If Australia is on your radar for your next big trip, you’re certainly not alone. Drawn to its year-round climate, iconic buildings and stunning natural wonders, 6.4 million visitors landed down under last year, many for the first time. How many of them, though, knew their ‘bonzer barbies’ from their ‘fair dinkum dingos?’ If that furrowed your brow, you must read on and find out the biggest questions you should be asking for your trip to the biggest island in the world.
Weeks prior to going to Fiji, I was told that part of my itinerary included shark diving. Divers dream of this opportunity and many of them go to Fiji solely to dive alongside dozens of different kinds of sharks. Beqa Adventure Divers is a well known company that offers this amazing experience. I started showing off on Facebook and Twitter about what I was about to do. I was excited.
One of the most memorable parts of my trip to Fiji were the people. Everywhere we went, we were greeted with a full smile and a bula (hello in Fijian). Their hospitality felt nice and welcoming.
Stepping out of the airplane and onto the warm tarmac, arrival in Rarotonga is a relaxed affair. There’s a tiny terminal ahead, containing a man strumming a ukulele in welcome, with the sweet floral smell of hibiscus and tropical humidity in the air.
When two seats opened up at the small table to our left, I nearly shoved the previous occupants out of the way to duck under the umbrella canopy and slide sideways into the wicker chairs. It was shoulder-to-shoulder, elbow-to-elbow amidst the packed tables in the narrow laneway, and the competition was intense for some of Melbourne’s finest coffee, and by that measure, some of the finest in the whole southern hemisphere.
Travel writing is rife with “life changing” “unforgettable” or “spiritual” experiences. It’s good practice to approach these with a degree of skepticism; many of us have had experiences like these, all of which are interpreted differently by the participants. Swimming alongside the planet’s largest creatures was different. Floating eye-to-eye with a baby whale 40 times your size stirs emotions you’ll never forget.