All posts by Marko

Queenstown: Behind the Scenes (Episode 22)

We travel to Queenstown, New Zealand, the birthplace of adrenaline sports, to conquer the last of our fears: by rocketing down a river at 85/km per hour, jumping 134m off Nevis Bungee, and sky-diving at 15,000 feet over the Southern Alps.  Epic.

 

Coffee Culture in Melbourne

The boys take a espresso-paced tour of Melbourne’s 2,500 coffee shops to learn about why Melbourneans take so much pride in their daily roast.   Appeared on MSN Travel UK on 10 Jan, 2014. 

I felt like a snob.  My brother Alex and I were standing in what I can only describe as a coffee laboratory where glass beakers bubbled away in the background converting top-quality, single-roast, fair-trade coffee from a small-scale Honduran producer into reputedly one of the finest cups of coffee in Melbourne.  As if that mouthful of adjectives weren’t enough to qualify as pretentious, we were drinking our espresso from wine glasses.

Our local guide, Maria Paoli of Melbourne Coffee Tours, raised a glass to her nose, cupped the coffee and closed her eyes in ecstasy.  I attempted to do the same.

I’ve always believed that the longer the name of your coffee order, the worse.  Standing behind someone at Starbucks ordering a grande-mocha-frappachino-latte-with-soy-milk makes me want to scream.  I tend to keep it simple: a cup of coffee, size medium.

I told this to Maria.

“Melbourne is different,” she said with a wink.  “We take our coffee seriously here!”

Read the full article on MSN Travel UK.

 

 

Melbourne: Surfing, Street Art & Swimming with Dolphins

This week we’re in Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia.  From exploring street art to sipping quality coffee and going on a surf trip to Bells Beach, here’s our advice on why you should make Melbourne a stop on your next trip to Oz!

Thank you so much to everyone who made our stay possible – goodonya!
My Destination MelbourneJucy RentalsThe Red Shirt Ambassadors of MelbourneEureka Sky Deck 88University CaféMaria Paoli of Melbourne Coffee ToursBrunettiSensory LabKrimpersThe Vue Grand HotelMoonraker Dolphin SwimSearoad FerriesGreat Ocean Road Surf ToursMornington Star EstatesHot Springs Mornington PeninsulaMoonlit SanctuarySurf World Torquay.

Melbourne: Behind the Scenes (Episode 21)

This week we’re in Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia.  We do a road trip down the Great Ocean Road, surf the legendary Bells Beach, and then swing into the city to dive into cafe culture, street art, and its excellent ethnic food.

Thank you so much to everyone who made our stay possible – goodonya!
My Destination MelbourneJucy RentalsThe Red Shirt Ambassadors of MelbourneEureka Sky Deck 88University CaféMaria Paoli of Melbourne Coffee ToursBrunettiSensory LabKrimpersThe Vue Grand HotelMoonraker Dolphin SwimSearoad FerriesGreat Ocean Road Surf ToursMornington Star EstatesHot Springs Mornington PeninsulaMoonlit SanctuarySurf World Torquay.

 

Whitsundays: Behind the Scenes (Episode 20)

This week we meet up with Ben Southall, the winner of the ‘Best Job in the World’ competition, who shows us the best of the beautiful Whitsundays Islands.  We then knocked off some serious bucket-list-items: scuba diving the great barrier reef and doing barrel rolls in a 1941 bi-plane!

Thank you so much to everyone who made our stay possible: My Destination WhitsundaysHamilton IslandReefview HotelPebble Beach RestaurantWhitsundays Tigermoth AdventuresCruise WhitsundaysReefworld/ReefsleepOcean Rafting, Tim Whitehorn at Capers Bar and GrillAirlie Beach HotelMediterranean ResortsRa Natural HealthMama AfricaBen SouthallFish D’vine RestaurantThe Friendly People of Airlie Beach

Whitsundays: Beaches, Barrel Rolls and the Great Barrier Reef!

We touch down in Queensland, Australia and make a b-line for Airlie Beach before doing barrel rolls in a 1941 bi-plane, setting sail to explore the 74 white-sand islands of the Whitsundays, and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.

Thank you so much to everyone who made our stay possible: My Destination WhitsundaysHamilton IslandReefview HotelPebble Beach RestaurantWhitsundays Tigermoth AdventuresCruise WhitsundaysReefworld/ReefsleepOcean Rafting, Tim Whitehorn at Capers Bar and GrillAirlie Beach HotelMediterranean ResortsRa Natural HealthMama AfricaBen SouthallFish D’vine RestaurantThe Friendly People of Airlie Beach

Getting Up Close to the Great Barrier Reef

Diving the Great Barrier Reef tops the Vagabrothers’ bucket list. But when once they get below the surface they find something they hadn’t expected.  Appeared on MSN Travel UK on 2 Jan, 2014.

The waves came on strong and suddenly.  Within moments of clearing the farthest island in the Whitsundays, Queensland, our catamaran began to pitch in the open ocean as swells smacked our bow from the south east.  The horizon was grey with rainclouds and a strong wind blew across the deck, but I looked at my brother and smiled.  Today we would cross off the single biggest item on our bucket list – scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.

We’d come to Australia explicitly to visit the reef and our minds raced with anticipation: home to 1,625 species of fish and 1,400 coral reef species, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest marine park in the world and one of its seven natural wonders, the largest living organism on earth and the only one seen from space.

We were not alone in our ambitions.  Our boat was a double-decked catamaran packed with over a hundred passengers to Reefworld, a semi-permanent pontoon anchored just off the edge of the most accessible section of an ecosystem larger than Texas.

Read the full story on MSN Travel UK.

In Search of Paradise on the Gili Islands

As the Vagabrothers ditch the tourist-saturated beaches of Bali, they head for the ‘unspoilt’ Gili Islands. But what happens to paradise once it’s discovered?  Appeared on MSN Travel UK on 20 Dec, 2013.

The Gili islands appeared beyond the bow about an hour and a half after leaving Bali. From a distance, it was all that we had expected: three untouched islands floating in a sea of peaceful azure waters, not a trace of mankind in sight.

“You’re going to love this place,” said Brendan, a South African expat who was showing us around the island. “No cars, no paved roads, and very few tourists. It’s like Bali was twenty years ago.”

In Bali we’d come looking for paradise but instead found a seemingly endless stretch of hotels and western-style bars spreading across the south of the island. This trip was our escape from this over-development. I was eager to get off the boat and onto the beach of this supposedly unspoilt island.

We were not the only ones on the search. Our boat was filled to the brim with backpackers, all of usneager to enjoy this slice of paradise. There was still no port, so we docked by driving our bow into the sand and unloading 50 backpackers directly onto the beach. As I got off, I looked to our left and saw another, bigger boat doing the same.

Then to my right, I saw a chain of locals unloading supplies from a half dozen small fishing boats – crates of beer and water and hundreds of bags of cement.

“Just like Bali twenty years ago,” I repeated to myself. But as I watched the boats dumping foreigners and cement onto the beach, it felt closer to a backpacker version of D-Day.

Read the full story on MSN Travel UK.

Bali: Scenery, Spirituality and Exploration

BBBTV Week 19: Bali & Gili, Indonesia

Bali sticks out from the rest of Indonesia: from its iconic terraced rice paddies to world-class surf, meditation and yoga retreats and a unique blend of Asian and Hindu cultures.  Here’s our tips on what to do in Bali and the Gili islands.

Thank you so much to everyone who made our stay possible: My Destination BaliMy Destination Lombok & GiliAlila Hotel UbudHarris Hotel JimbaranThe Grand Mirage ResortThalasso BaliNirwana GuesthouseDrunken Monkeyz Party BoatThe Big Bubble Scuba DiveThe Yoga Barn.

Bali: Behind the Scenes (Episode 19)

BBBTV Week 19: Bali & Gili, Indonesia

We came to Bali and Gili Trawangan looking for three types of paradise: spiritual enlightenment, the perfect wave and an unspoilt island.  Instead, we discover the paradox of the tourist looking for paradise.

Thank you so much to everyone who made our stay possible: My Destination Bali, My Destination Lombok & Gili, Alila Hotel Ubud, Harris Hotel Jimbaran, The Grand Mirage Resort, Thalasso Bali, Nirwana Guesthouse, Drunken Monkeyz Party Boat, The Big Bubble Scuba Dive, and The Yoga Barn.