SOUTH ISLAND BLUES

New Zealand’s south island knows it’s blues.  The only other place I have been that equals N.Z. for blue is Canada.  But then N.Z. is like a mini Canada, and we all know good things come in small packages!  We headed from Timaru through Mackenzie Country to Lake Tekapo with some kiwi friends.  The guys […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

WE WANT TO HOUSE-SIT AGAIN!

Our first house-sitting assignment was for a work colleague of my husbands.  She lived with her partner on Magnetic Island, Queensland and worked in Townsville.  We eagerly replied to the notice she posted on the work noticeboard. Magnetic Island is special to most people born and raised in Townsville.  It is only 8km off-shore and […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

MONKS, BUDDHAS AND PHOUSI

Even though we knew we had to be in position by 6 a.m. to see Tak Bat, (the monks receiving alms from the public), we managed to arrive late.  This gave us an unconventional view of the early morning ritual – that of following along behind the monks – and they set a mean pace […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

GO SEE KOUANG SI

Kouang Si waterfall  is set in lush forest 30 km south of Luang Prabang, Laos.  There are several different ways of spelling the name, but I am sticking with the way it is on the sign! The temperature in Luang Prabang in early April was 42 degrees celsius, so understandably a chance to get wet […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

CHRISTMAS IS FOR REMINISCING

One of the most enjoyable things about travel, is reminiscing about it.  With Christmas just around the corner, I have been remembering our one and only cold weather Christmas which we spent in Devon, England.  Our friend Barbara, from Townsville, had married Ed (a Pom) and was living in Devon.  Ed’s parents, John and Molly […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

TAKE THE CROWN RANGE ROAD

Lonely Planet says of the Crown Range Road that links Wanaka to Queenstown in the New Zealand South Island: …it is a narrow, twisting-and-turning mountain road that needs to be tackled with care… Marty knows from experience that when I read this we were going to take it!  Although I do not love scary roads […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

INTERVIEW WITH FELLOW AUSSIE, JAKE TURNER

I have always intended Interviews to be an important part of the Budget Travel Talk experience. ***DRUM ROLL*** First cab off the rank is our long time friend and occasional co-traveller, Jake Turner,  who thrives on getting to know the local people and food.  He is interested in life stories and I can’t wait to […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

MONTREAL – TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVES

Torn between the two! In Montreal, we stayed at Auberge Alternative , in a private room for two people for $85.00 a night all up including a breakfast of Cereal or the Montreal favourite – bagels, spreads, freshly brewed coffee/tea and juice. Situated in Old Montreal, the renovated factory, overflowed with character.  Reception was on […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

LAID BACK IN LUSCIOUS, LUANG PRABANG

Marty and I had been looking for such a place to kick off our 3 month trip in 2010.  He had long wanted to visit Canada and being such a large country we had allocated seven weeks for it, while I had Luang Prabang, Italy and New York in my sights, so we bought a […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]

MANGOES FOR CHRISTMAS

If you live where mangoes are grown, in our case North Queensland, and don’t like them, then you are being ripped off.  It is only when the smell of ripening mangoes fills my kitchen that I know Christmas is really here. Locally, most people eat Bowen Mangoes as the mango of choice.  That is because […]

[twitter-follow username="budgettrvltalk" scheme="dark"]