Every Kiwi should take this trip at least once. It’s truly the flight of a lifetime – and rightly billed as the Grand Traverse. A one hour romp with Tekapo’s Air Safaris, up-close with New Zealand’s highest mountains, ice and snow fields. Short of being a mountain Thar, it’s the easiest way to enjoy an astonishingly intimate encounter with the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the jagged peaks of over one hundred forty mountains that soar above 2000 metres within Mount Cook National Park. Chris Lynch recently took a flight with Air Safaris.
Lithuania’s capital city. Mike Yardley was fully expecting an oppressive grey urban fabric, but the old town’s architectural splendour belies its blood-stained backstory. Nearly half of the city centre was destroyed in world war two, but the restoration effort, even behind the Iron Curtain, has endowed Vilnius with an enduring fairytale setting. Stirring architecture in some many styles, Gothic, Renaissance and big showy Baroque confections. Instagram central!
If you’re road tripping this summer in New Zealand, Mike highly recommends the scenic drives from Whangarei. Whenever he heads up to Northland, Mike always feels like he’s taking a glorified overseas trip, because the terrain and the sub-tropical foliage is so positively South Pacific. The two hour Tutukaka Coast loop drive is incredibly photogenic – and the most famous, but there’s a string of other scenic short drives he recommends.
Like Oxford, Cambridge is one of the most English of English cities, anchored by its sprawling scholarly mecca. Cambridge boasts the second oldest university in the English speaking world, founded by a group of Oxford scholars who had a tiff with local townsfolk, upped sticks and established their rival university. With an alumni roster second to none, getting a taste of these hallowed halls, where you can walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton is the big draw. And architecturally, Cambridge is an absolute eye-ball feast. Mike and Chris unwrap some if its secrets.