Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why go to Buckingham Palace? You can see something more impressive in Stockholm

Australia is very close connected to Great Britain. As most of you know, the populating of Australia with people of European origin started with the sending of convicts from Great Britain, so many of the inhabitants of Australia will have ties with Great Britain. The Queen of Great Britain is also Queen of Australia, so it is probably natural for Australians to visit Buckingham Palace where the Queen resides and where you can see the daily changing of guards. But why visit Buckingham Palace? You can see a similar ceremony with greater pomp at the Royal Palace at Stockholm, the Swedish Royal residence. It is one of the largest and most classy palaces in Europe. It was built in 1754 on the remains of an earlier medieval castle. The changing of the guard takes place in front of the palace every day at 12.15pm. On Sundays, it will be at 1.15pm.

The Stockholm Royal Palace is located in Gamla stan (Old Town) with its cobbled streets and narrow 17th-century alleys. Gamla stan will be of interest to history buffs with many building of Swedish architecture from the 17th century. Shoppers will like Gamla stan with small and large shops lining the streets offering jewellery, souvenirs, rare books and gifts. You may also encounter street musicians. There is also the 13th-century Cathedral, the Storkyrkan.

Other major Stockholm’s attractions are the island of Djurgården with entertainment outlets, museums, restaurants and forested green space. It used to be the royal hunting ground, but now tourists hunt for souvenirs at the Handarbetets Vanner (handicraft centre). You can also visit the art galleries. Thrills and spills at available at Gröna Lund, Stockholm's amusement park. Skansen open-air museum is located at Djurgården where you can ogle at Nordic wildlife at the zoo. There will also be folk dancing. At Junibacken, you will find the National Museum of Cultural History and the Vasa Museum which shows the restored 17th-century vessel raised from Stockholm harbour. It was in 1628 that the ancient warship, Vasa sailed from Stockholm on her maiden voyage and sank. It was discovered in 1961, salvaged and restored. It is now the world's only well preserved 17th-century ship.

There are many other attractions in Stockholm which will be quite different from what you can find in Australia. Plan on a visit? If you are on a budget, you can probably find cheap hotels in Stockholm. If you plan to travel in group of 11 or more, or planning a conference at Stockholm , you can probably get discounts and conference facilities (if required) at the Group booking form. Want the convenience of staying in Stockholm city center. Book your accommodation at Cheap hotels in Stockholm City Centre. There are many other possibilities. Go check out their site for yourself.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Go to Hawaii if you have enough of Gold Coast, Australia

Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef are great places to visit, but if you go there often, it can become routine and boring. How about visiting Hawaii for a change? Things you can get there that you can't get at the Gold Coast include viewing the spouting humpback whales, dormant and active volcanoes, Hawaiian culture such as the Hula dance, etc. Hawaii stress on ecotourism, and there is plenty of nature you can experience and local culture you can sample there and it is ecotourism if you stick to the web definition of ecotourism: "Travel undertaken to witness sites or regions of unique natural or ecologic quality, or the provision of services to facilitate such travel." There is no mention of offsetting CO2 emission caused by the round trip travel by such tourism. I found an Australian site (which gave a lot of choices of departure and arrival points, even including non-Australian departure points at ClimateFriendly. I filled in a form and found that a round trip from Melbourne, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii for 1 person will result in trip of 8874km and a carbon emission of 5.3 tonnes. For the environmentally conscious, there are sites that offer ways of offsetting that if you trust them. Just use the search engines to search for them.

Hawaii consists of six island (some says eight) and the biggest island is Hawaii Big Island. North of that is the interesting Maui Island, and at the southern tip of Maalaea Bay is Kihei. Kihei is a bustling place and yet can be a relaxing place to spend your vacation and is not as expensive as places like Wailea. You can find affordable accommodations as described in Kihei Maui Condos. You can get more information about Kihei condominiums at A Kihei Condominium at Fantastic Price.

As mentioned above, Kihei is part of the Maalaea Bay, a place where spouting humpback whales come to have their babies in winter. You can watch them from the shore or take a whale watching boat tour that departs from Maalaea Harbor daily during the seasonal migration. You can also enjoy the nice beaches in Kihei or other parts of the Maalaea Bay. You can also enjoy nice view of the Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano.

If Kihei is not the place you are planning to visit, you can get more information on other condominiums on Maui Island in Maui Condos are cooking

You don't have to restrict yourself to Maui Island or just condos. You can find Hawaiian Vacation Rentals, Hawaiian Condos, Hawaiian Hotels on other islands at Hawaiian Beach Rentals.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Scuba Diving In The Great Barrier Reef - Australia

Scuba Diving In The Great Barrier Reef - Australia
by: Chris Chew

One of the world's most famous scuba diving dive sites is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, off the east coast of Australia is the only living organic collective on earth visible from outer space. The other is a man made structure, The Great Wall of China.

This reef is regarded as one of the wonders of the world and was declared as a World Heritage in 1981. It is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem. Being so huge, magnificent dive spots and beautiful marine life and sceneries abound.

The Great Barrier is more than 300,000 sq km in size and consists of more than 3000 reefs. Deciding where to dive in this huge diving destination can be a gigantic headache. Then again, that is a happy problem because of the many wonderful choices you have.

One of the greatest dangers to the reef, especially to the corals is the Crown of Thorns starfish. This starfish eat corals and have ravenous appetites. Vast stretches of underwater life had on many occasions been destroyed by the Crown of Thorns starfish. Do not try to save the reef by cutting up the starfish. It will not die that way, instead it multiplies just like viruses splitting themselves up to multiply their numbers.

Wreck diving is a favorite scuba diving activity. Amongst the many wrecks are Captain James Cook's ship "Endeavour". Another famous wreck is that of the HMS Pandora, which met its fate in 1791. There are about 30 shipwreck sites, most of them are opened to wreck divers.

More than 2 million people visit the reef every year spending about a billion US dollars collectively making tourism as the main pillar of the eastern Australia economy. Since tourism dollar is very important, it is vital for the Australian economy to protect the reef from destruction hence it is protected in many ways. As a form of protection, fishing is restricted in some areas and animals such as dolphins, whales, dugong (a seal look alike animal sometimes mistaken for mermaids) are protected.

For the more adventurous divers, there are dives to view shark feedings, especially the ferocious man eater, The Great White Shark. Divers are put into the water in steel cages to view these man eating sharks closed up. For non divers, there are island hopping cruises as well as whale watching cruises to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

About The Author
Chris Chew has been scuba diving for more than thirty years. Read more travelling articles at his websites at and