Archive for » April 13th, 2012«

Jökulsárlón glacier tours in Iceland with Super Jeep tour provider

Jökulsárlón glacier tours in Iceland with Super Jeep tour provider, a leading Super Jeep tour provider, is offering glacier tours to Iceland’s spectacular Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. This one-of-a-kind guided tour is a perfect way to experience one of the country’s greatest natural wonders.

During the tour, visitors will travel by Jeep to the picturesque southern coastline of Iceland, passing the villages of Selfoss, Vík, and Kirkjubæjarklaustur, as well as the iconic Skógafoss waterfall, and the beautiful Skaftafell National Park.

Visitors will also get a chance to see the black sand beaches of Iceland’s south shore before reaching the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

Jökulsárlón is a stunning glacial lagoon home to Icebergs of all shapes, sizes, and colours. Guests will have the opportunity to walk the shores of the lagoon, and capture the magnificent scenery. For a more intimate view, visitors can board various ships and sail amongst the oddly-shaped ice formations.

In addition to glacier tours, offers other day tours to some of Iceland’s most spectacular sites, including the Golden Circle; Gullfoss, Geysir, and Þingvellir; Þórsmörk, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Mount Hekla, Eyjafjallajökull, and many more. is a family run company that offers unique peronalised tours with a friendly atmosphere. The company’s Land Rover Defender Jeeps are well equipped for the Icelandic terrain so that the knowledgeable tour guides can take visitors to destinations in Iceland that coaches just cannot reach.

To learn more about glacier tours, as well as other tours in Iceland, visit


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When your automobile doesn’t get a mileage we expect

Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:01pm EDT

(Reuters) – If you’re a engineer awaiting to get 35 miles per gallon on your new automobile and we finish adult usually removing 20, a cost disproportion can supplement up. At a stream inhabitant normal of $3.94 per gallon of unchanging unleaded gas, it would cost those with a lower-performing automobile an additional $1,266 after pushing it 15,000 miles, a normal stretch that Americans transport over a march of a year.

With gas prices so high and many consumers penetrating on some-more environmentally accessible motoring choices, it’s quite critical to know what you’re shopping and how to get a best fuel economy from your car.

The stickers on new-car windows, with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s miles-per-gallon estimates, can perplex consumers who destroy to get a mileage a stickers seem to promise. Indeed, motorists might be serve speedy about their car’s opening by a new investigate that suggests that U.S. new-car gas mileage has risen 20 percent over a past 5 years.

Though a stickers come with a disclaimer that says, “Your tangible mileage will vary,” thousands of consumers still deplane on Internet summary play to plead how a opening of their cars differs from a estimates.

“I figured that this is what we can expect, otherwise, because put it on there? When they put a dual numbers there, my mind assumes my mileage will be within that range,” says one of those consumers, Mike Pascale, 48, a copywriter and storyboard artist in Modesto, California, who can’t remember a automobile he gathering that got a gas mileage that a window plaque pronounced it would.

Car companies mostly use a mileage estimates generated by a EPA for their promotion efforts, a robe that Carroll Lachnit, underline editor of automotive information organisation, says should be tempered.

“Car companies might be environment themselves adult for critique by regulating those numbers so prominently in their advertising,” Lachnit says. “Consumers seize on numbers – quite with gas as costly as it is.”


The numbers can lead automobile buyers down a frustrating path, says George Cook, a former member of Ford Motor Co.’s selling operation who is now executive highbrow during a Simon Graduate School of Business during a University of Rochester.

“As a new automobile squeeze criteria, miles per gallon can be a large understanding to a consumer,” he says. “We trust what we see until we find out differently.”

So, is a beating a manufacturers’ fault? The EPA’s? Drivers themselves? Well, as a consumer, we can gripe, sue, or adopt some active measures to boost your gas mileage.

The emanate of underperforming cars perceived heightened courtesy in February, when Californian Heather Peters won a small-claims visualisation opposite Honda Motor Co. Peters took a association on herself, alleging her 2006 Civic delivered 30 mpg instead of a EPA-estimated 50 mpg. The box has been appealed. (Read a associated story here,

In December, a organisation Consumer Watchdog took Hyundai Corp. to charge for regulating a 40 mpg anxiety (its EPA highway mileage rating) in ads for a Elantra and asked a EPA to retest a automobile due to complaints by consumers.

But Jim Trainor, orator for Hyundai Motor America, says that Popular Mechanics repository did a possess testing, that showed a automobile matched and even surpassed that figure.


The manifold formula prominence a thought that each driver’s knowledge is going to vary, Trainor says.

“If you’re (driving) around city and going a mile here, a mile there…you’re not going to get anything tighten to a EPA’s exam ratings.” Understanding that, he says, “is a genuine open preparation issue.”

The separate between EPA mileage estimates and tangible opening has spawned a accumulation of options for consumers to get a improved feel for existence – where drivers record in with their tangible performance. Among a sites that collect such information are:,, and even a EPA’s possess

What Lachnit, Trainor, Cook and others contend is that everybody might have a opposite experience. The weather, automobile maintenance, and where and how it’s driven all means into a opening of a car.

Driving character alone could means a 35 percent dump in fuel efficiency, says Lachnit. Someone who weaves in and out of trade and is heavy-footed on a accelerator will get many reduce gas mileage that someone who is delayed and steady, she says.

“There are outrageous variances,” confirms Eric Mallia, business manager for FleetCarma in Waterloo, Ontario. “We’ve finished some research and seen adult to 60 percent opposite from window plaque (estimates). We find that’s something many people don’t understand.”

(Editing by Beth Pinsker Gladstone and Bernadette Baum)

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Bali escape hatch on our doorstep

Bali is the too-easy escape hatch on our doorstep, a seductive zone of spas and sunsets, waves and temples, plus the chance to shop to the brink of bankruptcy.

Guide to Asia:


Regardless of Bali’s labels – the island of the gods, the morning of the Earth, or paradise mislaid – the place continues to draw us in. About 700,000 Australians visit each year, despite the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s long-standing travel warning. In general we return sunburnt, surfed out, credit maxed, hungover and happy as Larry.

Southern Bali could be renamed the Shore of a Million Motorbikes, such is the all-day traffic jam that oozes across its Sanur-Denpasar-Kuta-Seminyak sprawl. Yet somehow we keep the cool that we don’t have at home – the trick is, of course, to be driven, don’t drive – and make our way through the traffic to art galleries, rafting safaris, cooking classes, beachfront weddings and spa sessions, more or less on time.

Catering to an estimated 2.7 million annual international visitors and a very large numbers of domestic tourists, Bali has bloomed with theme parks for families. Toucans, hornbills, ibis and scores of other rainforest species flit beneath the canopies of Bali Bird Park in Batubulan. Kuta’s Waterbom Park is a gleeful melee of children and huge waterslides with vivid names like Super Bowl and Smash Down. The Elephant Safari Park Lodge at Taro, north of Ubud, has jumbo shows and an on-site resort while its competition, the Bali Safari and Marine Park at Gianyar, presents the huge Bali Agung stage spectacular.

Meanwhile, Kuta Beach could be the world’s biggest tanning park. Here heliotropic visitors rotisserie themselves to bronze or blisters while besieged by a walking, hawking supermarket of masseuses and trinket spruikers.

When Kuta’s circus sands start circling a bit too close and you need to escape from what you’ve escaped to, Bali throws you a lifeline. Miles west up the same shore, Canggu is still sane and insulated from the mosh-pit bars of Kuta and Seminyak’s Toorak-by-Sea stylistas. Catch the artful Tugu Hotel and Batu Bolong temple with its frequent Hindu ceremonies.

Inland and uphill, famous Ubud needs little introduction. The town is loaded with art, from the corny-horny images of the late Antonio Blanco (whose lush gallery gardens are worth the visit) to the more traditional works in Museum Puri Lukisan. There’s also an overwhelming choice of luxury accommodation and wickedly good dining. Ubud is an excellent base for excursions to Bali’s “Mother Temple” at Besakih, and to Bedugal or Batur Lake. Then there are the north, east and far south coasts – each very different, and none of them like Kuta-Legian.

Just east of Bali is the small island of Nusa Lembongan with quiet villages and good accommodation, plus excellent diving and reef surfing.

Finally, some seasoned visitors might even tell you that their favourite escape place in Bali is Lombok.

More Bali travel:


• Your 30-day Indonesian Visa On Arrival costs $US25 ($24.30). Keep 150,000 rupiah (approximately $16) for your departure tax.
• The dry season from June to September is hot.
• The wet season from December to March is too.
• DFAT still cautions on travel to Bali because of the threat of terrorist attack.

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Bahamasair Gets Travelers to the Beach in Three Hours with Nonstop Flights Between Grand Bahama Island and Four U.S. Cities

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND, Bahamas, April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Starting today, travelers can book nonstop flights* between Grand Bahama Island and four U.S. cities including Richmond, Virginia; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland. The flights start May 1, 2012 in place of Vision Airlines’ previously operated service.

Located just 55 miles east of South Florida, Grand Bahama Island is home to a variety of resorts that fit every budget, nestled among miles of beautiful beaches. Its assortment of cultural experiences and ecological wonders make Grand Bahama Island ideal for nature-based activities including kayaking, dolphin experiences, scuba diving, fishing, airboat eco-adventures, jeep safaris and bike tours.

According to KAYAK, consumers are in hot pursuit of travel to Grand Bahama Island, which is up 57 percent in searches. There’s no better time to take advantage of what Grand Bahama Island has to offer especially since travelers can now get more bang for their buck with a variety of instant savings offers. Topping the list is a $400 instant savings when you book a six night stay or longer. Those opting for a shorter getaway can stay three to five nights and receive $250 in savings. Offers are valid on air inclusive vacation packages at participating hotels for travel booked through May 14, 2012 and completed by October 31, 2012.

*Boeing 737-400 aircrafts operated by Xtra Airlines configured with 138 coach seats and 12 first class seats.

In addition to non-stop service, other conveniences make travel to Grand Bahama Island a breeze. Before departing for the U.S., visitors have the benefit of pre-clearance through U.S. Customs and Immigration. Additionally, The Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. currency and the U.S. dollar is accepted throughout The Bahamas.

For more information, visit or


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Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Quito, Ecuador

Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:53am EDT

QUITO (Reuters) – Peppered with parks and crafts markets, Quito’s standing as a UNESCO universe birthright site and a unconditional Andean panoramas have finished this highland city an up-and-coming traveller destination.

The categorical attractions of Quito, that caters for all tastes, are a colonial center, pretentious churches, cobblestone streets and old-fashioned squares.

Visitors can suffer cycling on a flourishing network of paths, or a wander in a large La Carolina park or a Parque Metropolitano, a eucalyptus timberland unaware a city.

Quito is also an ideal end for qualification hunters, art lovers and those fervent to learn a particular flavors of Andean cuisine.


6 p.m. – Board a wire automobile to stand to 13,500 feet for a bird’s eye perspective of this bowl-shaped city. Looming above is a limit of a Pichincha volcano, that belched charcoal as recently as 1999.

7 p.m. – Soak in colonial-era ambience with a splash outside during Tianguez, during a feet of twin-towered San Francisco monastery, whose masquerade recalls Spain’s Escorial.

8 p.m. – Dine during El Ventanal, that offers fantastic views of Quito’s colonial core and an general menu that includes grilled octopus and fish carpaccio, as good as some internal dishes including quinoa salad.

9:30 p.m. – Head to La Ronda, a cobblestoned, slight walkway, arrayed with red geraniums in vases fixed to wrought-iron balconies where we can celebration into a night or listen to live Ecuadorean music.

Enjoy a canelazo, a internal libation influenced in knee-high ceramic pots resting on fire-lit grills. Brewed from sugarcane-derived liquor, it is flavored with cinnamon, orange and oranges.


8 a.m. – Head to Otavalo, one of a best famous inland markets in Latin America, where we can buy hand-woven alpaca blankets and ponchos, or a standard fedora hats that inland peoples wear in a Andean highlands.

9:30 a.m. – Stop during a Cafe de la Vaca and sequence from a far-reaching breakfast menu, that comforts uninformed juices and eggs stewed with vegetables in a clay pot. The restaurant’s comforts embody a commemoration emporium and synthetic lake and a playground.

1 p.m. – After we are finished selling in a marketplace suffer lunch in Hacienda Pinsaqui, a former colonial weave bureau built in 1790. The beef beef is tasty and a fish fished in circuitously lakes is also a good option. Take a travel in a fairytale gardens, that underline a brew of pleasant and Andean plants, ponds, wooden benches and good towering views. Or stay indoors and suffer a regard of a fireplaces.

2:30 p.m. – Buy some leather crafts in Cotacachi, usually 10 mins by highway from Otavalo, where we will find a far-reaching preference of jackets, bags and hats. Try a standard bizcochos, a form of breadsticks, with prohibited chocolate, or conduct to Cuicocha, a void lake nearby, for a frail atmosphere of a Andes and some superb views.

4 p.m. – With weekend trade light and a newly revamped road, we can zip behind by highway to executive Quito within 1.5 hours.

5:30 p.m. – Visit La Compania. Some guidebooks report it as one of Latin America’s many pleasing churches. Walls radiate with bullion leafed carvings underneath a windowed blue pastel dome. A vaulted nave is crisscrossed by large Arabesque geometric shapes.

7 p.m. – Have a splash during a La Naranjilla Mecanica, an offbeat bistro with an art gallery and a engineer shop. Enjoy a song while sipping your choice of splash from a cocktail menu.

9 p.m. – Check out El Pobre Diablo, a unison bar that mostly showcases jazz bands and live Latin American music. The grill offers standard Ecuadorean dishes including fish with coconut sauce, a heading plate of a Esmeraldas coastal region, or a worldly goat stew.


9 a.m. – Start a day with some exercise. Avenues from north to south are sealed to trade on Sunday morning and are taken over by hundreds of cyclists and joggers, charity a ideal event to association with health unwavering locals and to take in a uninformed atmosphere of this high-altitude city.

11 a.m. – Make a stop during any of a internal qualification markets in La Mariscal, a outside stalls in El Ejido park, Santa Clara, or a newly built Mercado Artesanal Quitus, where we will find a far-reaching array of handicrafts and souvenirs. There are also some engaging crafts shops in Avenida Amazonas and around a Plaza Foch

12:30 p.m. – The equator runs about 10 milesnorth of Quito. A 100-foot high (30-metre) relic claims to lay on a equator. Topped by a globe, it is a heart of a mini thesis park called “Middle of a World.”

The 1736-1744 equatorial goal by French scientists is documented in a circuitously pavilion. Its anticipating inspected Sir Isaac Newton’s avowal that a creation somewhat bulged during a middle.

1 p.m. – Over 100 yards (meters) away, a Inti Nan museum also claims to hover 0 0′ 0” latitude. On apart sides of a line, it shows whirlpools empty in conflicting directions. In circuitously Catequilla a equator runs by pre-Inca ruins, according to Google Earth and GPS readings. Non-profit investigate organisation Quitsato ( can arrange a visit.

2:30 p.m. – Abutting a Parque Metropolitano, Quito’s largest park is a Chapel of Man, a domed art church housing staggering work by a late Oswaldo Guyasamin, Ecuador’s many famous artist. His paintings understanding with hunger, inequality and fight and a predicament of Latin American people in a second half of a 20th century

4 p.m. – Wrap adult your revisit with a coffee and a light break during Guapulo, a independent area in a western partial of town. At nightfall there are some monumental views of a Los Chillos valley, in a hinterland of Quito.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney)

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Travel advice: bogus internships; safety in Zimbabwe; Airbus factory tours

Studentjob, one of several portals advertising EMA’s internships, is based in
Holland. A spokeswoman told me that it had heard of the problems with EMA
and taken down its advertisement. Wasn’t the company checked out before the
job offer was posted online? “We usually double-check that they’re real
companies by phoning them up,” says the spokeswoman, “but this one
had a website that looked OK.”, a similar summer jobs portal, which also hosted the EMA
advertisement, told me the companies that posted internships were not
checked out and that it did not guarantee the validity of postings. It says
it relies solely on users to report false postings.

Students should beware of companies advertising summer jobs on these portals.
It is easy for a fraudster to create a professional website and set up a
PayPal account to acquire upfront payments for job placements. Megan has set
up a Facebook group, EMA Internship, to connect with other victims of this
fraud. So far 23 others have joined to say they have also lost £400.

It may be possible to obtain a chargeback through the bank under the voluntary
Visa Scheme Rules, even though the payment was sent through PayPal. It is
certainly worth a try.

Lodges and safety in Zimbabwe

Mandy Pointer, Worcester, writes
We love Africa and have travelled around Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. Now
we are considering visiting Zimbabwe. Is it safe to go and are the lodges
well supplied?

Gill Charlton replies
Expert Africa (020 8232 9777;
has been taking tourists to Zimbabwe for more than a decade. Its managing
director, Chris McIntyre, says the economy has stabilised now the US dollar
is the local currency and the country is safe for visitors.

While some upgrading of lodge facilities is needed, there are no supply
shortages and there’s plenty of game in the national parks.

The company uses small, independent camps with caring owners. It recommends
the Klipspringer Safari, which takes in Victoria Falls and Hwange National
Park, the Matobo Hills (rock art, walking and rhinos) and Bulawayo. The
11-day trip costs from £2,770 per person, including return flight and most

If your budget can stretch to it, include Mana Pools – one of Africa’s finest
national parks, on the banks of the Zambezi – for close encounters with
wildlife (including wild dogs) and lazy canoeing. An 11-day trip combining
Mana Pools with the extraordinary drowned woodlands of Matusadona National
Park costs around £4,100 all-in.

Visiting Airbus in Toulouse

Keith Cawley, Plymouth, writes
I will be on holiday in Toulouse in June and would like to visit the Airbus
factory. How can I arrange this and are any of the tours conducted in

Gill Charlton replies
The Toulouse Airbus site offers three tours: the Airbus A380 factory, a
panoramic tour of the whole site, and a heritage tour (Toulouse regards
itself as Europe’s aeronautics capital). Airbus tour reservations are
managed by Manatour (0033 5 3439 4200;
You can book times online and there is at least one tour in English each
day. The tours last 90 minutes and cost €10-€14.50 (£8.20-£12).

Faulty business-class seats

Dr N Hodges, Cardiff, writes
We recently flew business class to New Zealand with Emirates. On the flight
from London to Dubai, the reclining mechanism on my seat would not work. On
the Dubai to Sydney leg the personal entertainment system failed completely.
I was unable to move seats as business class was full.

The cabin manager in each case assured me that the failures would be reported.
Our travel agent lodged a complaint with Emirates on December 12 but there
has been no response. I would have expected some redress by now.

Gill Charlton replies
As long as you have a seat in the class of travel you have booked, airlines
are not legally required to compensate passengers whose seats do not recline
or whose entertainment screens do not work, unfair though that may seem.
Each airline decides its compensation policy on a case-by-case basis. For
example, I would expect frequent flyers to receive a better offer than
someone who just takes one flight a year with the airline.

“We are sorry to hear of the problems Dr Hodges encountered with his seat
and in-flight entertainment system,” says an Emirates spokesman. “His
travel agent contacted us on December 13, and we responded two days later
with an apology and an offer of Skywards miles.”

It would seem your agent has failed to pass this information on to you. The
miles voucher will cover a business-class upgrade from London to Dubai.

Contact Gill

Queries may be sent by email to
Please provide your full address, daytime telephone number and any booking
reference. Readers with complicated complaints may be asked for full
documentation. We regret that we are no longer able to answer postal
inquiries or deal with telephone calls.

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The prolonged highway home: super commuters on a rise

People are even some-more peaceful to transport good distances to go to work in vital civil areas in sell for a quieter life on a hinterland of a city. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

By Jane Derenowski
NBC News

Every day, Rodney Beseda travels about 95 miles any approach from Fayetteville, Texas, to his pursuit as a comforts manager during MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  If he leaves home during 4:15 a.m., he’ll arrive during  6:00  a.m., right on time. And afterwards when a day ends he’ll make a scarcely 2 hour expostulate once more.

“With a pursuit marketplace now, if we are in a fast job, we unequivocally wouldn’t wish to try and change jobs right now,” he said.

Beseda, 37, who has managed to keep this report for 10 years, is one of a flourishing series of “super commuters”– people who transport about 100 miles any approach to work.

He grew adult in Fayetteville, Texas, median between Austin and Houston, afterwards changed to Houston to be closer to his job.  But after only a year and a half in a large city, he changed behind to a most smaller Fayetteville village (population: 258) to start and lift a family. On a weekends, Beseda, his wife, and their 4 kids go fishing in a pool nearby their home and on Sundays, a whole family –- cousins, aunts and uncles who also live in city — have a large cooking together.   It’s a family tradition, Beseda said, and that means some-more to him than vital closer to his place of employment.

“For me, being out there in a country, what we know and what we love, that is where we wish to be,” he said.

Rodney Beseda commutes during slightest 95-miles any approach to work. He says infrequently he thinks it’s “crazy” though feels a time he gets to spend during home with his family creates a invert value it.

 Read a first-person comment from a super commuter.

It’s easy to see because he and millions of others live in smaller, less-expensive, tighten communities with family tighten by rather than relocating closer to their jobs in large cities.  And according to a new research by Mitchell Moss, a highbrow during New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation, a series of super commuters is growing. In some cities, like Houston and Dallas, a series of super commuters has tripled given 2002.   

NBC News

The 8 fastest-growing civil areas for super commuters are: New York City, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Chicago.

“Today, Americans are so endangered about a fact that jobs are uncertain, we don’t have a lifetime employment, you’re putting your family initial and therefore they’re going to invert most larger distances to work to keep their families in one place,” Moss told NBC News. “No one wants to dig their family.  And with so many households, some-more than half of a households in America carrying dual earners, it’s unequivocally tough for both people to get a pursuit in a same city.  As a outcome we are anticipating out that people are roving good distances.”

NYU’s Mitchell Moss attributes a arise in super-commuting to a inconstant pursuit marketplace and workers’ rejection to immigrate their lives and families.

Southwest Airlines hosts dual dozen daily commuter flights between Houston and Dallas — dual of a fastest-growing super commuter hotspots.  And it isn’t surprising for passengers to take a craft to and from work 5 days a week.  Technology, too, has enabled many long-distance workers to telecommute several days a week, creation a unequivocally large commutes once or twice a week most some-more bearable.

Many companies are now also providing giveaway convey buses to assistance attract and keep competent workers who live distant divided from a workplace.  Rackspace Hosting, an Internet business solutions company, drives many of a employees from Austin to San Antonio each day on a train versed with WiFi access, assisting make a morning invert a lot some-more prolific (and fun) for a workers.  

We’d like to hear some-more about your invert … how we pass a time, save on gas and automobile repairs, or simply chill out on a prolonged approach home. Share your thoughts below.


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On safari in the Top End

Melanie leads me through to the lounge, places a welcome drink on the table and asks: “Did you see Big Arse?”

I hope she’s not referring to someone’s posterior.

“The croc,” Mel, the front office manager, says, assuming I’ve seen the framed photograph of the monster of a salty that lives near Wildman Wilderness Lodge in the Northern Territory’s Mary River wetlands, a boomerang throw from Kakadu National Park.

She shows me the picture of the five-metre reptile that has a set of fangs like a wild boar’s tusks.

I suddenly feel apprehensive. And who can blame me? It’s not everyday you share your holiday with crocs, water buffalo, king browns, dingoes and aggressive mosquitoes that transmit various viruses.

Was the Top End really a wise choice for a getaway for my urbanised self, partner and our two-year-old daughter?

Rewind two hours and we’re hurtling out of Darwin along the Arnhem Highway enjoying the novelty of a 130km/h speed limit. We were having such a lark belting along the parched red earth under a blazing egg-yolk sun that we failed to stop to pick up essentials, such as insect repellent.

But fortunately Wildman seems to have thought of everything.

“There’s a basket in your tent that contains a wind-up torch, mozzie spray and a hairdryer,” Melanie says.

“Also there’s no phone in the tent but if there’s an emergency use the phone outside the main lodge’s bathroom.”

I wonder if the monster croc will be kind enough to stop chasing me while I place a call to the emergency services?

Overhearing my conversation with Melanie, a recently arrived guest with a British accent asks: “Does that crocodile ever come close to the tents?”

“No,” she says with a smile.

This raw and sparsely populated slice of the Top End is home to the greatest concentration of estuarine crocodiles and water buffalo in the Territory. They share their space with hundreds of agile wallabies and kangaroos, pandanus palms and melaleucas, and birds of prey that circle in the baby-blue sky.

The solar-powered Wildman Wilderness Lodge sits lightly on the earth, and is possibly one of the greatest examples of recycling in Australian tourism. The core buildings of Wildman were once known as Wrotham Park Station, an isolated retreat in far north Queensland. The camp was dismantled, transported 2800km and reborn in this site last year.

The African-style safari retreat is now made up of the 10 chic air-conditioned cabins from Wrotham and 15 new canvas-and-mesh ensuite tents that extend either side of the main pavilion that has a pool overlooking a bush airstrip.

Once installed in our surprisingly large tent (there’s a queen-size bed, a bunk bed and a trundle bed, perfect for families) it’s time to go walkabout, or rather driveabout.

We continue east into the wilds of Kakadu, a park about one-third the size of Tasmania.

During the wet season, which runs from December to March, rivers flow, plains flood and waterfalls roar. Although it’s April, officially the dry season, many roads are still closed due to flooding.

One place we are able to access is Nourlangie (Anbangbang), an outdoor art gallery.

With some hesitation we embark on a bush walk with a toddler in 36 degree Celsius heat to look at the rocky overhangs emblazoned with art.

It’s worth every breath-sapping step to see the chalky spirit figures, ochre hand stencils, giant grasshoppers and a two-masted sailing ship with anchor chain and a dinghy trailing behind.

After pondering what life would have been like for Aboriginals who lived here at least 20,000 years ago, we are transported to the present day as we climb into our air-conditioned 4WD and dart back to Wildman for dinner.

There are just eight other guests staying at the lodge with us, a multi-generational family of six from Melbourne and the British couple.

Citronella candles and an outdoor fire have been lit, boutique beers are being poured and smoked crocodile salad is being cooked and served, followed by simple but perfectly-seared fresh local barramundi and an inspired dessert of wattle-seed pavlova with Kakadu plum confit.

My feet are bare, I’m wearing shorts, my daughter is delighted by a small lizard crawling on the window and my mobile phone has no service.

We may be in a place where large reptiles consider us fair game, redbacks wait for us on the dunny and box jellyfish want to bite us at the beach but this holiday is proving way more enthralling than life endangering.

As we dawdle back to our mesh home with our wind-up torch, the full moon battles it out for attention with a million stars.

There’s no noise save for the percussive hop of a wallaby, the chirp of a cricket and the babbling of our daughter.

I listen closely and trying to decipher what she’s saying. It sounds something like: “Where is Bi… Arsssss, Bi… Arsssss”.


GETTING THERE: Virgin Australia has direct flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to Darwin ( Wildman Wilderness Lodge is 170km from Darwin along the sealed Arnhem Highway. For those who don’t wish to self-drive, Wildman offers a door-to-door transfer from Darwin hotels and airport for $125 per person one way. Fixed-wing and helicopter transfers are also available upon request.

STAYING THERE: Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River Wetlands (08 8978 8955; Tents that sleep two start at $245 per night ($115 extra adult, $90 child); free-standing habitats that sleep two start at $315 per night. Includes three-course dinner and breakfast daily.

NEED TO KNOW: There is limited mobile phone coverage and no televisions at Wildman. Complimentary wi-fi is available in the main lodge building.


– Home Billabong Cruise: A one-hour tour of Wildman’s own Connellan Billabong. See crocs, birds and more.

– Mary River Rockhole Cruise: Glide down the vast Mary River and venture into sheltered billabongs.

– Culture Walk: Join an expert guide for a walk to the edge of the wetlands, meandering through fields of termite mounds and freshwater mangroves.

– Quad-bike tour: Guided tour of Wildman from Connellan Billabong to Leichhardt Point.

– Leichhardt Point sundowners: Watch the sun set with a drink in hand near the lily-covered wetlands.

  • The writer was a guest of Virgin Australia and Wildman.

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At a Auto Show, Chevy Panders to a Pooches

Distinguished guest posing Wednesday during a Chevrolet stand.General MotorsDistinguished guest posing Wednesday during a Chevrolet stand.

On Wednesday, an radical multiply of patron was welcomed during Chevrolet’s mount at a New York International Auto Show, for a brand’s decoration of National Pet Day. Safety tips for pet transport were presented alongside a claim car-buying recommendation during a media breakfast.

Journalists were invited to move their dogs, that is how Merlin, my 3-year-old black pug, finished adult sniffing among rows of General Motors product in a North Hall of a Javits Center. Merlin seemed to penchant a hold afforded by a hall’s carpeting, a provide for a city dog for whom a timber floors during home are too mostly his nemesis. Had Merlin been longer of limb, a breakfast pastries would have perplexed him as well.

With a Chevrolet Volt as a initial of 3 proof vehicles, Charlotte Reed, billed by Chevrolet as a pet lifestyle expert, remarkable applicable considerations for pet owners when selecting a vehicle. “Think about your dog, a distance and activity level,” Ms. Reed said. Hannah, her golden retriever, was spasmodic enlisted to illustrate reserve principles. A automobile with a large, squared behind would be quite available for loading pets and crates. Considering a event’s host, Ms. Reed’s regard for a low bucket tallness of a Volt was unsurprising.

(A impulse of overpower for a discontinued Honda Element and a dog-friendly concept, shown here in 2009, would have been a acquire counterweight to a distinct product bias. But a pleasantness was not extended.)

Merlin, a author's 35-pound pug, in a Volt.Nick Kurczewski for The New York TimesMerlin, a author’s 35-pound pug, in a Volt.

Ms. Reed’s recommendation eventually was not terribly badge-specific. Features to demeanour for embody hatchbacks or vast tailgates, fold-flat back seats and back air-conditioning to keep a pet cold on prohibited days. “Talk to your dealer,” she said. “Many of them will possess a pet, and they can approach we towards a best choice.” With approximately 14 million dogs roving by automobile with their owners any year, a marketplace shred for vehicles that take canines into care is most incomparable than one competence expect, she said.

Merlin’s owners was positively edified by some reserve tips. A soft-sided crate, placed in a back of a vehicle, was preferable to a hard-sided one, Ms. Reed said, since in a eventuality of a pile-up it would not break and put a dog during larger risk. A pet tethered to a chair cushions around rear-seat harnesses was a no-go. Cute as it might seem to provide a dog like a toddler, it is also impossibly dangerous, Ms. Reed said. Positioning a pet in your path also presents a hazards, yet usually one state, Hawaii, bans it, she noted.

Chevrolet should not design Corvette sales from pet people, as transport in two-seat vehicles was strongly discouraged. “The usually approach I’d concede my dogs to transport on a front chair of a automobile is during an emergency, and when it’s a usually option,” Ms. Reed, a owners of 5 dogs, said. Heavy braking could means a pet to slip off a chair or, in a some-more grave scenario, an air-bag deployment could severely harm or kill a animal.

He had a good run, though Merlin’s days roving shotgun seem to be over.

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