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The changing face of travel

October 7, 2017 Headline News, Travel Feature 1 Comment Email Email

Dallas Sherringham ponders Why and Where.

When people find out you are a travel writer, the question inevitably arises: What is your favourite place to visit?

I used to give a detailed rundown of my favourite places, blurting out the joys of unspoilt Hawaii in those days or fun times I had in North Queensland as a younger man, but these days I am much more likely to recommend an experience rather than just pick a place.

You see the world changes and so do travellers. Today’s mature traveller is much more likely to want to do something on holiday rather than just watch the water dancing at their doorstep.

They are known by several names, but soft adventures seem to be the best way to describe the holidays that older Australians are taking overseas.

War graves Rabaul

If you can photograph the sun coming up over Bora Bora, feed a few sharks before lunch, dive on a coral reef after lunch and watch the sun go down while munching on a lobster washed down by a Marlborough Sounds Sav Blanc….well you get the idea.

Mature travellers are often seeing the world again in a new luxurious light after first visiting the destinations as backpackers in their youth.

This means you have to adjust your writing style accordingly to allow for travellers who have already been to the place you are describing.

Children love getting dressed up

You see, I have found out is that today’s mature traveller is much more likely to have experienced the joys of watching wildlife in Alaska or walking the mountains around Machu Pichu long before I arrived.

I learn far more from a conversation amongst experienced travellers than I ever give out

So what we try to do in our weekly nationwide travel feature is to give our readers a more detailed experience and to find places and experiences they may have missed.

How many times I have heard the saying: “We stopped there on our bus trip but we didn’t think much of it”.

Sepik River. PNG

Inevitably they have spent two hours in a spot like Prague where there is at least a week’s worth of great things to do. Or their cruise ship spent a day is Fiji’s Yasawa when a seven day cruise of the area on Captain Cook Cruises leaving you wanting more.

So, For what it’s worth, my two favourite experiences amongst the trips I have done worldwide are the adventure cruise I took to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu backed up by the second best which is an expedition cruise to Australia’s Kimberley region.

Off the Kimberly

I found the journey from Rabaul to the Sepik and then Milne Bay and on to the Solomons to be totally out of this world, in more ways than one.

It was a unique chance to experience a lost, virtually untouched region inhabited by the most friendly people I have met anywhere. They really enjoyed our visit and we went to places that had never seen a tourist group before.

The tourist brochures and resort bound TV shows can never capture the true colours or the joyous sounds you will hear. They can never really capture the thrill of seeing native dancers in full cry or watching a mock spear charge by screaming warriors where you are the target.

Mitchell Falls. Kimberly

Backed up by great meals and camaraderie on board the cruise boat and you had the perfect holiday in my book. You see, “awesome” is a much over used word to describe experiences these days, but it doesn’t begin to explain this adventure: it was “awetastic”

Australia’s Kimberley is my second favourite destination: it has everyone the Great Australian Adventure requires. Nothing I can write here would begin to do it justice.

My advice to you is to save up your pennies and invest in a cruise from Darwin to Broome just once in lifetime. I have never met one person who did not return starry eyed from this totally untouched and largely unknown region.

After a hard day exploring 

My third favourite spot may surprise some people as I am not a city person. However, San Francisco is a great place to visit because I love riding like a big kid on the cable cars and the heritage street cars. I also enjoy the morning cruise out to the Golden Gate Bridge with its ever changing ever evolving light.

Combine it with a trip to nearby Yosemite and you have the perfect combination of a great city and perhaps the world’s most dramatic and stunningly beautiful valley.

Cruising the Kimberly

I lived near Yosemite for a while in my younger days and I always remember that time in the snow filled forest with misty eyes. Going back to valley is always exciting, always breathtaking.

I also cruised from San Francisco to Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and Sydney and I would rate it the best major cruise ship experience on earth.

Typical Kimberly sunset

Words by Dallas Sherringham Photos by Michael Osborne

Feature supplied by:

Nares Point. Kimberly

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:


    I have read with interest the article which I consider a “travel report” not found any “Change of face in Travel”
    My article “Assam” published by eTN is a real change of face in Travel” being a special report on a cruise ship on the Brahmaputra River.

    Why the expression “washed down by…..” is frequently used?
    Personally, I find it revolting!

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