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A beautiful reef that’s far closer to shore than the Great Barrier Reef. Tropical islands in the Indian Ocean I didn’t know about. Fantastic wineries, river cruises and luxury lodges. Oh, and a series of gorges with brilliant waterfalls and that famous Australian red rock. I just finished up a visit to Australia for what’s called the Australia Tourism Exchange. They had writers from around the world, including two Canadians, fly to Brisbane for a conference held in Surfer’s Paradise, about an hour south of Brisbane on The Gold Coast. All to talk about tourism and travel opportunities in Australia. ... continue reading →

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ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND – A crazy mountain bike event with more flips and mid-air whirls than a Donald Trump-Ted Cruz debate. Deep forests radiant with redwoods shimmering in filtered sunlight. And a wonderful lakeside spa. The Rotorua region of this wonderful country offers an embarrassing number of fun and entertaining things to do, as I discovered during a recent visit. I was there in part because of a mountain bike event called Crankworx, which began in Whistler a few years ago and draws thousands and thousands of dedicated cyclists and adrenaline junkies. It’s a fantastic event with smart and dedicated ... continue reading →

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NEAR MATAMATA, NEW ZEALAND – Magic. Sheer magic. Even if you don’t know Frodo from Bilbo or Gandalf from George Clooney (they do bear a certain resemblance if you think about it), a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island is a great experience; with fantastic gardens and fascinating glimpses into how movies are made. On the other hand, if you’re a lifelong fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings like I am and cried when the final Hobbit movie was over because it’s the end of the Peter Jackson-produced ... continue reading →

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Sugar Beach a St. Lucia gem

Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, is a beautiful property nestled between the Pitons on the southwest shore of St. Lucia. The spa is built in a rainforest, with thatched huts and wonderful treatments. The beach is outstanding, too. Nature fans on St. Lucia will want to check out Diamond Falls and botanical gardens, as well as the drive-in volcano. Here are some photos I hope you’ll enjoy. Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort , is snuggled between the towering rock formations known as the Pitons. The resort has stunning villas and one of St. Lucia’s best beaches. The spa at Sugar ... continue reading →

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Jim Byers photo A boat leaving the pretty harbour in Port Dover. It’s a fabulous town that’s only 90 minutes from Toronto. ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE OF ONTARIO – A kayak ride on what’s called the Canadian Amazon. A great story about one of Hollywood’s top actresses. And more fantastic food and wine. My final 24 hours driving the Lake Erie shoreline couldn’t have been any better. From top to bottom, it was extraordinary; with new sights and constant surprises that leave me very much wanting to go back. I started the final stretch of my road trip with ... continue reading →

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