10 Best Zoos And Animal Parks In The World

There was a time when ‘zoo’ meant that you go and visit animals kept in cages of different shapes and sizes. The lion pacing the cage, the monkeys running all around and raising a rucksack, birds perched on twigs… but over the years zoos have evolved and have become ‘animal friendly’ and resemble the natural habitats of each animal. It allows the animals to roam around as free as could be. We LOVE animals and have visited our good share of zoos all over the world… but the thirst continues. So, we have come-up with the ’10 Best Zoos and Animal in the World’ and intend to visit each one of them (luckily, some of them we have already visited)

Singapore Zoo, Singapore

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Breakfast with orang-utan?! @ tripping.jp

The Singapore Zoo is famous for its incredible landscape and animals staying in habitats that simulates a life in the wild. This zoo is also famous for its Jungle Breakfast!

  • Where:80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
  • What to expect: Huge collection of animals in natural habitat, rainforest zoo with tram rides, trails & viewing platforms to see wildlife habitats & exhibits.
  • Park Hours: 8:30AM–6PM
  • Entrance Fee: 29.00 € for adult

Disneyland Animal Kingdom, USA

Disney_s-Animal-Kingdom
Animal Kingdom @ emalimos.com

Animal Kingdom is part of the Disney Theme Park collection and like all Disney Parks, nothing is done half-heartedly! Its latest attraction is the ‘Avatar Flight of Passage’.

  • Where:2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
  • What to expect: Over 1,500 exotic animals, plus hundreds of fish and bird species and unparalleled ‘Disney Effect’.
  • Park Hours: 9am to 9.30pm
  • Entrance Fee:Approx $107 (it varies day to day)

Basel Zoo, Switzerland

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Beautiful bird  

Basel Zoo was opened in 1874 and amongst the oldest zoos in the world.  today. The zoo is, in fact, the second most visited attraction in all of Switzerland. They have this unique program by which you can adopt one of this animals!

  • Where:Binningerstrasse 40, 4054 Basel, Switzerland
  • What to expect: More than 6,000 animals,  including Somolian wild donkeys, dwarf hippopotami, etc.
  • Park Hours: 8AM–5:30PM
  • Entrance Fee: CHF 21 for adult and CHF 43 for family

Safari World, Thailand

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A visit during Songkran is the best time to be at Safari World!

Safari World is amongst one of the most unique animal park in the world. The animals stays in their natural habitat, free to roam around (and hide in bushes!) and it is the visitors who have to travel around in closed cars and vans!

  • Where:Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10510, Bangkok, Thailand
  • What to expect: A milder ‘Jurassic Park’ experience! 1000s of species of animals freely roaming around while you venture into their world in a van.
  • Park Hours: 9AM–5PM
  • Entrance Fee: 700 Baht for adult

Bronx Zoo, USA

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Prehistoric Era?! @ lemerg.com

The Bronx Zoo in New York is one of the largest zoo in any city and spreads over 250 acres of land. We love them so much because of their dedication to conservation of wildlife and its habitats. Other than the animals, what makes it a unique zoo is the life-like statues of prehistoric animals scattered all over the place.

  • Where:2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460, USA
  • What to expect: 4000 species of animals, including endangered and rare species, Congo gorilla, lemurs, hissing cockroaches, etc… don’t forget the dinosaurs!
  • Park Hours: 10AM–5PM
  • Entrance Fee: $36.95 for adult

National Zoological Gardens, South Africa

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Beautiful birds at NZG @ bellasglam

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is the largest zoo in South Africa, it houses over 2,500 species of animals. Most of the animals at the zoo today were bred and born there. Don’t miss the cable!

  • Where:232 Boom St, Daspoort 319-Jr, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
  • What to expect: 2500 species of animals in their natural habitat.
  • Park Hours: 8:30AM–5:30PM
  • Entrance Fee: R 110.00 for adult & R 35.00 for Cable

Auckland Zoo, New Zealand

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The cutest giraffe family at the zoo!

The Auckland Zoo has over 875 animals of around 138 different species. It has the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand, including the elusive Kiwi.

  • Where: Motions Rd, Auckland 1022, New Zealand
  • What to expect: 875 native and exotic animals in New Zealand, including the elusive Kiwi.
  • Park Hours: 9:30AM–5PM
  • Entrance Fee: $28 for adult $47 for Family Pass

Schonbrunner Zoo, Austria

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The traditional building in the Zoo where the roofs are held-down by bricks!

The Schonbrunner Zoo was founded in 1792, which makes it the oldest zoo in the world! It has a Rainforest house and Artic Polarium too. Farms animals are kept in pens and stalls and there is even a petting zoo inside! It also has a panorama train running inside it.

  • Where:Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Wien, Austria
  • What to expect: Different animals, including polar bear, farm animals, etc. Expect lots of happy, screaming and running children!
  • Park Hours: 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Entrance Fee: € 18,50 for adult

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, USA

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One of the cuties waiting you to welcome in the zoo @ nationalzoo.si.edu

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is not only the largest zoo in USA but is unique because the entry is FREE!!! You can also go for the night-time tour of the zoo and a camp-out!

  • Where:3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
  • What to expect: 2,000, of which 30–40 are endangered species. Notable amongst the animals is the Giant Panda Tai Shah.
  • Park Hours: 8AM–7PM
  • Entrance Fee: Free!!

Toronto Zoo, Canada

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Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue are 18 months now! @ torontozoo

The Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoo the world. It has relatively the largest collection of animals and over 10 km of walking trails.

  • Where:2000 Meadowvale Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5K7, Canada
  • What to expect: 5000 animals representing over 450 species and over 10 km of walking trails!
  • Park Hours: 9AM–7PM
  • Entrance Fee: $23.00 for adult

So, this are the best of the best, when it comes to zoos and animals parks in the works and we insist that you must visit them if you can. We were lucky enough to visit quite a few of these zoos and parks and we will cover them in our future posts. So, pack your cameras and tangy candies and hit the road!

The thoughts & the images are my own and any image borrowed from anywhere else has been given due acknowledgment. You are most welcomed to share the information and images, but do leave a link to this post in your social media platform. Thanks!

5 Place-To-Visit From Sheffield

Are you at Sheffield and wondering what to do this weekend? Or are you visiting friend/family there and have a few extra days in hand and wish to see some of the stunning surroundings without sacrificing bonding-time? Then this is the perfect post for you! Read on to discover 5 stunning places within 1 hour from Sheffield.

1. Chesterfield

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Crooked Spire Church @ @aoifeboylarphotography
  • Distance from Sheffield: Approx. 30 mins. by car
  • Go for: 800 year old open air market and its unique Crooked Spire Church

2. Swaledale

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Richmond Castle @ @iamgennalouiseida
  • Distance from Sheffield: Approx. 35-40 mins.
  • Go for:Richmond Castle and meadows, waterfalls, mountains and moorland.

3. Peak District

Peal district

  • Distance from Sheffield: Approx. 50 mins.
  • Go for: Rolling hills, vast moorlands & absolute tranquility.

4. Wensleydale

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A hidden water fall… @littlemamagoose
  • Distance from Sheffield: Approx. 35-40 mins.
  • Go for: Quaint villages, hidden waterfalls, mesmerising valleys.

5. Castleton

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Winnats Pass @fastpacker
  • Distance from Sheffield: Approx. 35-40 mins
  • Go for: Caves (including Blue John Mine), amazing landscape & Winnats Pass.

7 ‘Must-Do’ In Ireland

Ireland has some of the most beautiful & unique landscapes I the world and therefore, it has been the location for some of the most-watched movies and series, including the Game of Thrones & Harry Potter! My list of ‘must-do’ doesn’t cover many of the slights that you find in other such list about Ireland, but this is the list of ‘must-do’ that makes Ireland remarkably unique!

Be awestruck by the magnificent Cliffs of Moher

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Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are located on the west coast of Ireland & named after ruined fort of ‘Mothar’. The cliff stretch for about 8km & is 702 feet at their highest point. This cliff is not only beautiful by itself but from here you can see Aran Islands, Twelve Pins, Maum Turk mountains, etc. Click the link for more details about Moher Cliffs.

Visit Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry
Ring of Kerry @ Irish Carrentals

Ring of Kerry is actually a route that will take you through dramatic scenery with centuries old history scattered all around it! You will be taken deep into forests, mesmerising waterfalls & untamed Atlantic. You may also encounter wild stags! Scroll through theringofkerry.com for extensive details about this unique route, where to stay, what to eat, etc!

Browse through millions of books in Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library
Trinity College Library @ vmireinteresnogo.com

If you are a book lover then a visit to Trinity Library is a must! Even if you are not a book lover you will love this grand structures which has about 5 million printed volumes, comprising of  journals, manuscripts, maps and music reflecting more than 400 years of academic development, etc. The most famous of its manuscripts are the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. Other special collections are the Ussher Collection  of 1661 and the Fagel Collection of 1802. For further details click  Trinity College Library

Sleep in a Castle!

Castle
Castle Stay @ ireland.com

If your are in Ireland you will come across hundreds of castles, some in ruins and some still holding on to its splendour. You must stay for at least one night in a castle! Check out luxury hotels in Northern Ireland for more details s to where you can stay. If can also check out these link for more details about castle accommodation.

Go whale watching in West Cork

Whale Watching Safari
Whale Watching in Ireland @ baltimoreseasafari.ie

Ireland West Cork is a great location for doing Whale Watching as the water is just right for their habitation. The best time would be visiting in the summer months (between September to November). You can take boat trips from both Baltimore and Union Hall. baltimoreseasafari.ie has some great whale watching safaris. Do check it out!

Meet Mr.Puffins on Skellig Michael

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Mr. Puffin at Skellig Michel! @ georgekarbusphotography.com

Skellig Michel is a rocky island of the coast of Kerry and has world’s 2nd highest colony of Puffins! It also has a 6th century monastery. 

Watch Northern Lights at Ireland!

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Northern Lights in Ireland @ telegraph.co.uk

For last few years northern lights have started showing up in the the Northern parts of Ireland! Check out the website Donegal Skies, for further details. For updates about its next visibility check  Astronomy Ireland.

Before parting with this blogpost I want to mention why I choose ‘7’ instead of the standard ‘5’, ’10’, ’30’ etc! Well, some the most significant things happens in combination of ‘7’! 7 days of the week, 7 colours of rainbow, etc… So, why not the 7 ‘must-do’ in Ireland?! Hope you enjoyed the post & I promise to come back with a few more posts about Ireland so that your next visit to Ireland is the most fun one! Till then… have fun!

Copyright: The thoughts are my own, the knowledge is universal and the photos are from different sources & due credit given. If anyone wishes to use the content, you are most welcome, however, do place a link to this page with acknowledgment. This is not only an internet courtesy but also a legal requirement. Regards.
 

Hello, Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Hi! I am an ordinary Muggle who is totally in love with the world of witchcraft & wizardry. So, one day I convinced my parents to take me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Orlando (USA). It was a very hot and sunny day, and apparently that day  itself the Wizarding World was opened to muggles, so you can understand the amount of queuing we had to do! We stood in line for over 6 hours just to enter the magical world of Harry Potter!

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Thats me! Very excited to be finally here!

I was awestruck to see Weasley’s Wheezes, Spindlewarps, Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Wand Showroom and so many of the amazing stores and shops that I have always been reading about. I also saw so many of young witches & wizards in their robes. I wish I had a robe too but the shop selling robes was already overflowing with muggles and I needed to hold my line to get my very own wand!

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Isn’t that Hermione?!
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Me & my mom too excited to pose!
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Ah! Thats me, in the amazing alley!

So, as my turn came I went inside Ollivander’s Wand Shop and saw rows and rows of wand boxes stacked one over the other to the ceiling! Mr.Ollivander took a look at me and asked what sort of wand I wanted. I said “I want the same wand as Harry Potter!” Voila! I got my first wand, and the best part was it had magic in it! I could conjure spells in specified areas of the wizarding world!

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Focus on the wands folks, not me 🙂

My mom also got very excited and wanted a wand of her own so and she was given a wand just like Professor Dumbledore! However, her wand didn’t have magic like mine, but I didn’t want to disappoint her so I let her believe that her wand was magical too…

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Well, well, well… my wand is doing all the magic but my mom thinks she is conjuring the spells!

I went down the streets and stopped at corners conjuring up magic one after another. I did the lumos spell, aquametti spell, etc.

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There I’m, conjuring spells! Ok… why was I being videoed… and by whom?? Hmm…

As we were nearing Gringrotts Bank the dragon suddenly breathed out fire that made my mom jump out of her skin!

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The fire-breathing dragon atop the bank!

To pacify her my dad said we should visit the bank and withdraw some money and shop. However, the goblin at the front desk told us that muggles weren’t allowed inside. So, we came out dejected.

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The mean goblin at the front table…

 

By this time all the adventures and excitements made us very hungry, so we decided to go to “Leaky Cauldron”. We had Ploughman’s, Toad in Hole, Fish & Chips, etc. We also drank Butterbeer, my favourite drink!

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Hmmm… that looks interesting…
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Food is something I LOVE! So, no disturbance please.

After a very heavy and happy meal we were ready to head back home as it was getting dark and the King Cross Station will be closed soon. So, we strutted down stone-walled platforms heaped with suitcases of different shapes and sizes. I also saw Hedwig (Harry Potter’s pet owl), which means Harry Potter was also in the train I took! The Hogwart’s Express left the station right in time.

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Hey! That’s Hedwig! Is Harry Potter in my train?!!
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Thats the!Hogwart’s Express!

We reached our destination quite fast and when we came out of the station I saw the Night Bus ready to take wizards & witches to their destinations. Alas! me being a Muggle couldn’t ride and had to take a car back home!

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Hey Night Bus, will you take me home??

It was a fabulous experience and one day I intend to join Hogwarts! Till then… believe in magic & have fun!

About Me: I am a 9-year-old and co-blog with my mom! I love travelling around the world with my parents and my biggest dream was to visit the magical world of Harry Potter! So, we decided that it must be me who bring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to you! Hope you like it! Do let me know what else you would like me to write about. Till then, believe in magic gentle people!

Copyright: The thoughts and photos are my own, the knowledge is universal. If you wish to use the content, you are most welcome, however, do place a link to this page with acknowledgment. This is not only an internet courtesy but also a legal requirement. Regards.

5 Top-Things To Do In & Around Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is Scotland’s hilly capital with a medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town. It is famous for its landscape, beautiful gardens and classic buildings. Edinburg is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking landscapes and places to visit. Whether you visit Edinburg for a day or more, this list is going to keep you very, very busy in the most happy way!

No.5 – Checkout the Scottish Crown Jewels at Edinburgh Castle!

The Edinburgh Castle looms large over the city of Edinburgh and a marvelous architecture on its own. However, I want you to visit this castle not for its history or architecture but to see the the Scottish Crown Jewels, which are too striking to be considered ‘another royal jewellery’. Don’t forget to look at the famous ‘Stone of Destiny’, which was used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. For further details on the crown jewels and about Edinburgh Castle read edinburghcastle.gov.uk &

Scotish Crown Jewels
Scottish Crown Jewel @ gemologytidbits.com

No.4 – Visit the Kelpies

The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures which has become famous for their uniqueness & exquisite craftsmanship. It is in The Helix & 54 mins drive from Edinburg.

Kelpis
The Kelpies @ dailymail.co.uk

No.3 – Experience Authentic Scotch Whiskey 😉

Hah! Can’t be in your list if your are a kid or don’t drink… but for everyone else downing a good dose of authentic scotch should be a priority! Even if you don’t drink do visit a distillery just to see how it is done and the huge varieties available. You can check out Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection, the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whiskies. For further details click the link.

Collection
Experience Scotch Whiskey @ visitscotland.com

No.2 – Walk The Ancients Castles & Cathedrals!

Scotland has some of the most intriguing and majestic castles & cathedrals in the world & with  centuries of history behind it you are bound to find the most intriguing stories being told as you visit this magnificent structures with its stone walls,tall turrets and acres of ground. Mind you, Edinburgh and its neighbouring areas is a treasure trove for castle visitors!

St. Andrews Cathedral
St. Andrews Cathedral @ scotlandnow.dailyrecord.co.uk

No.1 – Marvel The Scottish Highlands

Top in your list should be a visit to the Scottish Highlands. If you are in Scotland and have not visited the Scottish highlands then… what the hell were you doing?!! MUST!

Highlands
Scottish Highlands @ bloomberg.com

Thats all for today folks! I will follow-up in details in my subsequents posts, so keep visiting!

Copyright: The thoughts are my own, the knowledge is universal and the photos are from different sources & due credit given. If anyone wishes to use the content, you are most welcome, however, do place a link to this page with acknowledgment. This is not only an internet courtesy but also a legal requirement. Regards.

 

 

 

Driving to the southernmost point of human habitation… Bluff (New Zealand)

IMG_6907The world that we know is so interesting and once you start travelling you end up getting more and more filling-up your bucket-list. One of those items in my bucket list was reaching the southernmost point of human habitation. So, technically I should be writing this post about Puerto Williams (Chile), however, till I do put my foot in Puerto Williams (Chile) I am quite happy at reaching the southernmost point of human habitation, other than in South America! Bluff is a small town in New Zealand situated at 46°36′S 168°20′E / 46.600°S 168.333°E / -46.600; 168.333. Yeah, thats the technical bit 😀

The Starting Point & The Drive

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An the fun begins!

We drove to Bluff from Queenstown early in the morning in a rented car. We passed through some of the most picturesque locations on earth! The drive itself is an amazing memory on its own. The road is very well maintained and stretches for miles and miles without a soul to be seen or a car to be crossed. However, you have to be careful with your speed limit as there are detectors throughout the route.

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The mind-blowing scenery…

Little breaks to stretch the limbs…

The drive from Queenstown to Bluff is 217 kms (approx) and takes 2 – 2 1/2 hours & we drove casually enjoying the sights and sounds and it was lovely. We stopped at a small town for using the loo, which was quite clean despite being a public toilet! My son had fun playing in the nearby playground!

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So we have no confusion where we are! Yayyyy! We are not lost!
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Some Funtime during the drive is always welcomed!

So, we drove further south towards Invercargill and stopped there for our breakfast. Yes, we started the journey in the wee hours just at dawn! Invercargill is a beautiful little town founded in the 1850’s and with a population of around 54,000.

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Invercargill

After a break of around an hour at Invercargill we proceeded to Bluff, which is around 30 kms away. You can see a remarkable change in the landscape and vegetation as you drive from Queenstown to Bluff. Now the vegetation has become more shrub type and the wind is more sharp and sudden.

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Meet this handsome beings on the way and they were pretty friendly!

 

 Bluff…

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You know you have reached! Isn’t this cute? 🙂

Reaching Bluff was easier part of the story, the tougher part was finding the ‘southernmost point’! So, the google came to the rescue but mind you, driving in Bluff is quite risky with such steep inclines and very few traffic lights around! Finally, we reached our must-sought destination! Voila!

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The southernmost point of human habitation! Yayyy!
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He was happy to be a Spiderman around this iconic poll!

There were few other interesting things that I noticed here and the most interesting was this HUGE chain running from the landmass to the sea. I asked around and searched around and came to know that this steel sculpture was created by Russell Beck. The other end of the chain is in the coast of Stewart Island at Lee Bay. These chains portrays the mythological link between the waka (canoe) of Maui and the anchor stone.

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And we tried very hard to ensure that the anchor chain doesn’t slip into the oceans! See! We did actually try pretty hard! 😉

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Oh! Its so hard to keep the two islands chained together! But we are trying!!

 The unexpected…

While we were enjoying our day at Bluff in our T-shirts & tops we hardly expected to be chilled to bones. However, after around 30 mins of our time at this point the climate suddenly changed that the temperature dropped from 15 C to 3 C within 5 minutes! We hardly got time to get our jackets out of the car! Later in I came to know from the locals that Bluff gets two set of winds, one from the north (which is warm) and another from the south (the wind from Antarctica). When the wind from Antarctica hits the temperature can rapidly fall! Ah, so now I know! So, all bundled up and freezing we climbed to the vantage point for our final leg of our trip to Bluff… to see as south as possible!

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All bundle-up (as best as could) to face the wind from the Antarctica!

After a great day at Bluff and some sumptuous New Zelandian lunch we returned to Queenstown and reached in the evening. It was one the most fun road trip I ever took and I recommend it to everyone!

Till my next post, ‘ngahau’!

 

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