Suggestions for places to visit...

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Suggestions for places to visit...

Postby jateen » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:27 pm

Hi all,

After Christmas, I’m in the very fortunate position of going over to Australia for a 6 month trip. While out there, I’ll try and visit as many other countries as I can including Thailland, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand.

I don’t have any concrete plans as yet but I know I’ll try and do New Zealand from top to toe. I’m planning on spending the bulk of my time in Australia and maybe about a month around the other Asian countries.

I was wondering if any of the Cameralabs members have visited / live in those countries and can recommend places to visit.

I’ll be taking my D300 along so any suggestions of good places to take some pictures would be most welcome.


Postby Gordon Laing » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:05 pm

Hi Jateen, you'll have a great trip - there's lots to see!

I've travelled pretty much the whole of NZ as a tourist before coming to live here and there's lots of great stuff to see and do.

For now though I'll just give you some highlights around the part where I now live - in Queenstown on new Zealand's South Island. It's the self-styled adventure capital of NZ, but it's also one of the most beautiful places on Earth...

Here's a thread of highlights for the Queenstown visitor I prepared earlier! Hope it's useful...
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Postby jateen » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:42 am

Hi Gordon,

Thanks very much for the info. I can see that i definitely will not be bored in New Zealand. As you say, we've already seen many shots from up the skyline so i think i looking forward to this especially :)

Thanks again,


Postby Shagrath » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:43 am

I think I'm jealous lol. The shots I've seen from NZ look absolutely amazing. I'd love to go there someday.
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Postby adrian » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:16 pm

I was lucky to spend two weeks down in the South Island of New Zealand, and the scenery is breathtaking, and very different from what you see in Australia. In particular, make sure visit one of the glaciers on the West Coast (Franz Joseph or Fox Glaciers) or both as I did and take a guided walk on them. Better yet, you can take a short helicopter ride to otherwise inaccessible parts of the glacier and go for a guided hike for a few hours - it may be expensive, but it sure is worth every penny! Just because I can't resist, here is a photo from Franz Joseph glacier taken with my soon to be replaced with a proper camera canon ixus:


You should also make sure you take trips down to Doubtful and Milford sounds (these can be done in day trips from Queenstown).

For Australia, what to see really depends on how adventurous you are/how much you like traveling to destinations. Where in Australia are you thinking of visiting? There is obviously the well known attractions in Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef that are worth spending time around. Tasmania is a particularly beautiful place (though I haven't been there myself yet). Just outside of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are worth a look. The Great Ocean Road (near Melbourne) is regarded by many as the most scenic road in Australia. If you are feeling adventurous, then going inland to Uluru or north to Darwin and Kakadoo is wonderful, and the type of scenery you won't find in any other country (though again, I haven't been there yet).

There is lot to see, I am sure you will have a wonderful trip!

Postby jateen » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:39 pm

I hadn't thought of visiting a glacier so i'm glad you mentioned it. I would have been gutted if i'd have missed that. That image looks stunning. Is there anything special you need to consider when visiting a glacier in terms of clothing, boots, camera equipment etc..?

I've done a quick google for Doubtful and Milford sounds and that looks stunning too. I think that’s a another definite place for the list!

Regarding Australia, I think i'll try and take in most of the big places - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (have family there), Great Barrier Reef. I've heard that Darwin is quite good too so i'll probably try spending some time there although i'm not quite sure what to actually do once there.

You mention the Great Ocean road which considering i'm planning on going to Melbounne, i'll probably have a go at doing too. I'm sure i'll get more than my fair share of images there :)

I really do want to visit Uluru so i'll definitely try and get there too.

Thanks for your suggestions adrian.

Postby adrian » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:01 pm

In my experience at least, the glaciers were the most stunning part of my holiday. You can only climb on the glaciers as part of a guided group, and the companies that do these walks provide you with most of the equipment you need, such as shoes and big spikes. Nothing too special is required for clothing - the glaciers descend almost to sea level so you don't need warmer clothing than you would need in the towns. Mainly just don't wear jeans as they tend to get a bit wet and uncomfortable. For camera equipment, make sure you have a waterproof bag to put it in, as you do some sliding through narrow ice caves, and it does rain a huge amount there.

Another place that may be worth checking out for good photo opps is a town called Kaikoura, which is close to Christchurch, as there are plenty of whales, dolphins, seals and birds to take pictures off.

If you like trains, then you can take a train form Adelaide to Darwin, and stop off at Alice Springs (which is the closest town to Uluru). Its got a good reputation, but it is a pretty long trip.

Postby Rimsky » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:23 pm

This reminds me of my trip to the South Island. My friend and I went on an ice-climbing day on the Franz Josef. At one point, I was belaying while she climbed. She had placed her camera on the ground, which, of course, is solid ice. Or so she thought... When we had finished, she went to find her camera but it had vanished. We hunted around for quite a bit but we couldn't stay long and we had to leave the glacier sans camera.

So, she went out and bought herself a new camera...

When we got home to the UK, she had a package waiting for her. Yep, it was her camera. The next day, the guides had taken another climbing group onto the glacier and had stumbled across the camera. They packaged it up and sent it to the forwarding address she had left with the tour company. What's more, it actually still worked - having spent a freezing night on the glacier not to mention a few thousand miles in the air.

I don't really know what the moral of the story is but it's quite remarkable I think.

Enjoy your NZ time - it really is quite an extraordinary place. My favourite place was Wanaka - near Queenstown but smaller and much quieter. I also loved Taupo and the Tongariro Crossing - lots of volcanic stuff.

PS I got really cold on the glaciers so my advice is to dress warmly!

Postby cjmchch » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:47 am

As a kiwi living in Christchurch (South Island) I thought I might just post this info if you are planning to come to New Zealand.

Our AA travel service has inspired many New Zealanders to see their own country by running numerous campaigns, one of the most successful being 'Don't leave home until you've seen your country'. Another was '101 must do's'.

This latest campaign provided links and information to 101 must see/do places in New Zealand and is a great starting place, I believe, for any tourist.

Have a look here

If anybody who is travelling here would like some questions answered feel free to PM me and I'll try and steer you to the right information or answer it if I can
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Postby DanielD » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:34 pm

As an Australian living in Australia here are the most popular touristy things (I haven't done most of these because as some of may know most Australians know more about the world then our own country!!!)

Kakadu - Northern Territory
Uluru (Ayres Rock) - Northern Territory
Kimberleys - Western Australia
Cairns - Queensland
Daintree Rainforest
Cape Tribulation
Great Barrier Reef (Prosepine is better)
Barossa Valley - South Australia (very famous vineyards)
Adelaide City - South Australia
Melbourne City- Victoria
Dandenong Ranges - Victoria
Great Ocean Road - Victoria
Coober Peedy - South Australia (Most of the worlds opals come from here and they have an underground town)
Blue Mountains - New South Wales
Hunter Valley - New South Wales (very famous vineyards)
Sydney City - New South Wales
Any number of the thousands of white and yellow sand beaches you'll find as you drive along the coast

All I can think of at the top of my head.
You will need a car and must be prepared to drive for HOURS to get to some of these places but they are worth it. I am not sure where you are from but a 3hr drive in Australia is nothing. Sydney to Melbourne is 10hrs of driving. You can of course fly to alot of these places and the airfares are quite reasonable.

Oh and I forget. Get out to a sports match. We have plenty of sports to chose from :?

Cricket - Summer - (most popular)
Rugby League - Winter - Most popular in Queensland, New South Wales and ACT
Rugby Union - Winter - Kinda popular but limited in popularity to representative matches (state vs state or international games)
Australian Football - Winter - VERY popular in every state except Queensland, New South Wales and ACT
Soccer - Summer I think - What you call football. Growing in popularity but no where near as popular as Rugby League, Rugby Union, Australian Football, Cricket

In terms of places to take good pictures, every where is a good place to take pictures 8) but to get the really good ones look up either Steve Parish or Ken Duncan (famous Australian photographers) and see where they went.

Hope this helps

Postby Hans » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:16 pm

You mentioned a lot of countries, even for half a year!
I agree with all previous posters, New Zealand is great. Highlights to me were:
- Queenstown
- Milford Sound
- Rotorua
- Napier (Art Deco)
- Kaikura
- Franz Josef

In Australia:
- Sydney
- Blue mountains
- Kakadoo (near Darwin)
- Great ocean road
There are more things to see, but I did not go there.

In Thailand:
- Bangkok
- Sukothai
- Chiang Mai
- River Kwai

In Indonesia:
- Jogjakarta (Borobudur and Prambanan)
- Bromo Vulcano
- Bali (Ubud, Besakih, Tanah Lot, eating fish at the beach of Jimbaran)

I have not been in any of the other countries you mention.

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