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Accommodation Architecture Europe Travel

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

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Rothenburg is a small town in Germany with traditional architecture and cobblestone paths. It is a popular tourist destination and is often featured in travel catelogues.
I am pretty sure you would have seen the scene in this photo in travel catelogues before if you have ever picked on up to research trips for Europe.

Rothenburg is a small traditional German town with traditional German style houses and buildings. Rothenburg is mostly a tourist town so there are lots of small cafes, sweets shops and restaurants located in these buildings, although the area isn’t too crowded at all.

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Town center at night.

View from our cute boutique hotel during the day.

Apart from the houses in the village, there is also a fortress that one can access (for free) and walk around in, and also the garden around the outside.

All of the streets in the village looks pretty much the same. There are old clock towers that served the town.

What’s on offer:
This place is promoted to be a small romantic town where you can experience the charm of the old village. I liked it for the village and the cute boutique hotel I stayed at. The hotel was housed in a large German styled house. If I find the name, I will let you all know. Breakfast consisted of a variety of teas, cold meats, cheeses, breads, spreads and your usual, eggs and milk all served with detailed cutlery. The dining room was beautifully decorated and we could spend all morning there eating breakfast.

There is a 365 day Christmas shop here that sells a large variety of Christmas tree decorations and Christmas related decorations, from timber nut crackers to beer steins. There is a small ‘Christmas museum’ in the top floor of the Christmas shop, access is a few euros, but you really aren’t missing out on much if you don’t go there. It consists of several dioramas, and is unmanned.

A souvenir from the local shop, a mini German bierkrug:

I was also surprised by the variety of restaurants here, given the small size of the town. Apart from your German cuisine, there was also I believe, Italian, and Chinese. The Chinese restaurant’s food was actually quite good, and much better than any other Chinese food I had tried on the Europe trip. The prices here in Rothenburg (accommodation and food) were all surprisingly reasonable, and the Chinese restaurant also had generous sized accommodation in the form of many large homey bedrooms and beds. The owner even gave us extra free rice to take with the rest of our dinner.

Of course there were chocolate and sweets shops here too!

Don’t you just want to eat them all?

Schneeballenträume or Snowball dreams, is a specialty pastry from Rothenburg, that apparently you cannot get in winter. It is a sweet ball of pastry coated with things like icing sugar, chocolate, or coconut.

Getting here:

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We got here by rail, there is a dedicated station just for this small town, you can then take a short and cheap taxi ride to your hotel, however the station is quite small. One can also drive here or join a tour group. We booked our Eurail tickets before arriving in Europe and it was just a matter of getting the right train.

But first, you probably need a flight. Book yours below:

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Architecture Europe France Photography Travel

Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower

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Okay so there’s not much to say about the Eiffel Tower, everyone knows about it, so this week’s post will be brief. Last week’s post was about Notre Dame Cathedral.

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There are tickets to access the top of the Eiffel tower, and you can use the tower as a lookout over the city. While you can pay to access go up the (not to the top) tower, the Eiffel Tower itself is best seen and photographed from far away in order to fit all of it in your frame. After all, it is the landmark that makes the city instantly identifiable. See this page regarding admission prices for the tower. Although the access prices aren’t so bad (yet they do have several varying prices for different people, make sure you check their prices before you go!!), my advice is to skip it as it’s not a must do (you’re here to see the tower which must be done from a far… not to go up it.)

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A good place to photograph the Eiffel Tower is the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which is a war memorial. There are also ticket charges for this. See here for details. You can buy tickets at the top, once you take the lift up. The Arc de Triomphe is built on a roundabout in the middle of the road and surrounded by chain barriers. Just go right over them.

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There is a gift shop here, but I feel the prices are exceedingly over priced.

As the top is serviced by a lift, I would say that it is wheels accessible, but the lift is extremely small. Just a heads up. Perhaps you can email them ahead of time to ask if it can fit a pram or wheelchair.

This is the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe:

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Both are architectural landmarks and a popular photography subject.

Click here for my post on Rothenburg, Germany!

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Architecture Europe France Photo Posts (feast your eyes) Photography Travel

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France – a photo post

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Last week I reviewed The Louvre.

This week’s post is about the Notre Dame Cathedral.

The impressive and intimidating Gothic architecture the Notre Dame cathedral is free to visit and see. The cathedral was constructed in the late 1100’s. This is another popular architectural photography subject, and a great destination for traditional architecture lovers.

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I highly recommend coming here for the architecture, it’s a great place to take photographs or to have a sit outside by the cathedral. The cathedral itself is free to enter, however there is a small fee of a few euros to climb the tower. There are long lines and large crowds during peak times.

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The architectural decor is beautifully detailed and the scale is magnificent. Just look at the scale of the doors and the archways, not to mention the windows.

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Look at the detail in the construction works.

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Come in spring and enjoy an ice cream by the nearby park.

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For more photos, see my gallery here.

Getting here:
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

The Notre dame is located along and on the north side of the Seine River.

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Looking south-east down the Seine River with the cathedral on the left hand side:

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You can take the metro here and walk. On a nice day, you can visit the cathedral and stroll through the area, enjoying food at one of the many local shops.

For more photos, click here.

Next week: Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower

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Architecture Europe France Museum Photography Travel

The Louvre, Paris, France

Last week I reviewed The Palace of Versailles. This week I am reviewing The Louvre.

Apologies in advance for the lack of photos as I was spending the time exploring the huge museum.

If you are planning a trip to Europe, the best way to get around Europe is by rail. It is fast and has more leg room and space to walk around than a plane and can be much cheaper.

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The Louvre is an art museum housed in the French palace and fortress built for Philippe Auguste in 1190. The architecture here is fantastic, and even if you don’t want to pay for entry, you can still have a great time photographing this place, as this is a pretty popular architectural photography subject among photographers, and can be a great destination for architecture and photography lovers.

I don’t have many photos, but I do have some tips.

The museum is large. Really large. Come early in the day or come on multiple days. Admission price is reasonable at €15 per person. All visitors with ID under 26 get free entry after 6pm but you’d have to come many days if you use this method cause the museum is really large. There is free entry on the first Sunday of every month from October to March inclusive, this probably means huge crowds.


The museum is open everyday except Tuesdays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and May 1, and free entry on Bastille Day (July 14).

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Tip: The Mona Lisa painting is here… but it is tiny. About A4 size. Plus there is an acrylic case/frame around it, and heaps of people crowding around it to take a crooked, glared shot of it. I am telling you now. It is not worth your time to line up with them just so you can get a blurry photo of it. Prepare to be disappointed.

Or, you can use this to your advantage. Literally across the room from it, is the beautiful, beautiful Wedding at Cana painting. It is huge. Really huge. Bigger than your average living room huge. And skillfully painted in beautiful, vibrant colours. While the Mona Lisa attracts everyone else like a magnet, use this to your advantage to get a full shot of the Wedding at Cana.

Getting here:
You can catch the metro and walk here. The metro is not expensive and within walking distance (even for a slow walker like me with low tolerance for walking).

Recommended visiting duration:
Really, I can stay here all day from the time it opens to the time it closes and still not get everything in. But if you only have one day, then do just that: come early and leave late. Bring your own food so you can save time and money and use the rest of the time exploring the museum.

Visit their official site for more info on admissions and hours.

To see more of what I did in France, click here.

Next week: The Notre Dame Cathedral.

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Categories
Architecture Europe France Museum Photo Posts (feast your eyes) Travel

Versailles, Paris, France – A photo post

Last time I reviewed the beautiful La Secour cathedral. This post will be about the Palace of Versailles,the famous French palace and garden of King Louis the 8th, which is now a museum open to the public. Entry price varies according to the package you want (with or without access to the gardens, plus other exhibits). This can get very crowded during peak season, and there are LOTS of visitors here. There are gift shops inside, selling things from pens and post cards, to books on the palace. Audio guides are available. Visitors can see the private chambers of the king and queen, the Hall of Mirrors, the fantastic and beautiful paintings and walk around in the large garden. Coaches bring lots of tourists here,  but you can easily walk here from the closest metro station (which I have since forgotten the name of).


Recommendation: I highly recommend this place, as it is full of real history, beautiful architecture and a great change from commercialised city attractions. However, the palace is quite large and there are many tourists, so either come early in the day as soon as it opens or get a multi-day pass. This place is really worth your time (there’s only so much you can do at the Eiffel Tower).

Lines of tourists waiting outside to get in:DSC00035

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And more inside:DSC00052

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But as you can see, is worth the wait:

Beautiful gold gate with stone wall:DSC00049

The palace inside the gates:DSC00063

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Detail of the roof, walls and balconiesDSC00060

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Inside the palace.

Some places are off limits to visitors, like this place:DSC00071

And this place:

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A miniature model of the entire estate and gardenDSC00078

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Ornate rooms inside the palace and beautiful muralsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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I admire the detail in the architecture, the interior decorations and the beautiful, beautiful paintings by the skilled artists. How hard is it to paint realistic paintings on a flat surface, let alone a curved roof like that! The gold decorations and the crystal chandeliers are a beautiful match and the entire rooms shines when the curtains let in natural light.

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Visit their official website in English here.

To see more of what I did in France, click here.

Next week: The Louvre.

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Architecture Europe France Photography Travel

La Secour, Paris, France

Welcome to a new series of posts of my travels in Europe. These posts are about my travels to Europe in 2013… so the exact details of a few things aren’t that clear now, but there are plenty of photos.

The best way to get around Europe is obviously by rail, and I trust most people already know that. My experience with the rail system in Europe was quite good. Fast, clean and more leg room than planes, it is probably a more convenient option than planes. There are still baggage limits though.

La Secour
When you think of Paris, you probably think of the Notre Dame and the Eifel Tower. La Secour is a lesser known and undrated, yet still magnificent cathedral in Paris. It is free to enter, and away from the main city, surrounded by grass and trees. It is located on a hill top accessed by several-but-shallow steps. The view from the top of the cathedral is terrific as the cathedral is already on a hill.

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Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the interior, but here are some pictures of the outside:DSC00008

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I really recommend coming here because this place is really underated. The construction and architecture is magnificent, and the roundness of the domes are a change to the usual sharp intimidating looks of Gothic cathedrals.


Recommended stay time:
One to two hours, (possibly longer if you want to go in and admire in detail the detail of the architecture) depending on how busy it is and how fast you want to go through the area. The cathedral is free to enter so you may want to spend some time here.

Getting here:
We stayed in an apartment close to the La Secour, so we walked here, however in the opposite direction there was a tram stop so it is walkable.

Tip: I want to take this opportunity to bring to light an ongoing issue that goes beyond tourist scams. There are some street souvenir vendors here who try to pressure you into buying their handmade bracelets by grabbing your arm and strapping them on. They don’t hurt you, and I understand their sad vicious cycle plight that the media rarely digs deep into the root problem of, but you should just be aware of this. These people are immigrants who have fallen into a viscous cycle and live in fear of arrests. The local police’s only solution to these immigrants, legal or not, is to arrest them. I read about the sad story of an immigrant who, at only 29, originally arrived in France 5 years beforehand to donate a kidney to his sister (who married a local French man). His residence permit since expired and was not renewed. To avoid arrest by local police, he jumped into the Marne River and died of a heart attack. I really hope one day soon the problem can be solved, and not just by endless arrests.

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Photography Travel

Do and see: 9 places to do a quick stop at in South Island, New Zealand

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By now I’m sure you have read through all my other posts about what I did in New Zealand last year. Well, the fun’s not over just yet. In this post I will write some short summaries of other places I stopped at, that you can too, on our self-guided trip. Best of all, these are mostly free.


1. Dunedin Railway Station

IMG_1557This train station was built in the early 1900s, and has been fully restored. There is only one train that actually uses this station now, a tourist train. The station building itself is free and open to visitors as tourist attraction for its grand architecture and garden. Inside the building there are some small craft shops/galleries and a tourist information reception, and public toilets. There is free parking nearby. The platform is freely accessible.

Location: At the end of Stuart Street and along Castle Street, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand.
Recommended stay time: About 30 minutes during a quiet time, no more than 1 hour as there isn’t that much to see inside.

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2. Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

dsc9326-edit-lgPhotography by Mike Hollman Architects: Robert Tongue and Baker Garden Architects.

This is a large and free museum definitely worth your time for in Dunedin. There are a variety of exhibits, with a cafe and gift store. Exhibits range from life of the early native people, European settlers’ journey to and early and later life in New Zealand.

Replica of a ship’s interiors:IMG_1558

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Location: At the end of Burlington Street and along Castle Street, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand, next to the Dunedin Railway station.
Recommended stay time:
About 30 minutes during a quiet time, no more than 1 hour as there isn’t that much to see inside.

3. The Milford Road campsiteIMG_1774

There are several campsites in the Milford Sound area along Milford Road, some are powered and some are not. It was quite cold though, even in January when it is supposed to be summer. There are portable toilets. Not quite sure about running water though.

You can camp  here and go for a drive during the day to see the scenic areas along the road. These pictures were taken at the Kiosk Creek camp site. Camp fees apply. Read about Fees here.IMG_1758

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4. Driving along the Milford Road and other scenic roads in South Island

Scenic spots are plentiful along the highways in the mountains around the Milford Sound area (and pretty much anywhere else in the South Island). Along the highway, sometimes there are look out opportunities, stop areas along the highway where you can stop your car and step out to stretch your legs and enjoy the view. I do have to say that sometimes it does get a bit monotonous. At other places along the road/grass fields, you can stop your car on the road side.

Scenes vary depending on location. Some places there are grassy fields, some places there are water, but almost all the places even in Queenstown, has mountains.

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A lookout opportunity along a road. There are places for cars and coaches to stop to allow people out. A coach came while we were here. Warning: Do be very careful in places like these and only visit during day light hours!!! There are no railings and civilisation is very far from these highways, and cell reception is not common.IMG_1811

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An actual lookout near/along Milford Road with boardwalks and maps and information boards (not in pictures). I don’t remember the name of this place, if you do find it, this is a nice place for a (very short) stroll. The boardwalk in the picture leads down to the water from the road side and is in the trees, but there are signs along the road.IMG_1780

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5. Bungy jump viewing at the Kawarau Bridge

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The bungy jump viewing is free to the general public if you don’t want to do the jump yourself. Apart from that, the view of the water is magnificent, because that water is actually turquoise blue. Just look at it! No filter or editing! You can also do kayaking here, as seen in the picture. This is also a great place for photography. Unfortunately I only had a phone so I don’t have great pictures.IMG_2107

Click here to see a short video of someone jumping.

6. Aoraki Mountain/Mount Cook

The national park here has a year-round ski resort. You can also go climbing on the mountain on the actual glaciers. We stopped by the base of the mountain and it was pretty cold for me already (in summer in January). You can do a quick stop here if you have little time, or do not intend on going skiing/mountain climbing, and just have a look from the base.IMG_2235

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7. New Zealand Alpine Lavender fields

So… I don’t know about you but I don’t like the smell of lavender or the taste of the oil. But if you like it, and don’t mind the extra hype, you can come here to their field and take photos for free. They have an onsite store in a shipping container and EFTPOS facilities. What surprised me is that it was literally in the middle of nowhere… a huge field along the road then BANG a shipping container shop.IMG_2320IMG_2347

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I would only come here for photography but as you can see and probably already know, the purple of the lavender looks greyish and to be entirely honest, that’s the way it looks in real life. You can’t really get those colourful photos you see on the internet and in magazines/posters unless you edit the hell out of it in post production, which I am not a fan of. I like original, honest photography. You can buy lavender oil, soaps, little packs of dried lavender to put in drawers, and others. You can actually walk among the fields of the flowers and sit in the giant chair.

Location: 657 Mt Cook Road, Ben Ohau 7999, New Zealand, right near the south western tip of Lake Pukaki, between Twizel and Tekapo and about an hour after leaving Aoraki Mountain.

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IMG_2379Recommended stay time: If you are just looking around and taking a few photos, no more than 1 hour. Free parking by the side of the road.

8. Mt John University Observatory

This area has a small reasonable fee per vehicle and free parking. You can join one of their paid night tours, or you can use this as a look out for some great views of Lake Tekapo. Located on the top of a hill/mountain, it is quite windy and cold. There is a full cafe here.

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9. Church of the Good Shepherd and Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo village is a small strip of shops and restaurants that appeared suddenly on the side of the motorway as you are driving. There is an information center here that gives free vouchers and pamphlets for nearby attractions such as the hot tubs. You can also buy some souvenirs here. There was one in particular, a cute stuffed sheep that I did not see elsewhere on my entire trip to New Zealand. Regret not getting it.

A short 2 min drive away is the Church of the Good Shepherd by Lake Tekapo. The church itself is a popular subject of many photographs, however it is not allowed inside. The very small one-room cottage church is only open briefly (according to my experience) but isn’t spectacular inside, so you are better off photographing the outside and the water.IMG_2446

The beach/shore is quite rocky instead of sandy and can be hard to walk around. This area is very popular for photography.IMG_2436

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Accommodation New Zealand accommodation Travel

Camelot Motor Lodge in Christchurch, NZ – A Review

This post is a review of Camelot Motor Lodge, a self-catered apartment accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Camelot Motor Lodge – 9.5/10
Address: 28 Papanui Road, Christchurch, 8014, New Zealand

Camelot ‘village’IMG_2454At the end of our trip, we arrived back in Christchurch where we needed to catch our returning flight. Since we are going back to Christchurch why not try a different place and since we were going to try a new place I wanted to try this place because from the photos it looked quite cute.

New Zealand has a lot of European influences from the European immigrants and a lot of the architecture shows this. Camelot Motor Lodge is in the style of English timber villages, and I was surprised at the (albeit simplified) detail. While not 100% detailed in every little way, it was interesting enough for a simple ‘themed’ accommodation. There was a full suit of armour in the reception lobby.IMG_2451 Edit

The apartments, at least our large one, was, in our friend’s words, ‘like a mansion’. (apparently our friend’s family, whom we travelled with, since they had less people in their group, had a much smaller apartment). I have to say it was indeed quite large for a motel room, it was the largest one we stayed in during this trip, had English style windows, cast iron chandeliers with chains, timber roof structure, arched solid timber doors for the main door and a large on inside as well (unfortunately I do not have a picture of this, if you do please contribute!)

This was also the only place we stayed at that had a bathtub.

The apartment was a double storey building, with the second floor being a loft/mezzanine and thus had no door. The second set of beds were upstairs, there are 4 beds in total, 2 of each single and double bed type on each floor.

IMG_2466 editedThe public outdoor pool fence can be seen on the right hand side.

Downstairs bedroom. This is opposite the bathroom.IMG_2474

Upstairs bedroom, single bed by the ‘half-wall’ or on the ‘balcony’ next to the living room chandelier. The half wall blocks most of the direct light from your face but is still pretty bright as the chandelier, which lights up the ground floor, is hanging nearby. This was my bed.IMG_2475

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The ground floor bedroom and a separate combined toilet and bathroom were in a part of the apartment that was separated from the rest by a large wooden door (which I did not take a photo of unfortunately), this means the bedroom itself doesn’t have a door and if you close the wooden door, other people won’t be able to access the toilet, but that’s not much of an issue.

I didn’t see our friend’s room, but when one of them came and saw our room, she said it was like a mansion compared to theirs. I felt it was quite large, for 4 people which was a good thing, however there was no outside balcony, unlike the first place we stayed at. The windows were openable.

Location:
This place was in the city of Christchurch, with restaurants within walking distance.

Facilities:
Free wireless internet with unlimited number of devices, however connection not accessible upstairs in the loft. You are given slips of paper with login information.

There is a car space in front of each apartment. The kitchen is clean and maintained well, the cookware is simple. The combined living room and dining room is good sized and roomy, with a solid timber table, television, sofa, coffee table, DVD player. There are free coffee and tea facilities but they are placed in its own box along with a tray of “mini bar” style snacks, with a price list, so make sure you read the price list before touching anything, just to make sure you know which ones are free and which ones are paid.

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I saw a lot of these stoves that were placed next to the wall. I don’t get why they do this because there is no room for the handlebars of the pots so that means they all have to face one way meaning you can only fit 2 pots at any one time on a 4 burner stove.IMG_2471

The bathroom here is the only bathroom that we came across on the entire trip that had a bathtub which was great if you prefer baths (although I don’t expect to see bathtubs in cheap to mid-range hotels to save space). Basic toiletries were supplied as refillables on the wall (body wash, shampoo and conditioner).

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There is an above ground pool right outside our door, there was also some nice umbrella covered tables and seats by the pool with nice plants growing around.

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The living room has 3 sofas and an armchair, a rectangular timber coffee table and windows with curtains.

The reception has a small DVD library with a good range of popular movies, from Harry Potter to Kill Bill and Under the Tuscan Sun. You can rent them (for free I assume) and watch it in your room’s DVD player.

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Breakfast is not provided.

Total price for 2 apartments for total of 7 people for 1 night: $370.60 New Zealand dollars. This is $50 NZD more expensive than Southern Comfort (but this place does have a pool and DVD library).

Stay time: January 25-26, 2016

Verdict:
I give this place 9.5 out of 10 for location, rooms, comfort, style and facilities. Staff was nice (the reception desk had just one staff member when we were there). The toiletries could have been a little better but were okay (this is a non-essential trivia issue).

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New Zealand Travel

Clay Cliffs, Omarama, New Zealand

The Clay Cliffs in Omarama are a major/recommended (by most travel websites and guides) tourist attraction. Actually, they are just some soft clay peaks, and in my personal opinion, isn’t worth too much of your time. Come prepared on a nice sunny day with the necessary lens, tripod and camera and you should be able to get satisfying shots in only a morning.

The location:
The Clay Cliffs are located in private property so can be a little hard to find. Particularly in this area, where there is nothing but empty roads surrounded by grassy fields in every direction. We spent at least 20 minutes looking for this area, expecting big signs or the like. The only signage was a small sign much like the street name signs you get, on the corner of a road, that said “Clay Cliffs”. The property is accessed via unpaved gravel/dirt roads.

This was the largest sign we encountered, on a gate to private road. There is a small charge of $5 per private vehicle or $20 per bus, New Zealand dollars. The sign says to pay at the Information Center, but when I was there, there was a small small container nearby to put cash in.

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Some reviews on Tripadvisor from 2015 and earlier says the gate was locked, however when I went, the gate was open, although the attractiveness of the site is still equally questionable.

As the area is un-guarded, people are expected to act on honesty, and to READ THE SIGNS. Particularly the SAFETY signs. Like this one, that we encountered further up the road: IMG_2145In faded red letters at the bottom, the sign says: This waterway is infected with Didymo, which is an invasive freshwater diatom that produces brown mucousy stringy mats that clog otherwise clear, low-phosphorus water. As an invasive species and impossible to remove, you do not want to get these on your shoes.

What’s Here:
This isolated area on private property has little to offer besides photography and a hike. Although, you wouldn’t get very far hiking as the cliffs are just peaks and are very soft and crumbly, not solid rock and definitely not suitable for climbing vertically on its face, and the ground is made of broken clay bits that slide beneath your feed on steep places. Wear suitable shoes.

The only other thing to do here is photography. There is the potential to take some good photos here, but only in good sunny weather without rain. For examples, just have a search on the internet.

Getting here:
You might have to ask for general directions once you get to Omarama first, our GPS wasn’t very good at finding this place. Once in the local area, follow the somewhat vague signs. Local hotels would have advertisements and pamphlets for this place.

There are spaces for car parking here, it is a small open dirt field. According to the signs, the ‘car park’ is about 10 minute walk after a 4km drive. We parked too early and ended up being a 20-30 minute walk.

This is what the cliffs look like from some distance away as we approached on foot:IMG_2150

If you are renting a car and driving here, get a 4-wheel drive. You’ll need it to get up a short but steep step.  The road is narrow so drove slowly, go during the day time and watch out for other cars.

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Looking up from within the ‘cliffs’:IMG_2213

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Things to note:
The surrounding areas a sheep pastures and the sheep roam about freely. This also means the sheep droppings are everywhere.

Do not step where there is water near the waterways as they are infested with didymo. You do not want to bring it back with you.

Verdict:
Apart from photography I wouldn’t really recommend this as a must-see destination. Not only is it hard to find but is also a little disappointing once you arrive, especially when compared to the promotional pictures. For photography, go on a sunny day to make the most of the opportunity. Otherwise I recommend doing something else in New Zealand.

Coming soon: My review of the night’s accommodation: Camelot Motor Lodge in Christchurch. Subscribe so you get notified!

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Accommodation New Zealand New Zealand accommodation Photography Travel

Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park – A Review

This post is a review of Top 10 Holiday Park, a camping and caravan grounds with self-catered cabins in Omarama, New Zealand.

Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park – 9/10
Address: 1 Omarama Avenue, Omarama, 9448 New Zealand

Top 10 Holiday Park is a chain company with lots of camp grounds in different cities, providing caravans and campers with camping grounds, electricity, water and cottages.

We rented 2 cottages, each one had a car space in front of it.

The 2 staff members at check in (a man and woman) were not very nice, but the accommodation and facilities are great for a holiday park.

Location:
This place was within a convenient location to the Clay Mountains, although there are other hotels across the road. This location was on the side of the road away from the city, sort of like on the side of a highway. (A lot of the places we drove to in New Zealand on this trip were scattered along long stretches of roads, with the exception of Christchurch where the hotels were in the city).

Facilities:
The facilities here are much better than the previous location, Alpine View and I must say, quite good for a caravan park. The free internet was limited to 3 devices at one time which was a bit inconvenient as that meant 1 person had to log off if another one of us needed internet connection (4 in our group) but I suppose would be sufficient if you had 3 or less people in your group. Internet was fast.

Our cabin had there were 2 bedrooms, one had 2 single beds and one had one double bed. The kitchen was nice, good cookware with clean microwave and fridge. There is a dining table, sofa and television. We had to request milk in little capsules from the check in after seeing there weren’t any in the fridge.

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Plenty of toiletries including soap, shampoo, extra toilet paper, iron, hairdryer and dustpan.

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Towels in the bathroom and on your bed, like in all the other places we stayed at. Bathroom was modern and comfortable.

Bedrooms were comfortable, warm and well equipped with a table lamp for each person and a wardrobe for clothes, however the cabins closest to the road could be a bit noisy at night (only the sounds of occasional cars, nothing like the city, for those of you concerned).

Bedroom 1IMG_2134

Bedroom 2IMG_2130Clean and well furnished. Nice clothes hangers too, not the thin wire ones.

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For campers, there are public kitchens which looked quite clean when we came, pay computer/internet rooms (quite small, about 6 or so computers), laundry rooms, kid’s play equipment (including a large enclosed trampoline), a small tv lounge, and being a camp site, pets are allowed.

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Public laundry roomIMG_2136

TV roomIMG_2135

There was also a playground with a trampoline, a sturdy, enclosed spring-less one.

Total price for 2 cabins for a total of 7 people for 1 night: $328 New Zealand dollars. At this price and given the facilities, I think this is not bad.

Stay time: January 24-25, 2016

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Coming soon: Clay Cliffs, Omarama. Subscribe so you get notified!

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©All rights reserved for all content and photographs, usage on 3rd party sites are forbidden without permission. Photos are taken by author unless otherwise stated.