My Top Amazing experiences

In no particular order

1. Helicopter over the Pitons – St. Lucia

St Lucia Helicopters provide the quickest way between Castries airport in the north and Hewanorra International in the south. There are two options, the slightly more expensive one is the scenic route. I did the flight from Jalousie over the Pitons to the airport, sadly the heliport is now closed. 2012 I will be using the helicopter again between the two airports on the scenic route, which I hope will be as scenic

2. Seaplane Victoria to Vancouver – Canada BC

We were going to do this by coach and ferry until we chatted to a girl on the Seattle to Victoria hydrofoil who recommended that we use the seaplane. We hoped that our luggage wouldn’t be a drawback as we had three heavy cases. We needn’t have worried as the luggage went ahead of us at no extra cost. The journey at just over 500 dollars for three of us was excellent value, being a very scenic journey over lots if tiny islands but also a means of getting almost from door to door from Fairmont Victoria to. Fairmont Pacific Rim

3. Stargazing at Bay of Islands – new Zealand

Ipipiri is a small cruise boat which does the overnight from Pahia round the Bay of Islands. This is a fantastic experience even during the day spotting dolphins here and there but the biggest treat was in store. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful clear night and up on deck with no light pollution we could see the Southern Cross, the Milky Way and Magellan galaxies

4. Cruising Glacier Bay – Alaska USA

A day at sea is normally pretty dull with nothing but sea as far as the eye can see, but in Alaska the reverse is true with Glacier Bay being the highlight of the cruise with spectacular glaciers, weird cloud formations, whales and tiny icebergs which looked like sapphires in the sea

5. Alone on the beach with the birds – Ulva Island New Zealand

The trip to Stewart island was touch and go and the journey itself was a little disappointing with so much low cloud and Stewart island itself is worth seeing but the highlight was a speedboat to Ulva island off Stewart. Ulva is a bird sanctuary with only one inhabitant in the old post office. There was just the two of us on the island with thousands of birds, some were in danger of extinction and only exist on Ulva island, no sound only that of birds, no footprints on the beach only ours.

6. Swiss Rail Journeys – Switzerland

I have been fortunate enough to do many of the worlds top rail journeys including the Rocky Mountaineer but I still think Swiss Railways has similar stunning scenery on a much smaller scale and at a fraction of the price representing great value. With Swiss Rail passes you can experience the highest mountains, the clearest lakes, vineyards, pretty chalets as well as some impressive engineering feats, the longest tunnels and the highest bridges.

7. Light aircraft over Mount Cook – New Zealand

This was so spectacular but also very scary. Again, being autumn or flight was touch and go but luckily it went ahead. We flew over the coast and also over Mount Tasman and Mount Cook, over glaciers and virgin snow

8. Whale Watching – Australia

There may be better places to see whales and of several species and i have seen whales in several places since but in Australia we were lucky enough to see two humpbacks playing together leaping right out of the ocean in their natural habitat

9. Breakfast with Orang Utans – Singapore

We were told not to miss the night safari and we did go to that to experience nocturnal animals in a fairly natural setting but the Orang Utans were a new concept and a spur of the moment thing. For 54 dollars we had a substantial breakfast and the orang utans climbed around us at a distance and under supervision but even so the family of orang utans with their 7 month old baby was really sweet and we did get the chance to go right up to them
10. Disneyworld and EPCOT with small children

11. Doubtful Sound – New Zealand

I liked Doubtful Sound a lot better than Milford Sound. It is more difficult to get to and Milford is steeper and with bigger warterfalls but Doubtful is huge and silent and the smaller boat experience was so much better. We were lucky that it was calm enough to go into the open sea and see a little island covered in hundreds of fur seals, and dozens of dolphins and albatrosses as well

12. Sitting on Marble Mountain – Namibia

Out in the middle of nowhere we did a sundowner and sat on a hill literally made of white marble and beyond that just fields as far as the eye could see. We watched the sun go down over a few beers, what a perfect evening

13. A Weinamara dog and a mountain Zebra best of friends – Namibia

We stopped at a lodge for lunch. The family had a pet mountain zebra that was orphaned or abandoned and they had reared it as a pet and it bacame friendly with their beautiful pet Weinamara dog so thar’s how a dog and a zebra were seen playing together in the garden

14. Kuranda Railway – Queensland

Another classic rail journey over a spectacular gorge in Northern Queensland

15. Staying at Chateau Lake Louise – Alberta, Canada

This has to be the best view in the world from a hotel room. Lake Louise is as clear as a mirror with a perfect reflection of the mountains. I could never get bored of that view

If you want more information on these and many more please call on 0845 058 7458 or email cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com

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