place to be. If you have already been here before, do drop me a line on how you feel about this place. As you know most of the islands like Daydream and the Hook Long islands are closed for renovation post the cyclone damage, this destination remains on my bucket list yet again in 2018.

Wish to have a Great Barrier Reef Planner? Click here to download!

So, what’s stopping you from setting your soul free in these gorgeous islands?

 

Beach Vacation: Outfit Ideas

Beach Vacation Outfit ideas!

What to wear on your Beach Vacation?

While I am still holidaying at the 3rd best beaches in the world, Whitsundays and Mackay (ushering my 6th wedding anniversary) at Queensland (Australia), I bring to you all the outfit details that are necessary for a hassle-free Beach vacation.

 

If you could ever describe what’s a perfect weather is? Then it would be June and July at Whitsundays islands, what the locals call as the Summery Winter. You will wake up to cool, crisp, foggy and peaceful mornings, then party in evenings full of stars.

Temperatures are rarely seen above 28 degrees Celsius during the day and hitting below 17 degrees at night. So, what such a weather at my disposal for 7 awesome days, here is what I flaunted during my vacation.

So, here it is the Beach Vacation Outfit Ideas:

#Playsuits

If you have known me for a little longer than you know how much I love playsuits. If you have missed my previous blog Playful in a playsuit, catch it all here!

These two gorgeous playsuits from Dotti was my staples for the first 2 days, tropical prints and floral made me stand out among the rest while I was sailing or catching a family dinner under the stars. Don’t forget to carry your flip flops or shoes that go normally with most of the outfits.

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#A summery dress

An A line dress is a must have in my beach vacation suitcase, light and easy to carry in my beach bag, this dress from H&M, I styled it with a bandana can make a bold statement.

#Sarong Dress

If you have read my previous blog on the Fitz my stay at the Fitzroy Island resort, then you know how handy is a Sarong dress, especially post a beach day or a day and night sailing.

This Sarong dress from Top Shop Australia was the top pick in my vacation wardrobe, I wore it for a 8 hour long sailing through the Whitsundays islands and I grabbed so many compliments onboard. Wear your swimsuit or bikini beneath and wear it on this, probably the easiest and hassle free outfit for a beach day out.

Beach Vacation Outfit ideas!

#Off shoulder top

Beach vacation without Off shoulder /cold shoulder tops? Well, I can’t think of any, a white off shoulder top is so versatile that you can pair it with hot pants or a skirt. This top from Valley girl paired well with a Valley girl skirt for an evening drinks on the beach.

 

#Swimsuits

Swimsuits/Bikini are a way of making a style statement, whatever you wear shows a different side of your personality, this 2 swimwear I picked from Top Shop, was perfect for a beach holiday.

Beach vacation outfit ideas!

#Bikini top

 

This is something I did an experiment on myself, paired my hot pants with a bikini top and paired with my Hat and the classic beach bag. Showing off my perfectly tanned body, don’t shy away to flaunt this look in your next beach vacation.

So, folks go ahead and make some impressive style statement on your beach vacation and don’t forget to share your views on what you feel about my outfits. Drop in a comment or pass your blog links to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobbiton: The Movie Set | Day Tour

Hobbiton Movie set

Exploring the Hobbiton Movie Set!

A day out in the Lush Green Pasture!

Every movie Fan is amazed by the beautiful Hobbiton trilogies and the Lord of the Rings movie set. I got to experience this 12-acre set, which is situated in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand 2 years back during a winter morning in Auckland!

This Iconic Hobbiton Movie set, which is located in the Matamata region of New Zealand, this is 3 hours drive from the Auckland city.

Ever thought of spending a day in the Hobbit Hole, well the tour is worth the money and time. Take a short bus tour from the heart of the Auckland City (Private day Tour buses), it’s ideal to book a day early or a few days early during the peak season. The trip starts as early as 7 am in the morning and brings you back by 10 pm at night, so make sure to carry water and your warm clothes along.


Hobbiton the Movie set

New Zealand has been known as the home of the Middle Earth, hence you read the term when people talk about the Hobbiton trip.

Before I head to the Green Dragon Inn, where all the Hobbits used to enjoy their meet, greet and drinks. Let’s take a visual tour of the entire Hobbit era.

Exploring the Middle Earth!

Let’s take a visual tour of the entire Hobbit era.

Before you arrive at the Hobbiton Movie set, you make a stop for your morning tea at the Matamata Heritage Trail and the Souvenir shop. Browse through the heritage books and all the tours this region offers.

Hobbiton Movie set

Each Hobbit Hole/house is unique and takes you back to the era, where you can experience a bit of their lifestyle. Some of the Hobbit Holes are open to Public but others are not, hop in happily to take a family Portrait. We experienced a wet Winter morning, hence you see me carrying an umbrella in some of the pics.

A couple of the Hobbit homes has a make believe market place, stalls selling pumpkins and meat.

 Book your next Holiday to Hobbiton here:

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The guided tour takes you across the Hobbit Civilisation, narrating the filming stories, which Hobbit hole they actually used for filming the movie.

There are now 44 such hobbit holes on view, however, it is only possible to enter a few of them, all of which have small, unfinished, earth-walled interiors, don’t expect to find Bilbo Baggins inside!

Hobbiton Movie set

These hobbit hole facades are constructed from untreated timber, ply and Polyesters, some of them are not visible until you observe them really close. On a moonlight night, this place becomes a picturesque location for photographers.

A part of this lush Greenfield has a lake overlooking the Hobbits hole, on a  bright sunny morning the reflection make thus place look beautiful, dpnt forget to stop by and take a family picture here.

Hobbiton Movie set

Post experiencing The Hobbit film trilogies in a fascinating two-hour guided tour, we made our way to the Shrines rest Cafe! This was the Hideouts of the Hobbiton’s residents for their evening drinks! Here we were treated at the warm fireplace with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit Southfarthing beverage!

 

Hobbiton Movie setHobbiton Movie set extravagant however, you shouldn’t miss out on their speciality soups and pies.

Before we said goodbye to this movie set crafted by Peter Jackson’s imaginative mind, we thought to explore the neighbourhood, which is a huge green lawn to wonder around and cuddle a sheep.

Hobbiton Movie set tour

 

So, if your planning for the North Island of New Zealand, don’t miss out on this Rustic Movie set day tour! Also, check out the nearby attractions which are Waitomo for Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave.

If you have already been here, do leave a comment on your experiences, it will be wonderful to read about it.

Don’t forget to check out my previous Travel Blog Here: Adelaide Travel Blog 

 

10 Beach Bag Essentials | Vacation Check

Beach bag essentials

The top 10 Beach Bag Essentials

Sand between the toes? Oh, what a wonderful feeling special when the mercury takes a strong dip in Melbourne, Australia.

Winter is in full bloom in Australia, I don’t hate it but neither do it love it, so as I pack my bags to head towards a warmer destination, here is what are the Basic essentials that get packed in.

I am heading to Australia’s hottest Tropical Destination that’s the Great Barrier Reef yet again but this time it’s the 74 Island wonders to celebrate my 6th Wedding Anniversary!

If you have missed reading about year-end vacation at the Cairns and the Fitzroy Island Resort, you can catch the Blog right here!

Book your next Tropical Escape here!

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So, while I plan my hibernation into to a tropical paradise, here are the 10 Beach Essentials that is a must have in my beach tote/bag.

 

What’s in my Beach Bag?

10 Essential Beach Bag items:

  • The Bag

    I love to carry a big Beach bag, wherein I can pack almost every bit of thing I need for the day out on the beach. Whether I am spending the whole day at the beach or doing a beach hopping along with the city sightseeing, this bag, which I had picked from Ishka Melbourne, easily goes along.

 

  • Sunscreen Lotion

     The Australian sun is really harsh on skin and if you’re planning a sunny escapade in the Aussie land than a Sunscreen with SPF 50+ is a must to carry along. I have a super oily skin and can’t manage with an oily sunscreen, hence, this one pick from the Drug store is perfect for me.

 

  • Beach Bag essentials
  • Beach Hat:

    We love the sun but the sun always doesn’t love our skin, being the sun smart even during the vacay is an ideal thing to do. So I always remember to carry a statement hat throughout my Beach vacation

  • Sunglasses:

    I hate to carry my expensive pairs to the beach, I have this irrational fear of losing them or misplacing them eventually.So, 2 pairs of regular wear are something I generally carry on a beach day out.

 

  • Swimwear/Bikini: 

    Having an extra pair of swimwear comes always handy, I prefer to carry an extra pair of Bikini along with me. If you’re doing a beach hopping or doing snorkelling along the Great Barrier Reef, having a spare pair of swimwear is always preferred to be carried along. This two Swimwear which I recently picked up from Top Shop Australia, is a Beach holiday must have.

  • Sarong Dress:  

I am a big fan of Sarong Dress, rather than just a Sarong, something you can slip on immediately once you’re our of the water and want to grab some quick lunch or brunch. This dress of mine from Top Shop, Australia is a must have in my Beach vacation. Absolutely Casual chic and effortlessly can be worn post your beach day as well as for evening drinks on the beach. Personally, love this dress and I make sure that I pack a couple of simple ones in my Bag.

The Sarong Dress

  • Wet tissues:

    We love the sand between the toes but not always, not all the beaches have silky sand, some of the beaches higher up in the Northern Queensland are rocky and murky during high tide. Carrying an extra pack of wet tissues does come handy and is an essential element of my beach packing list.

  • After Sun Moisturizer:

    Sea water isn’t too friendly especially when you’re exposed to it for longer hours, hence a moisture-rich cream is something you need post the sun tan.

 

  • Flip flops:

    A smart pair of Flip-flops or sandals pairs well with the Sarong Dress or post beach city hopping! This gorgeous pair, which I had picked from Dotti is going in my Beach Holiday must haves.

 

  • Protective Phone Cover:

    Last but not the least, you don’t want to miss out on the Instagram moments in your vacation, so make sure that you have a water resistant case for your phone to capture all the fun. Use this cheat sheet to remind yourself what to pack for a Beach vacation and especially in your beach bag.

So, what are you packing in your Beach Bag?  If you find these tips worthy do let me know, also don’t forget to share your Summer Vacation Packing list here in the comments!