What to Eat, See and Do in the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

The Coromandel Peninsula – A slice of Heaven on Earth!

If any of you have grown up in New Zealand, you will understand what I mean when I say we are so lucky to have so many spectacular places right at the tip of our fingers.
One of my favourite regions being the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island.

The Coromandel is renowned for it’s picturesque beaches, native forests and ample outdoor activities.

The perfect time to visit the Coromandel, is around the end of January/beginning of February. The Christmas and New Year period is extremely busy due to it being the school/work/ and university summer holidays. I would recommend not going during this time.

Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Whitianga or Cooks Beach are good locations to use as your base. You’ll need at least 4-6 days in this area depending how tightly you want to squeeze in all your destinations. All of these spots have a holiday park/camping site.
You can also look at Book A Bach for accomodation.

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WHERE TO EAT

Hotties Beachfront Eatery // Hot Water Beach // 29 Pye Pl,  3591

Mercury Bay Estate // Cooks Beach // 761 Purangi Rd,  3591

Poivre et Sel // Whitianga // 2 Mill Rd, 3510

Flock // Tairua // 227 Main Rd, 3508

Lukes Kitchen and Cafe // Kuaotunu // 20 Black Jack Rd, 3592

Go Vino // Cooks Beach // 19 Captain Cook Rd, 3591

The Vessel // Cooks Beach // 37 Captain Cook Rd,  3591

Eggsentric // Flaxmill Bay // 1049 Purangi Rd,  3591

Salt // Whitianga // 1 Blacksmith Ln,  3510

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Mercury Bay Estate

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WHERE TO GO

  • Pauanui
  • Tairua
  • Hot Water Beach
  • Hahei
  • Cathedral Cove
  • Cooks Beach
  • Whitianga
  • Opito Bay
  • Otama Beach
  • Kuaotunu
  • New Chums Beach
  • Matarangi
  • Waikawau


WHAT TO DO

The Lost Spring // The perfect place for relaxation is at these Natural Thermal hot pools and Day Spa. The springs were thought to be lost (hence the name) but were rediscovered in 1989.

Banana Boat Whitianga // Experience a state of the art water craft that skims through the water at speeds of up to 40 km/h. They customise the ride to suit all ages.

Scenic Flight // Take in the beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula from above, with the awesome range of itineraries that ‘Fly Stark’ has available.

Kayak Tour // Modern sea kayaking with qualified guides guarantees you will have an amazing experience every time.  Their Cathedral Cove tour offers great photo opportunities and are topped off with cappuccinos, hot chocolates and cookies at Cathedral Cove!

Dig holes for Natural Hot Springs // Head to one of New Zealand’s most famous beaches, Hot Water Beach, where a patch of thermal water is bubbling just beneath the surface of the sand. Plan your trip to dig your own hot pool two hours either side of low tide.

Hahei Explorer (Boat Tour) // An hour long boat tour that takes visitors into coastal islands of the marine reserve, reefs, massive sea caves and bays, including the world famous Cathedral Cove.

Cathedral Cove Dive and Snorkel // They offer Scuba Diving & Snorkelling trips both within the stunning Marine Reserve plus the outer islands, pinnacles and volcanic coastline outside of the Marine Reserve boundaries.

Hike the Pinnacles // The Pinnacles Walk follows the original steps constructed for packhorses which carried supplies for kauri loggers, gum diggers and gold miners who plundered the area in the early 1900’s. Atop the Pinnacles, you’ll find the most spectacular panoramic views of the coast.


 

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Behind the Blog – Meet Chris from Wild Kiwi Adventurer

Hi I’m Chris from Wild Kiwi Adventurer. I grew up in the wilds of New Zealand in a place 2 days walk from the nearest road. My family is known as the most remote family in the country. I’m now a world traveller. How did that happen? Well from the moment I left home I never looked back. Everything was a new experience and I just wanted more. My first adventure was working on a Russian Ice Breaking ship in Antarctica and then next thing I was in London! My blog: WildKiwiAdventurer is my place to show my travels and lifestyle to the world and more recently I have been focusing on Vlogging on Youtube.  I love to inspire others to live the same sort of lifestyle that I am lucky to live.

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Where are you based/located?

Gorge River, New Zealand is still my home. But for 8-10 months of the year home is where my backpack sits.

What first sparked your love for travel?

Growing up I always read and listened to stories of faraway places. When I was old enough to go myself there was nothing could stop me!

What are some of your favourite countries to visit?

Thailand, Philippines and China. It’s the incredibly welcoming people here that make me feel so at home in these countries. For Adventure I like Antarctica and the high Arctic. Places only accessible by boat or by working on remote research stations. Because it’s just so remote, wild and untouched. And there are Polar bears and penguins!

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

There’s nowhere I would say don’t go. It all depends of your level of adventure and comfort zone.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels?

Sitting on the ice in Antarctica and having an Emperor penguin stand 30cm in front of me and gently peck my hand out of curiosity. Eye to eye. Second one is sitting in a small inflatable boat watching a young Polar Bear walk along the shore line in north Canada.

Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Don’t hesitate. Don’t worry. Once you make the choice to leave you will never regret it. Don’t get hung up on finer details, it will work its self out.

What destinations are on your bucket list?

Always Antarctica. So much to see there. The North Pole. Lake Baikal in Russia. Nepal. Palawan Island in the Philippines. Tibet. Patagonia.

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Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2019?

Currently I’m working as a field trainer in Antarctica for Antarctica New Zealand. After I finish my contract here I plan to travel from March to September. I would like to go to China, North Korea, Mongolia and Russia.

Do you research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Usually I start to research after I get to the place and find I don’t know anything about it!

What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

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Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

The Cheapest one…… Or Air New Zealand if possible

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers
“Live every day like it’s your last” “Never say no

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Social Media
www.instagram.com/wildkiwiadventurer/
www.facebook.com/wildkiwiadventures/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCM-76PfqWz3qUjx4fAnuFMg
www.wildkiwiadventurer.com

If you’d like to be featured on my Behind the Blog series, please enquire via email at wherekateresides@outlook.com

 

My Favourite YouTubers to watch for Travel Inspiration in 2019

YouTube has become a world-wide phenomenon where thousands of people, everyday, share videos about anything and everything. It has become increasingly popular for travel videos and vlogs.

Whether you’re wanting advice on what to pack for a certain destination, the perfect spots to visit in a city, or some wanderlust itinerary for future trips, you can find it on YouTube.

But it’s difficult to find the truly useful and inspiring amongst the many that are posted every day. Here is my list of favourite Travel YouTube Channels and Vloggers to encourage you to Travel the World in 2019!

 


Kara and Nate – http://www.karaandnate.com
These two are husband and wife from Nashville, Tennessee. They left in 2016 to take a year off. Almost 3 years later they are still travelling the World, planning to travel to 100 countries by 2020.

 


Flying the Nest – http://www.flyingthenest.tv
Jess and Stephen have been documenting their life ever since leaving Australia. They are now travelling full-time around the globe. Their goal is to inspire others to venture out, explore, take risks and go on their own adventures.

 


Lost LeBlanc – http://www.lostleblanc.com
Christian quit his job in the corporate world to whole-heartedly pursue his passion for creating films and sharing the world with others.

 


Ash Owens – http://www.ashowens.com
Ash is a lover of all things creative and is passionate about travel. She loves to take you along on her travels whether its visiting somewhere in her home country of New Zealand, or an epic trip overseas.

 


RayaWasHere – http://www.rayawashere.co
Raya has created a community that instills passion and inspiration about travel, culture, adventure, self growth and self love.

 


Hey Nadine – http://www.heynadine.com
Nadine is your “go to” for any travel hacks, tips and advice. Her travel knowledge is impressive and her passion for travel is contagious. She creates videos to teach and inspire others to follow their dreams.

 


Antoine Janssens – http://www.vimeo.com/antoinejanssens
Antoine is a self-taught photographer, filmmaker, artist and explorer. He loves to share the beauty of our planet through his amazing cinematography with his viewers. Such a delight to watch.

 


Girl vs Globe – http://www.girlvsglobe.com
Sabina has a serious case of wanderlust. As a result she travels a lot, promising to take you all along with her to exotic locations.

 


Polkadot Passport – www.polkadotpassport.com
Follow Nicola around the world as she searches for the most unique, bucket-list worthy destinations.

 


Hopscotch the Globe – www.hopscotchtheglobe.com
Kristen and Siya are professional adventurers traveling the world full-time and living life on their own terms. Their channel is loaded with videos to help you try become a better traveler.

 


Cup of TJ – www.cupoftj.com
If you’re looking for any sort of food inspiration to try while traveling, you must check out TJ’s Channel. She documents herself trying all sorts of bizarre and crazy local foods. This channel is all about the food – with a touch of comedy.

 


I hope these YouTubers bring you lots of travel inspiration! 🙂

Let me know in the comments who your favourite Travel YouTubers/Vloggers are!

Photo Diary – Bora Bora, French Polynesia

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Behind the Blog – Meet Trisa from The Free Passport

Hi! I’m Trisa – 28 year old serial wanderluster, self-taught photographer and creator of the travel blog, The Free Passport. I’m a global health advocate by training, currently working for a global HIV/AIDS organisation – but my true calling lies in visual storytelling. I launched my blog in 2014, originally as a personal place to showcase my pictures. I had hundreds of photos just sitting on my hard drive doing nothing, and the world is too beautiful of a place for pictures of it to be sitting and doing nothing! Two years later, it has since evolved into so much more than I had originally thought was possible. I love the space for exactly what it is – the intersection between my passion for photography, travel and global consciousness. I also love it for what it represents. It is the result of the current chapter of my life. The chapter where I had to rediscover myself in the absence of the things that once defined me. And I couldn’t be more proud of it.

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Where are you based/located?

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Los Angeles, California, I now live and work in New York City.

What first sparked your love for travel?

I actually didn’t really enjoy traveling when I was younger – I’m not really sure why. But as I started to branch into the field of global health and international development, I began to really appreciate how truly amazing the world is and how you can’t take for granted opportunities you have to see it.

What are some of your favourite countries to visit?

There so many it’s hard to choose! Italy and Greece are two of my all-time favourites but I’m constantly updating my bucket list with new places so I’m sure I have dozen of ‘favourites’ yet to be discovered!

 

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

My work takes me to some interesting places – places that I wouldn’t necessary recommend, as they aren’t your typical ‘tourist’ destinations. But every place has something special to share and I think each traveller has to make their own decisions!

What destinations are on your bucket list?

Peru! Sri Lanka! Maldives! The list goes on and on..

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

Yes! Actually a few days ago my partner-in-crime and I booked our flights for a five-week adventure in Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. If anyone as any tips, please share! It’ll be my first time in the region and I’m so excited!

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Do you do any research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Absolutely. I admit I’m a type-A planner, though I’m working on being more flexible and go-with-the-flow – because if you’ve ever travelled, you know that things don’t always go as planned! Google Flights, Kayak, and TripAdvisor are my go-to’s for travel planning. I also always buy a travel guide to have with me throughout. I enjoy reading the different recommendations and it comes in handy when you don’t have access to internet or for reading during long flights/bus rides.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels? / What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

 There are so many! But some of my favourites would have to be from the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, and this one taken at the top of Trolltunga in Norway.

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I did the hike to Trolltunga with my parents – who weren’t in the best shape (haha). It took us nearly 11 hours to do the 22km roundtrip but it was worth every minute of the view from the top. I was so proud of them!!

Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

No one airline company is perfect but I try to build loyalty those that prioritise their corporate social responsibility.

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers / Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. That’s my favourite quote and the mantra I live by. Never be afraid to see more of the world. That may seem easier said than done, given that are very real logistical and financial implications to traveling, right? But in the end, making your dreams a reality will always be worth the investment.

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Top things to do on Santorini Island

Visit the town of Oia

This is personally my favourite town in Santorini. It is overwhelming how beautiful the view is from here. I highly recommend staying in this area when visiting Santorini.

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Ride a quad bike to Ammoudi Bay

My friend and I accidentally stumbled upon this small village and were amazed to discover it was used for some of the movie Sisterhood of the Travelling pants 2. It is a fishing village and has around 5 cute restaurants with tables looking over the bay. To get here – keep driving through the town of Oia and you will come across a sign directing you where to go. *Beware parking is a nightmare so best to take a scooter or a quad bike!

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Visit the Ancient town of Thera

Ancient Thera dates back to the 9th Century BC and has the most amazing views of the Island!

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Perissa Beach

A black sand beach with cute artsy souvenier shops, cafes and restaurants. After a hard mornings shopping, you can spend the afternoon lounging on the beach with free wifi and a food and drinks menu. *Usually 5 euros to rent a lounge chair

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Volcanic Crater Tour

A MUST do while in Santorini. The tour includes a boat ride to the island of Nea Kameni where the volcano is located (on a ship – how cool is that!?), there you have the opportunity to walk to the top of the crater, where you get to see Santorini from afar, and briefly learn about the history of the volcano. Afterwards you can go swimming in the hot springs that were created thousands of years ago, then you sail to Thirasia Island, where you can eat in the small taverns near the port, swim, or visit the village of Manolas on the top of Thirasia.

I did my tour with – click here

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Red Beach

This beach is well known for its colour, hence the name. It can be reached either by boat or by foot, lounge chairs are available for rent to lie on the beach. Be prepared to pay for one as the sand is very rocky. Awesome place to visit, surrounded by red cliffs and clear water.

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Try traditional greek food

When in Greece, you must try traditional food. Santorini was my first stop in Greece and I couldn’t wait to try it all. Baklava is my favourite – a sweet nut filled pastry. If you’re on a budget and can’t dine out for all meals like me, kebabs are only around 2 euros.

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Watch the sun set in Oia

Follow the signs in the town of Oia and park yourself up to watch the sun set. It is a breathtaking thing to watch, but I recommend getting their early to secure yourself a spot as it gets quite busy.

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Ride a donkey

Last but not least – have a go at the locals mode of transport and ride a donkey!

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Behind the Blog – Meet Louise from Captured to Share

My name is Louise Brady, a 25 year old Travel Blogger from Sydney. In 2014, I quit my job and moved over to London on a one-way ticket. After a year abroad, travelling Europe and working for a high profile family in London, I wanted to create a creative space to share my stories, photography and life updates with family and friends. Thus, Captured to Share was born.

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Where are you based/located?

From Sydney to London and now the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. We are currently running the blog part time from our new home on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

What first sparked your love for travel?

I have definitely always been an admirer of natural beauty. I can almost pin point the very moment my love for travel was awoken. It came with the purchase of an Italy photography book. I am sure I wore the pages thin, flicking through them several times a day and daydreaming about the many places I wanted to visit. At 16, I travelled to Italy with my grandmother, which confirmed my love for the beautiful country. At 22 I embarked on a four-month trip around Europe, which I suppose is the moment, I fully understood the impact of travel and silently vowed to peruse a life of it.

What are some of your favourite countries to visit? 

Barcelona in Spain is somewhere I find myself returning to with each European adventure. I love the culture, architecture and summer vibes. I am a HUGE fan of Italy, as you may have read above. Croatia was another place that stole my heart in Europe Bali is my go-to mini getaway.

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

This is hard because I found every place I visited to be meaningful. I suppose my least favourite city would have to be Darwin in Australia. There are amazing National Parks in the NT itself but I didn’t enjoy Darwin as much as I have other locations.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels?

The past three years have been a whirl wind of adventures, new experiences and new cities but every time I think back on the journey, I think of the tour around Europe in which I met my now boyfriend. Yes, I actually fell in love on TopDeck. 40 strangers boarded the bus in London and made our way around 6 different European countries over 17 days. I spent the 12-hour buses rides seated next to an Australian guy from Adelaide. We spoke the entire 12 hours every time we moved between countries. Our last stop was in Paris. We caught the Eiffel tower light up at midnight and as I turned around wondering where he had disappeared too, I found him standing with a rose. Nawwwwww. Three years later and we are still exploring the world together, and on occasion, he still buys me flowers.

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Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Be present. It is so easy to miss the moment by being caught up with people, technology and thinking about tomorrow. My favourite travel memories have been experienced alone, in silence, consumed by nature. Travel has a way of demanding your full attention, especially when visiting a place for the first time. Don’t miss those magical moments.

What destinations are on your bucket list?

I think it is a shorter list to highlight where I do not want to go. Basically everywhere. To name a few – Sahara Desert – India (I really want to see the Taj Mahal) – All of South America – Alaska

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

We have just returned from a trip to Bali, Indonesia and I am leaving for London in a weeks time (feb 5). From London I am flying to Switzerland and may make a pit stop in Paris for a day or two. Other than that, we are really focusing on exploring more of Australia. I still haven’t been to the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island and Fraser Island. Those locations are top of my list for 2017.

Do you do research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Yes. I like to check out local tourism websites and see what they recommend doing. I also read a few articles from fellow bloggers experiences. I think its important to have a balance of planning and spontaneity. You want to make sure you research the important things like countries religion and laws, as well as a few things of interest. I always research national parks and breakfast spots.

What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

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Posintano by Jay Foy (aka boyfriend)

Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

When we lived in London we would fly with the cheapest possible option- this was mostly Ryan Air. In Australia, we opt for Jet Star or Tiger Air (again, because they’re cheap). These days, I generally fly with Emirates for long haul flights but if we are on a budget, we will fly with anyone. Seriously… one time there was ash trays on board and no in flight entertainment

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers

I am a big Eckhart Tolle fan. Any quote about living in the moment is right up my alley. I’ll go with this one “Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

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Social Media:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louise__brady/

Twitter: @capturedtoshare

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – Schloss Neuschwanstein

Whilst visiting a friend in Munich a while back, we took the opportunity to head out on a road trip to Schloss Neuschwanstein – One of the most famous Castles in all of Europe.

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Schloss Neuschwanstein was created by King Ludwig II “The Fairy-Tale King’ of Bavaria. Construction began in 1869 and was never finished, due to the sudden death of Ludwig II in 1886. It ended up being used as a model for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The Palace was intended as a private retreat for the King but became open to the public on his death.

The best view of the Castle is from Marienbrucke (Mary’s Bridge in English), which is just a 10 minute walk from the Castle grounds. Marienbrucke is located over Pöllat Gorge and above a waterfall.

The Castle tours are offered at set times only and have limits on numbers, so I suggest you reserve your tickets online. 

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Unfortunately we made the mistake of trying to aquire our tickets on arrival and didn’t manage to book a tour until 4pm (we had arrived there at 11am!). Luckily we had noticed a sign for the Tegelberg-cable car on our way in, and decided to venture in that direction.

This ended up being a fantastic journey with spectacular views from atop the Ammer Mountains.

The ride to the top takes about 10 minutes and takes you to a height of 2,150 meters, with marvellous views of Schloss Neuschwanstein on your way. From here you can either perch yourself at the cafe, watch paraglider’s jump off into the horizon, or wander around the tracks.

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Behind the Blog – Meet Irone from IroneXplores

I am Irone Kim Tolibao, a Filipino, who loves traveling and writing. I have been to many places in the Philippines and I’d love to share my adventures and experiences with other people. I established my travel blog to encourage and help people travel and guide them on how to reach the places I’ve been to. My blog is all about giving directions and information about different places. Blogging for me is like hitting two birds in one stone, my love for travel and writing.

Where are you based/located?

My travels are solely focused in the Philippines for now. Got to love my own country.

What first sparked your love for travel?

My first travel was when me and my girlfriend went to Baguio City. One of the most visited places in Philippines due to several tourist spost. I was still courting her during that time. Witnessing these marvellous man-made or natural wonders inspired me to visit more beautiful places.

What are some of your favorite countries to visit?

So long I’ve only been here to the Philippines. So I must say Philippines is my favorite country. It is also my birth place.

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Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

There would be none. Telling people to avoid places is like telling them to miss an opportunity. Traveling is an adventure. The only thing I can do is warn them of my negative experiences in that place, but I will not stop them. I will let them know and avoid the mistakes I’ve made during my trip, but I will not hinder them to visit it.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels?

My favorite memory in all my travels is when I had a trip to Masbate Island. I encountered several misfortunes along the way like cancelled flight, cancelled island hopping, a storm, giant waves and so forth. Those unfortunate events happened in a single trip.

I was forced to change my itinerary and rerouted to Caramoan Island instead, which was totally out of plan. I have no contacts on that place, or any guide on what to do. I just held on to fate. Fortunately, everything went well. I found a decent guide, who I just met on a Church. He pretty much took care of everything. At the end of the trip, I discovered Caramoan Group of Islands was several times better than Masbate, and fate lead me there.

Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

My best advice for new travellers is just to take the first big step. Most people don’t start traveling just because fear already takes them before they even started. People fear of getting lost, a cancelled trip, or a lack of money. This is part of the challenged. Once you experienced these challenges, you’ll know how to overcome them. Nothing can stop you now from traveling.

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What destinations are on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list. I just wander wherever my feet would take me. Every place is unique and special. Everywhere should be a bucket list.

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

I do have several plans this 2017. It’s already scheduled since last year.

New Year I went to Sagada. I went trekking, spelunking and waterfall hopping.
February is island hopping to Palawan.
March is climb a mountain somewhere in the northern Philippines.
April is spelunking and waterfall hopping in Samar.
May is the festival month of the Philippines. I just haven’t decided which festival to visit yet.
June is to visit Leyte, my home province, to visit lakes and islands.
July is probably another mountain climbing.
August is tour around the province of Batanes.
September to December is yet to be finalized. I already have several places in mind.

Do you reasearch for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Yes. I do research every time I want to visit somewhere. I good information and directions about the place is the first thing I take care of before heading out. Just to avoid getting lost, or spending too much.

What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

This has always been my favorite photograph. Me and my girl was in an Island Hopping in Guimaras, and a perfect rainbow appeared to us. Such an amazing sight to behold.

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Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

I prefer AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. The services for both airlines are the same.

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers

“Travel with someone important to you. The stronger the connection, the greater the fun.”

“If you wish to travel far with a lesser cost of leaving home, then let your home travel with you.”

“You only have one life. Travel lets you live it a hundred times.”

“Every journey starts with a single step.”

“There are always good things at the end of every struggle. The higher the mountain, the better.”

“There is light at the end of the darkest cave.”

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My Website URL:
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If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Irone, please contact Kate at wherekateresides@outlook.com