wendy

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Twenty destinations for 2014: Stewart Island, New Zealand

<b>Why?</b> Most of New Zealand’s high-profile destinations are located on either the North Island or South Island, but few people are aware that the country has a smaller, third island dangling off the southern tip of “the mainland”. First settled by miners, lumberjacks and fishermen, Stewart Island has …

New Zealand

World Laughter Day: the world's happiest places

The Seychelles for independent travellers

With stunning beaches and brilliant blue seas, it’s hardly surprising the Seychelles rank among the world’s most idyllic island getaways.<p>Marooned in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this archipelago of 115 islands is notoriously exclusive (and expensive), and if you simply couldn’t imagine …

The world's best places to see autumn colours

The dog days of summer are over. But despite the chill in the air, there’s no need to be downhearted. Autumn is the most spectacular season, a last hurrah before the bitter winds of winter take hold.<p>Pull on your walking boots and head to one of these stunning destinations to witness glorious autumn …

Victoria (Australia)

The best places to swim with whale sharks

Swimming alongside the largest fish in the sea is one of the ultimate bucket-list experiences. Lucky, then, that there are a handful of destinations around the world where in-season sightings of whale sharks are almost guaranteed.<p>Remember: keep a respectful distance from the gentle giants, …

Tour de dessert: Europe’s most delicious pastries, cakes and tarts

American cafe culture has come a long way in the last two decades: corporate coffee has spawned near two generations of independent cafes that offer more than the old standby of roadside diner joe and pie. But in Europe, grand salons with wrap-around pastry cases have more in common with jewellery …

From skulls to sewers: the darker side of Paris

Paris basks in its reputation as a glittering capital of fashion, art and culture – but it also has the power to bewitch visitors with more macabre sights.<p>Peer behind the glamour of the French capital to discover the best of its underground wonders and grisly history.<p>Les Catacombes<p>Beneath Paris’ …

France

Stunning Shots of Fly Geyser, Nevada's Hidden Treasure

As you all know by now, we love finding extraordinary destinations off the beaten path like Lake Baikal in Siberia. Today, we bring you another one which can only be described as surreal or otherworldly. Fly Geyser (or Fly Ranch Geyser) is a a small geothermal geyser that is located approximately …

Photographers

Top 20 free things to do in Berlin

Berlin may be one of the best-value cities in Europe but, for visitors, those euros can start to add up after days of museum-hopping and nights of clubbing. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stretch your budget further by cashing in on some tip-top freebies.<p>Catch a ride to the Reichstag’s …

Germany

Fire and ice: adventures in Iceland

You could be forgiven for mistaking Iceland's scenery for a sci-fi movie set. Boiling water blasts out of geysers, and cracks in the earth belch steam. Arid plains and mustard-coloured rocks stretch endlessly into the distance. Volcanoes lurk menacingly under a covering of snow.<p>Iceland is …

America's best craft breweries

It wasn't long ago when the American beer market was dominated by a handful of acrid, factory-produced brews that bore only a passing resemblance to what those in other climes called 'beer'. Thankfully, those days of choking down foul-tasting swill are long gone, with an explosion of microbreweries …

Japan dos and don'ts: etiquette tips for first-time travellers

Japan is warm and welcoming to travellers, but its unique culture can be as inscrutable as it is intriguing for the first-time visitor. To help create a faux-pas-free journey, arm yourself with a few of these handy etiquette tips before your trip: from when to bow and take your shoes off, to when …

10 of the world's best learn-to-dive destinations

Dreaming of getting your dive ticket? With a combination of idyllic conditions and reputable dive outfits, we’ve narrowed down the top spots to get certified – from the Caribbean to the Maldives, and everywhere in between.<p>Clown fish, Halik Reef, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. Image by Randi Ang / …