Welcome to Outlines.
We have survived another financial year and will shortly receive our huge tax cheques to spend on our holidays!! We all deserve to reward ourselves with a trip for all the hard work that has been done so far. Looking ahead, we should all be planning our next holiday to avoid disappointment and ensure we get the adventure we are looking for!
BARGING IN EUROPE
Why not discover a different side of France on one of her many historic canals or navigable rivers? Originally used for transporting goods of all shapes and sizes the length and breadth of the country, these waterways across Europe provide a peaceful and unusual way of exploring France, Holland, Germany or Ireland.
Crown Blue Line operates a modern fleet of self-skippered cabin cruisers that allow a totally different experience of travelling. Cruise at your own pace along the canals, viewing the beautiful countryside, the quaint villages filled with old world charm and character. Sample the local fare, all washed down with regional wines - Burgundy, Sancerre, and Bordeaux to name a few. These are some of the things that you'll encounter if you decide to 'take the plunge' and go boating in France.
The boats can accommodate between 2 and 12 passengers, and are all fully equipped with hot showers, toilets, large saloons, and kitchens. You also have the option of hiring bicycles to explore further afield.
New Zealand is known for its many impressive walks, amongst which is the spectacular alpine walk known as the Tongariro Northern Circuit. The park has been classified as a World Heritage Area and is New Zealand's oldest national park. The walk encompasses the best of the scenery that the North Island has to offer.
The Tongariro Trek will take you past spectacular alpine scenery, craters and rain forest. The trek takes 3-4 days to complete, suits people with a reasonable level of fitness and is best walked between November and April. The walk is fully guided to ensure you discover the natural and historical significance of the region.
At the end of each day of walking you return to the spectacular Grand Chateau. Being the only hotel in the Tongariro National Park, means the Chateau is a great place to base yourself for the trek. The facilities at the resort are what you would expect from a quality property, including a gym, heated plunge pool, two bars, two restaurants, a nine-hole golf course and more.
Included in the cost of the Tongariro Trek package are guided treks including the Tongariro Crossing and Crater Lake Mt Ruapehu. Also included is 4 nights twin share accommodation at The Grand Chateau, all meals including packed lunches for day treks, briefings and park interpretations and complimentary transfers to and from the walks. The cost of the trek is $1075.00 per person.
If this walk sounds like the trip you have been waiting for then call us for further details. We can also help with other walks in New Zealand such as the Milford Track, Routeburn Track, Abel Tasman Coastal Track and more.
Central America has a stunning amount of diversity between its various countries, from the colourful highland markets and lively culture to the laid-back Caribbean with its white sandy beaches. Central America offers you the opportunity to taste their fabulous food, travel like the locals and enjoy all the sights and smells. Some of the highlights are mentioned here.
Mexico has many attractions to visit, from the archaeological sites to the six thousand miles of amazing coastline. Mexico city is known for its traditional art and is the base for trips to Taxco, the Pyramids of the Moon and Sun, the awe-inspiring Teotihuacan and the Shrine of Guadalupe. The city itself is situated on the site of an Aztec city discovered by Cortez in 1519. The Oaxacan people are proud of their ancestral heritage, which has brought them cultural richness, variety of cuisine, and a wide array of craftsmanship.
Guatemala is a perfect place to escape the crowds of tourists. It is an undiscovered country with traditional Indian culture, villages untouched by time, amazing jungle ruins, mountains, volcanoes and much more. Not to be missed is the unique, and skilful handicrafts at the Chichicastenango Market. The locals wear costumes you will not see elsewhere. These colourful Indian marketsprovide a present-day link to their ancient and mysterious society.
Costa Rica is a small, tropical country known for its abundance of wildlife and rain forests.For such a small country there is a diverse range of attractions from the beaches, impressive volcanoes, bird and turtle nesting sites and coral reefs, as well as incredible flora and fauna in its numerous national parks and wildlife reserves.Costa Ricans have protected more than 25% of their land under a network of Parks and Reserves. These extraordinary ecosystems result in a diversity of wildlife not encountered anywhere else.
If I have not emphasised some of the obvious highlights - whether it be the sights or culture - it has not been intentional. How can we highlight the best of 7 amazing countries in a small space like this newsletter? The best way for you to have an idea of how exceptional this region is, is to visit it. We can help to arrange your once in a lifetime experience. Whether it be an airfare, accommodation, short tour or extended tour we have the knowledge to make your holiday planning easy.
Mount Aspiring Guides offer guided mountain climbing and mountaineering instruction courses in New Zealand. Their courses range from mountaineering, alpine rock climbing, backcountry ski touring, glacier tours, wilderness trekking and ice climbing.
"We are about action. We believe that you don't gain judgement, skills and safe practices in the classroom. Our courses take place in the mountains, where with top professional alpine guides you will be learning, achieving and gaining the skills to become a safe and knowledgeable climber. Whether your desire is to take those first steps into the world of mountaineering, develop state of the art climbing techniques, reach a summit, join an expedition, or just take time out in the mountains, join us for a safe and enjoyable mountaineering experience.
Whilst our activities are centred from our base in the magnificent Mount Aspiring region, our permits and experience extend throughout the Southern Alps including Fiordland, Westland and Mount Cook National Parks. This is a vast area and is diverse in geography.
As guides we have guided and instructed guests of all ability levels to greater heights and new elements of self discovery within the Southern Alps of New Zealand and worldwide, including Everest, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, and the Sydney Opera House!"
CYCLING WITH ROUGH TRACKS
Active adventure holidays in Europe always leave you with a feeling of achievement. ?Rough Tracks? ensure you have an exciting holiday, which will be an experience to remember and one you will come home talking about for months.
?Rough Tracks? ensures your holiday runs smoothly and all you need worry about is riding through magnificent scenery from one town to the next. Whilst you are cycling, your luggage is transported to your next overnight stop.During the day, all you carry are your essentials such as your lunch and a drink. Carrying extra snacks, cold drinks, and spare clothing, is a support vehicle that meets you several times during the day. If you begin to feel a bit tired and need a break from cycling, or have mechanical difficulties the support vehicle is also there to help.
Your tour leaders are experienced riders trained to take care of the daily organisation and planning of your active holiday. Whilst cycling, you are guaranteed to work up a big appetite! The food on tour is of a high standard and will cater to all needs, from vegetarians to other special dietary needs. To add to your cultural experience, local specialities are included. Picnic foods can also be organised for you to take your own lunch with you.
At the end of a long but extremely rewarding day, accommodation is an important part of your holiday.All properties are chosen for their location,character and charm (such as in a converted barn) and friendly local hosts. The accommodation may include bed and breakfasts, hotels, private houses, hostels with dormitory-style bedrooms or camping.
Rough Tracks offers cycling tours that are rewarding and something you will always remember. Contact us for brochures and further information on cycling in Europe.
SURFING IN SAMOA
As I sit here typing this newsletter it is raining outside. This makes me think of all the places I could be with some sunshine, a beach and friendly locals. For those of you who, like me, would like to escape to a place where no one is in a rush and the weather is good, Samoa is the place for us.
Other than the weather and amazing beaches, Samoa is also well known for its quality surfinglocations. Samoa has great surf all year round, with the most consistent swells coming from the southern ocean and intensifying before exploding on Upolu Island's south shore. The largest swells occur during the dry season (May to October)
If you want to combine some surfing with a holiday in the sun, the Sa?Moana Resort is the perfect place to stay. Sa'Moana Resort is located near Salamumu Beach on the south of Upolu Island, which has one of the most surf-infested areas. The Resort itself is quite small, catering for only 24 guests in fales (bungalows) with only 12 surfers being accommodated at any one time to avoid over crowding. The fales have been designed with the Polynesian tones in mind and helps to insure your stay is in line with the quiet Samoan way of life. A Pre-paidmeal package that includes 3 meals per day can be organised for your stay and includes a traditional Samoan 'Fia Fia' Feast on one night of the week.
Samoa is a traditional society with a distinctive Polynesian cultural heritage. Both the islands of Upolu and Savaii have many activities and attractions to suit everybody. If you don?t surf and are travelling with someone who does, there is plenty to keep you occupied. You can relax on the beach or by the pool, go for walks, snorkel, and dive or visit the many attractions such as the historic sites or the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.
If you are an experienced surfer and are looking for an alternative spot to showcase your skills, you should head to Samoa. We have access to all the latest specials to organise your memorable holiday in the sun.
Central Australia is well known for its scenery, culture and harsh conditions. The Larapinta Trail is giving walkers a different perspective of the region. Most are amazed by the variety of the vegetation and wildlife they encounter, particularly the birds and plants. The Larapinta Trail is for experienced walkers with a sense of adventure and the desire to try something different.The trail has become one of the best, extended walks in the country.
The Larapinta Trail is a 232km walking track that begins at the Old Telegraph Station near Alice Springs and finishes at Mount Sonder. Some of the many highlights you view as you walk are Simpsons Gap, Stanley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge. There are 12 sections of the Trail including the climb up Mt Sonder on the final day with the distancewalked per day between 15 and 20kms.Some walkers choose to do one or two sections of thetrail but all 12 can be walked and takes about 16 days to complete. On the sections that are more frequently used there are camp sites with minor facilities, whilst the other sections have marked campsites only.
The best time to walk the trail is between April and October with the nights tending to be a little colder. Due to the warm conditions you encounter on the trail, it is advisable to take plenty of drinking water, with 4 litres per day being the recommended amount required.If you travel with a group, you carry a daypack with your essentials during the day while a support vehicle transports your luggage to the next campsite. Alternatively, if you decide to walk alone, you carry your gear from campsite to campsite.You must remember to respect the trail and carry out what you carry in.
The memories of your trek to the top of Mt Sonder and the resulting view will be a reminder of how rewarding the walk had been to complete. If you have the desire to complete this awe-inspiring walk, call us for further details.
?SUMMER WITH THE GODS?
India is a country that offers more diversity than you can expect to see in most countries. From the magnificent Taj Mahal to the beaches of Goa; from their religious customs to their amazing food. Here is a holiday that will tease all of your senses.
If you are unsure of travelling on your own within India, a tour is the perfect option. This tour begins in Cochin (Kochi) where you travel to Fort Cochin to visit the old Spice Market at Mattancherry, the Synagogue, Dutch Palace and the Church of St. Francis. From here the tour takes you to the city of Periyar via the Periyar wildlife reserve, well known for its elephant, bison, deer and bird life. The next destination is Kumarakom, which includes a visit to lake Vembanad where you enjoy a cruise. Relaxing on Marari Beach is your final stop.
?Summer with the Gods? is an 11 day/10 night tour. The tour includes: Airfare ex Australia, departure taxes, all ground transportation, 4 to 5 star accommodation and breakfast throughout. If you would like more information on this tour or would like to know about other tours in India, please contact us.
These days there are many people offering cheap airfares in the paper and on the Internet. We have access to all the same deals and we know where to get the best deals available - to Kampala or Kamchatka, Paris or Parimaribo!!!
THE LAST WORD????
Contact Top Ten Treks for further information on any of the specials and destinations listed in this newsletter and for any of your other travel plans. For further details please write, telephone, fax, email or simply drop into the office.