From sloths hanging out, to whales breathtakingly breeching and lions stalking their prey – when we asked you about your best experiences with animals when travelling, we were inundated with more than 2700 special moments.
Selecting just a small handful to share for you was one tough task, but here are 15 of the most fabulous animal encounters from travellers…
You might have done so much planning and preparation that you already feel like you know a place before you visit. But as Debora Hoffman discovered when she left her United States homeland for a holiday in Oz, there are always bound to be a few things that you weren’t expecting Down Under…
“Thinking of Australia holidays? We found some surprises:
– It’s really, really far away. OK, this one wasn’t a surprise, but it is somewhat astonishing; it takes 30 hours to get to Melbourne. And that’s on Australia’s east coast. To get to Perth, on the west coast, takes another 4 hours. That is a brutal amount of time to be on airplanes, leaving you smelly, cranky and your brain on stun from the four movies you watched.
When a Perth-based friend recently decided to move back to Australia’s East Coast, the opportunity for an adventure was too good for Sophie Suelzle to pass up. Sophie and her boyfriend packed their bags, borrowed a tent and booked a one-way ticket to partake in what would be the most epic road trip of their young(ish) lives…
“It is a strange thing to have explored numerous places overseas, yet never the country you call home. Shamefully, until the beginning of this year, I could honestly say I had barely ventured out of Victorian borders, except for a solitary school camping trip.
Seeing the first light of day peep over the horizon is one of those precious moments that we so often associate with our travels. Maybe because at home we’d normally be hitting the snooze button right about now, whereas when we’re on holidays we get to enjoy a peaceful and beautiful start to another day that’s filled with the promise of wonder and discovery. So set your alarm clock and see where Sue Elliot, our Intrepid Express editor, loves to see the sun rise…
Mt Sinai – Egypt
There is something about setting off in the dark that really adds to the drama of watching the sun rise – especially when you have to start climbing stairs and rocky outcrops by torch light. Hailing down one of the camel drivers was tempting, but my group leader assured me we were making good time and we’d be rewarded for our efforts. He was right – we found the perfect place to perch ourselves on the rocks in time to see the sun start to spread its dawn glow across the valley. It was magical – feeling the freezing desert temperatures start to abate, seeing the reds, golds and russet tones dance across the landscape below and joining in a pilgrimage that has taken place for centuries.
Australia’s southernmost state of Tasmania is overflowing with reasons to visit. From World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain to Wineglass Bay, voted one of the world’s top 10 best beaches, the island is a haven for nature lovers and foodies alike. There’s also a new star when it comes to Tassie must-sees and Intrepid’s Helen Stevens introduces us to this local gem that is much more than just another museum…
“Situated in Berridale, a working class suburb perhaps previously best known for its proximity to the Cadbury factory, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has become THE reason to visit Hobart. It boasts a world-class collection of all forms of art, from painting to sculpture and new media featuring Australian and international artists. But don’t expect the usual gallery experience.
For over 10 years now Intrepid has been proud to support TreeProject, helping to tackle salinity and land degradation by putting native trees back on the land.
Sponsorship from The Intrepid Foundation provides TreeProject the means to train and build a support network for volunteers, who grow low cost indigenous seedlings for rural landholders and Landcare groups. They engage in revegetation projects that deal with the remediation of erosion, water quality and quantity, carbon sequestration and native species habitat. There is marvellous engagement with people of all ages and all walks of life, including school children, youth clubs, families, business people, retirees and people living in aged care facilities. De Grebner, TreeProject’s Project Manager tells us more:
Intrepid provides travellers with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Reef is one of the most inspiring places on earth, which makes it even harder to believe that a place as beautiful and precious as the Great Barrier Reef is currently under threat due to the ever-expanding coal export industry.
Current plans to build a series of coal mega mines running the length of the Great Barrier Reef not only spell disaster for this fragile ecosystem, but also for the global climate as a whole.
Holidaying in Australia‘s Red Centre you’ll quickly discover why this region is unique. Within 24 hours that famous massive monolith and the Indigenous people who have been the local custodians for around 40,000 years left a lasting impression on Intrepid’s Chimene Barrett…
“Travelling down the highway we spot a massive rock formation, orange and dominating. We’re sure it must be Uluru, but our local leader lets us know it’s Mt Connor. A beautiful sight in itself, but you can see where it gets the nickname Fooluru. My first day out of Alice Springs and my shoes are already covered in red dust. I am so excited to finally get to walk around the base of Uluru!
The West Kimberley region has just joined an exclusive club of iconic, well-loved places in Australia, including Bondi Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. The Australian government has announced that the West Kimberley, in Western Australia’s far north, will be awarded National Heritage Listing!
Congratulations to our friends at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) who, along with other environmental and cultural groups, have run a passionate campaign to help protect this region. “Formal recognition of the importance to the nation of the West Kimberley’s natural and cultural values confirms what many in the region and elsewhere already know – that this is a very special part of Australia that is too precious to lose to industrialisation,” said ACF CEO Don Henry.