• Visit the remains of this old prison

  • Brett & Kate Goulston on our recce

  • French colonial building

  • The toughest penal colony of all time

  • Interesting old buildings to explore

  • Nature taking its course

  • Welcome to Devil's Island

Ilies du Salut (Devils Island), French Guiana

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I watched the movie Papillon with my parents at the local drive-in theatre in North Ryde. The Steve McQueen/Dustin Hoffman classic left a

  • St George's Cathedral

  • Inside the Cricket Club bar

  • Meet the locals selling fish

  • Stabroek Market in Georgetown

  • The famous Georgetown Cricket Club

  • The gentle giants - Manatees in the Central park

Georgetown, Guyana

I arrived with Kate into cricket-mad Guyana from Panama City. The airport at Georgetown (named after King George III) is about an hour’s drive from the city. Our driver, Patrick, talks the entire

  • Troop of gorillas with silverback on the left.

  • Avoid direct eye contact with a silverback

  • Do you think they saw us?

  • Brett and the gorilla. Brett's the one with the camera.

  • Riding on mum's back

  • Looking right at you. Such amazing faces

  • Lunch anyone?

Gorilla tracking, Volcano National Park, Rwanda

Along with my small group of 8, I crossed the border into Rwanda from Uganda with the typical level of bureaucracy expected in a developing African nation. After an hour

  • Young Mursi girls

  • Mursi tribesman carrying kalashnikov rifle

  • Mursi women, known for the plates worn in their lower lip

  • Young Mursi warriors

  • Mursi women wearing clay plates in their lips

The incredible people of the Mursi Tribe

You probably know them by sight if not by name – the Mursi is one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa, widely recognised for the clay plates the women

  • The Cheetah the fastest mammal on land

  • Trio of hippos

  • Jackals are nocturnal, omnivorous scavengers

  • Burchall zebra grazing in Etosha

  • Loins spotted in Etosha National Park

  • Incredible to see a leopard climbing a tree

  • You will see a lot of varieties of these in Etosha

  • Black rhino in Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Many people who have travelled to Namibia’s Etosha National Park rate it as the best wildlife-spotting destination in Southern Africa. Having taken a trip to Namibia on one of our

  • Zebra at a watering hole can be a sign of lion nearby

  • Those long legs making eating the treetops easy ... but getting a drink is another matter!

  • Desert lions in Etosha National Park

  • Deer abound in Etosha

  • Desert elephants in Damaraland

  • An old bull elephant in Damaraland

Namibia is a jewel of a country – Part 2

Damaraland is a huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful region in Namibia. We stayed at the Mowani Mountain Camp, hidden among some of the region’s massive red granite boulders. The scene

  • Meet the local tribespeople

  • Climbing the sand dunes in Sossusvlei

  • Wreck of a classic car in the desert town of Solitaire Namibia

  • Red sand dunes of Sossusvlei

  • Delivering your luggage

  • Dramatic scenery of Sossusvlei

  • Wreck of a classic car in Namibia

Namibia is a jewel of a country – Part 1

Sometimes described as Africa for beginners, Namibia unexpectedly assembles in one place many iconic experiences: the highest sand dunes in the world; the deepest canyon in Africa; one of Africa’s richest

  • Welcoming committee

  • Boats along the river

  • Kate and the kids around the village

  • You have arrived

  • Entrance to the lodge

  • Suriname River view

Danpaati River Lodge, Suriname

In Surinamese (a combination of Dutch and local language), danpaati means “dam on the parting waters”. The eco-resort is in the middle of the Suriname River, surrounded by thick jungle and small villages mainly inhabited

  • Camels in the desert - no better transport

  • Marnie and Holly Goulston around the indoor kitchen with the locals

  • Amazing colours of the desert

  • Brett Goulston hanging out with the locals

  • Wadi Rum and its lunar landscape

  • A moment with one of the locals

Wadi Rum and its lunar like landscape

Jordan had a little surprise in store for us: we came to tour Petra but it was Wadi Rum that blew us away with its special kind of magic. It

  • You can see forever

  • Ovoo at the top of the Flaming Cliffs

  • Flaming Cliffs also known as Bayanzag

  • Erosion occurring at the cliffs

  • Our 4 wheel drive waiting at the bottom of the valley

  • Spectacular formations

  • Joanne starting the climb down the cliffs

  • Amazing cliffs, amazing scenery

The Flaming Cliffs of Mongolia

The Flaming Cliffs is an escarpment on the edge of the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia, by road some 660kms from the capital Ulaanbaatar. The cliffs became famous in 1923

  • Fishing Cambodian style

  • Meet the local children

  • Selling traditional clay stove pots

  • Bridge over the Mekong River

  • Exotic fruit of Cambodia

  • Local village

  • Village built over the mighty Mekong River

Discover Northern Cambodia

Without a doubt, Cambodia is a poor country – probably the poorest of the region. Some of the rural areas face particular struggles, lacking in basic infrastructure. But regardless of

  • Sanctuary of Monserrate dates back to 1640

  • One of the many exquisite pieces in the Gold Museum

  • Enjoy the funicular ride up to Monserrate

  • Meet the locals playing chess in Bogata

  • Courtyard of the Botero Museum

  • The best gold museum in the world

  • Beautiful imagery at the Botero Museum

24 Hours in Bogota

After three days enjoying Colombia tourism, I expected more tropical weather in Bogota but the first thing I notice on arrival is the temperature. No … it’s not blistering hot

  • Galapagos land iguana

  • Coming aboard

  • The famous blue-footed booby - not to be confused with the red-footed equivalent!

  • Sally Lightfoot crabs everywhere

  • Easy does it for this old tortoise - who could be a century old!

  • Fabulous views from above

  • Hard to resist taking their photo

  • Cruising around in the zodiacs

  • Told you the red-footed booby was different from the blue-footed one!

  • How cute am I?

The Galapagos Islands – one of the foremost wildlife experiences on the planet

All the documentaries I’d seen on the Galapagos Islands inferred that it’s one of the foremost wildlife experiences on the planet. Friends and family members who had travelled there only

  • Colourful costumes in Cartagena

  • Colourful and inviting street cafés abound

  • Courtyard at Convento de la Popa

  • Get your fruit here

  • Castillo San Felipe in Cartagena

  • Tour the mangroves in a simple boat

  • Cartagena's vibrant streetscape

  • Meet the locals

Cartagena’s Old City – an up and coming destination

I’d heard and read a lot about Cartagena, Colombia’s UNESCO-listed old capital on the Caribbean coast. My travel friends kept telling me I had to travel to Columbia and when

  • The Jagalchi Fsh Markets of Busan, South Korea

  • The busy port of Busan

  • You can buy just about anything at the Busan markets

  • Fish markets in Busan

  • Busan is South Korea's second largest city

  • Someone has to open the shells!

  • A cornucopia of sea creatures in Busan!

There are fish markets and then, there are fish markets! Busan, South Korea

There are fish markets and then, there are fish markets!   The Jagalchi Fish Markets in Busan fall into the latter category. Markets are not every traveller’s “thing” but I have

  • Trendy Gdansk at night

  • Like the sign says - Just good strong coffee

  • Gdansk Harbour on the Vistula River

  • The working harbour of Gdansk

  • Old cobblestone street in Gdansk

  • Old Baltic boat in Gdansk harbour

Gdansk – A true gem of Poland

In the north of Poland on the Baltic Sea lies the beautiful city of Gdansk. Take at least a full day – more if you prefer to move at a

  • Bonifacio citadel

  • Autumn is in the air

  • Corsica Calanques

  • The dramatic coast of Bonifacio

  • Calvi's beautiful bay & harbour

  • Autumn in Corsica

  • A visit to the traditional port in Bastia

  • Corte in the heart of Corsica

Can we recommend Corsica? of course we can!

What an island of surprises Corsica proved to be. It may not have been on your radar as a destination but having visited,  its many delights deserve to be shared.

  • Ark Fortress Bukhara

  • Handmade carpets from Bukhara

  • Chor Minor Madrassah

  • Meet the local Bukhara ladies

  • Some of the delicacies on offer in Bukhara

  • Mir-i-Arab Madrasa Bukhara

  • Folk show at Nodir Devon-begi Madrassah

  • Plov cooking demonstration

  • Poi Kalyan complex Bukhara

  • Suzanni at the museum

Bukhara – an ancient city in Central Asia’s Uzbekistan

One of my favourite Silk Road cities is the town of Bukhara, located a few hours west of Samarkand. Like Samarkand, Bukhara is also home to significant and stunning

  • Intricately carved stone figures

  • Colourful India

  • The coastal town of Puri

  • Handsome local

  • The colour of India

  • So India!

  • Bhubaneswar temple

  • Our local guide in India

  • From behind the veil

Odisha India – with it’s complex history, enticing tribal culture and natural beauty

 Over 40 million people live in Odisha (pronounced Orisha) – one of India’s 29 states.  Sitting in the northeast on the Bay of Bengal, it is generally regarded as India’s poorest state, but don’t let this

  • The popular destination of Trakai

  • Rowing boats near Trakai castle

  • 'Egle' Queen of the Serpents - Palanga Botanical Sculpture Garden

  • Art in the park

  • Seaside flowers

  • Sailing ship in Klaipeda port

  • Visit the Hill of Crosses Lithuania

  • Visit Trakai Island Castle

  • Rowing boats near Trakai Castle

Lithuania, The Baltics – One of the gems of Europe

Allow at least a week to see the best of what Lithuania has to offer, including the following highlights.
Without a doubt, the capital city Vilnius, is a treasure.  The

  • Travelling through the locks

  • The train runs alongside the canal between Colon and Panama City

  • The new enormous bridge under construction near San Lorenzo National Park

  • Ships passing through the locks

  • Three locks over the canal's 80kms lift ships up or down about 26 metres

  • The biggest of ships can fit comfortably through the canal

  • Ships take about 8 hours to navigate the length of Panama Canal

The Panama Canal

Since I was a small kid, I’d always wanted to visit Panama and see the Panama Canal.  The notion of watching huge cargo ships glide through the nearly 80km of

  • Express delivery to the market

  • Famous Kolkata River Ghats

  • Strings of yellow and gold marigolds at the Kolkata flower market

  • Kolkata flower market seller surrounded by beauty

  • Potters' quarter near Kolkata flower market churn out wonderful statues

  • Strings of yellow and gold marigolds at the Kolkata flower market

  • One bunch or two?

  • Busy market stalls

Kolkata and its street markets

Kolkata has a dark history from the days of it’s formation by the British East India company in the late 1600s to the early Bengal insurrections such as the Black

  • Stroll down the quaint streets

  • Old wooden Lutheran church in Turaida Park, Latvia

  • Latvian National Opera House Riga

  • The Old Town of Riga and its market square

  • Sigulda New Castle

  • Riga Latvia's Capital

  • Street art in Latvia

Latvia – rich in UNESCO world heritage listed sites

Latvia, part of the Baltic States (a term used by the locals), is a small country with a small population. But there’s much to see and do, around the capital

  • Catch the street performers in the square

  • Inside Kumu Museum

  • Riga's Central Market is located in old German Zeppelin hangars

  • The pretty cityscape of Tallinn

  • Meet your friends in the old town square Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia – Small city, weird language

Arriving on the ferry from Helsinki, two things grabbed my immediate attention about this small, sophisticated, medieval capital city. First, it is one of the most charming and beautiful cities

  • On the Mekong river with Irrawaddy dolphins

  • Everyday life in Kratie village

  • Brett & Kate on the Mekong River

  • Local volleyball team

  • Stroll among the wooden houses north of Kratie

  • The local kids are always up for a chat

  • Loading the wagon

Kratie – The Real Cambodia

Without a doubt, Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s immediately recognisable national icon but there is much more to this beautiful country. If you want to see the real regional Cambodia where

  • Bukchon Hanok Village where there are hundreds of traditional wooden houses

  • Night food markets in Seoul

  • Korean drum outside Gyeongbokgung Palace during the changing of the guard ceremony

  • Buddhist Prayer Ribbons at the DMZ site

  • There are markets everywhere and for everything in Seoul!

  • At the DMZ outside Seoul

A few days in Seoul – South Korea

Years ago in the advertising industry, we used to joke that if a manager did a lousy job, they’d get a “promotion” to run the Seoul office. Well, things have

  • Magnificient Valletta Harbour

  • Local boatman in Valletta Harbour

  • The most famous building in Mosta is the Rotunda

  • Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta

  • The Blue Grotto in Gozo

  • The motto of the village is 'Non Nisi Per Ardua' means 'Only with Ability'

  • Walking in the cool laneways

  • Love Malta - we sure do

  • Mosta Rotunda ceiling

  • Living the simple life in Malta

  • Valletta Watch Tower

Malta is definitely the mouse that roared

Malta is definitely the mouse that roared. It is tiny yet impressive enough for the country to be awarded the George Cross for bravery in World War II. Blue Dot

  • Small islet of Sveti Stefan

  • The fortifications of Kotor

  • Magnificient Bay of Kotor

  • Wonderful old towns to explore

  • Church of St Archangel Michael Herceg Novi

  • Medieval clock tower in Kotor

  • Old town of Kotor

Montenegro – The Black Mountain

If you didn’t know that Montenegro was a country, don’t despair – you’re not on your own! While many travellers from Australia have discovered neighbouring Croatia as a fabulous destination, not so

  • Naga tribal elder

  • Wonderful faces of Naga tribes

  • Wrestling Naga style

  • Pulling of the monolithic stone

  • Tribal costumes you will see at the Hornbill festival

  • Impromptu dancing at the festival

  • Vibrant colours of Hornbill Festival

  • Tribal head gear worn at Hornbill Festival

Hornbill Festival of Nagaland North East India

The north east frontier of India has always been a remote outpost even during the rule of the British Raj. Whilst the famous Assam tea plantations saw early colonial interest

  • Welcome to Guatemala

  • Making tortias at the Chichicastenango markets

  • Something is wrong with this picture?

  • Atitlan volcano

  • Guatemalan masks

  • Meet the local cowboys

  • Local Antigua women selling colourful items

Guatemala – A lesser travelled gem of Central America

We all travel for different kinds of reasons. Some people like ancient history, others prefer more recent colonial history. Some folks love to photograph wildlife, while some would rather eat

  • Ruky mosque near Ashgabat

  • Flag of Turkmenistan

  • Visit the ancient city of Merv

  • Local Turkic family

  • Ministry of Happiness

  • Sheep pen

  • Colourful salad bar

  • Wishing tree - tie a ribbon for good health

  • Ancient city of Nisa

  • UNESCO's ancient city of Merv

Turkmenistan – now for something unusual!

Turkmenistan – Land of the Turkmen – could best be described as an odd country. The former Soviet state became independent in 1991 and was until 2006 ruled by Niyazov,

  • Bear Rock Porto Cervo at Capo d'Orso

  • Orgosolo painted mural

  • Sardinia vineyard

  • Su Gologone Hotel

  • A wonderful feast at Pabillonis

  • Castlesardo's castle at the top

  • Bosa one of Sardinia's most attractive towns

  • Suckling pig Sardinian style

  • Picturesque Su Gologone hotel

  • Mural at Orgosolo

  • Wonderful countryside

Captivating Sardinia

I came to Sardinia with few preconceptions, except about its reputation for brigands and kidnappings. Our itinerary included a visit to the mountain village of Orgosolo, a headquarters for the

  • Black volcanic sands of the southern shore

  • Thingvellir National Park

  • Icelandic horses

  • Icelandic fish lunch

  • Brett & Kate at Skogafoss falls

  • Gullfoss Falls in Golden Triangle route

  • The Great Geyser on the golden triangle route

  • Vic on the south coast of Iceland

Iceland – Heaps of “wow”!

We visited Iceland on a recce in 2013. The brief to ourselves was to develop an itinerary providing a “best of” and some lesser-known parts of the country for our

  • A model of the Arc of the Covenant

  • Blessing the water

  • Christians showered with blessed water

  • Priests chanting

  • Dancing and drumming as part of Timkat

  • Tabot is wrapped in cloth and carried through the crowd

  • Priests dance and shake their clappers during the procession

  • Priests holding Lalibela crosses

  • Colour of Timkat

  • Waiting for proceedings to begin

Timkat Festival Ethiopia continues…

Day 2 of the Timkat Festival,  we reach the special ground where the waters are blessed for the Baptism rites. The whole area was crowded, and locals waved lighted tapers as the priests

  • Cliffs play host to thousands of breeding pairs of guillemots

  • An icy home for these gulls

  • Cautious yet inquisitive walruses

  • Every ledge is precious to these Guillimots

  • Thousands of Glaucous gulls

  • Magic

  • The magestic polar bear

Arctic Wildlife wildlife and more wildlife – Arctic Part 2

Our trip was all about the Arctic wildlife. The best opportunity to photograph a bear surely had to be the site where the remains of a sperm whale had been

  • Feel the serenity

  • Zodiac excursion

  • Arctic Rainbow

  • Blue glacial ice

  • Spend time watching the amazing birds

  • Waiting for the ice to carve

  • Ship ahoy

  • Kayaking in the Arctic

  • Arctic bergy bits

Arctic Part 1 – Exploring Svalbard

It’s coldish up here in the Arctic, ranging from daily maximum of 1 degree celsius to an incredibly warm 10 degrees. On the warm days, we shed layers like reptile

  • Dressing for the ceremony

  • Hamar women dancing prior to ceremony

  • Looking cool

  • Becoming a man

  • Face paint part of ceremony

  • Becoming a man today

  • Young boy ready for initiation

A Hamar boy becomes a man – Omo Valley Ethiopia

Young men from many cultures must endure rituals to enter manhood. The young Hamar men of southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, prove their manhood by eventually succeeding at ‘cattle-jumping,’ a challenge

  • I do!

  • Full bloom in Shinjuku Gyoen park - FINALLY!

  • Blossoms everywhere

  • Everyone's welcome

  • Kanazawa castle

  • Vibrant blossoms

  • Tokyo with the sakura blooming

  • Chasing cherry blossom in Japan is well worth it

Chasing cherry blossom in Japan

Take a tour named Japan in Spring and it’s perfectly reasonable to expect to see cherry blossom … and lots of it. What I didn’t expect was the fervour that came with

  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

  • Magnificient waterfallsa

  • Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik

  • Hardy Icelandic horses

  • Old whale watching ship in Iceland

  • Whale watching

  • Quaint farm houses in Iceland

  • Huskavik port

  • Cutest puffins in Iceland

  • Stunning scenery everywhere

  • Erupting hot springs

Iceland – Lots of green and lots of ice

Iceland conjures up images of a remote island in the arctic, with freezing temperatures and a small population. After all, who could live on an island in the middle of

  • What do make of all these Australians

  • Meet the locals

  • City view of Tehran

  • Flag of Iran

  • Brett at a local restaurant

  • Local Tehran students

  • Visit the carpet museum in Tehran

  • View of Tehran

Tehran – it’s not what you think

I cannot recall visiting any country in any part of the world where the people are more welcoming than in Iran. This might sound like a big statement but it’s true. Within my first 24

  • Nalychevo National Park - Kamchatka

  • Travertine Creek Kamchatka

  • One of the many carnivores to be found in Kamchatka

  • Ex-military helicopter is the standard mode of transport

  • Valley of the Geysers

  • A Kamchatka brown bear

  • One of the many volcanoes in the UNESCO-listed area

Land of Fire and Ice – Kamchatka – Far Eastern Russia

I’m fortunate enough to have visited the land of fire and ice on a few occasions. It’s a destination that few people can pronounce and even fewer know where to find. Kamchatka