FRENCH-KANAK PARADISE IN THE PACIFIC
Not surprisingly, Australians are visiting New Caledonia, our closest Melanesian destination, in unprecedented numbers, with a 15% increase in 2014 over the year before. JOY DODDS reports. When its Melanesian people, the Kanaks, were colonised by the French from the 1840s, it produced a unique cultural melting pot. This mixture of Pacific island relaxation and European flair provides the magnet for this distinctive destination right on Australia’s doorstep.
LATEST NEWS
PORT-SIDE ON RIO DUORO: THE world’s oldest demarcated wine region, the terraced Duoro Valley, leads upstream to historic Salamanca in Spain, both UNESCO-designated treasures. JOY DODDS reports.
ORVIETO – SLOW CITY ON THE ROCKS: Orvieto’s tufo and labyrinth of caves have shaped its independent identity, its Etruscan altars and relics – and the character of a renowned white wine, writes JOY DODDS.
THE CALM BEFORE THE VOYAGE: It's 11pm on the Chinese Lunar New Year and the competent, friendly staff of the Mercure Sydney International Airport Hotel are checking in some late arrivals.
SPARTA'S PAST NOT TO BE MYTH-ED: JOY DODDS discovers a seamless blend of the ancient and modern in Historic Greece. SPARTA – the very name epitomises Homeric daring, valour and resilience. But what of today’s Sparta? Its setting is just as dramatic as its past, broodingly located among the high mountains and deep gorges of the Greek Peloponnesus.
TAKE A NIGHT RIDE: With a Eurail Pass, rail travel is convenient and economical. What’s more, travelling on night trains makes a great alternative to costly hotels. JOY DODDS reports. Train travel throughout Europe is a breeze with comprehensive rail networks, covering legendary scenic routes and high-speed/express trains that are efficient and affordable.
BLACK SEA CRUISING: LOOKING or a cruise with a difference? The Black Sea is one of cruising's best-kept secrets, a perfect antidote to the increasingly overcrowded Caribbean and Mediterranean, writes JOY DODDS. The Black Sea laps up against Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, land is inked to the Aegean/Mediterranean by the Bosphorus.
CULTURE
WESTERN CIVILISATION'S WATERWAY: The Rhône, a jewel in European river cruising, carries a sense of history from Ancient Greek and Roman times, linking deliciously captivating landscapes along its banks. JOY DODDS reports.
TURKEY – MORE THAN AN ANZAC PILGRIMAGE: While unprecedented numbers of Australians will head to Gallipoli (Gelibolu) and Anzac Cove, near Canakkale, to make a pilgrimage to the 1915 landing place and the poignant cemeteries to
DANUBE SUPERSTAR: Arriving by river, visitors are mesmerised by the sheer grandeur of Budapest and its civic and cultural resilience. JOY DODDS reports.
MONTENEGRO - ADRIATIC GEM: The most iconic images of newly-independent Montenegro are of the tiny unspoiled islet of Sveti Stefan – yet the whole country exudes charm. JOY DODDS reports.
BORDEAUX - GLOBAL WINE CAPITAL: Aquitaine’s elegant capital offers UNESCO World Heritage, a ravishing facelift – and grapes, as JOY DODDS discovered.
MELLOW HIGH -COUNTRY WINE REGION: Victoria’s King Valley, which produces some of Australia’s highest altitude wines, offers many similarities with Italy’s northern Trentino-Alto Adige wine region, reflecting its immigrant past
COLOURFUL COWRA BECKONS: COWRA, once infamous for a WW2 break-out, the largest in modern military history, has blossomed into a favourite destination, offering vineyards and fine food, as well as history. JOY DODDS reports.
LIGHT-FILLED COASTAL ART ENCLAVE - ANTIBES-JUAN-LES-PINS: ANTIBES JUAN-LES-PINS is a more reticent jewel that sparkles on France's rather glitzy Cote d'Azur, writes JOY DODDS.
THE BASQUE COAST: The Côte Basque is a colourful mix of history, people and cultures where old-fashioned elegance tangles with surfer culture, all with such joie de vivre, as JOY DODDS discovered.
NEW DANUBE FRONTIERS: Cruising the Danube has taken on a new dimension, extending beyond Hungary’s Budapest into Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. JOY DODDS reports.
THE CROSSROADS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: The Maltese Islands cover only 300sqkm yet across 7000 years they have packed a pre-historic, medieval and 20th century punch. JOY DODDS reports.
PACIFIC PEARLS: The islands of the Pacific are like the pearls for which they are famous - small yet precious archipelago strings, their natural lustre embellished by small bespoke cruising and the absence of mass tourism.
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