Coffs Harbour’s Beautiful Butterfly House

Of all the insects in the world there is one that rather than earning the ire of the masses, instead harbours within us a distinct reverence. The beautiful and noble butterfly is the supermodel of the insect world. Where the mosquito and the blowfly are squashed or swatted away with reckless abandon, the butterfly glides proudly into your life, flutters its wings and we all fawn over its beauty. If visiting the wonderful Coffs Coast region of New South Wales, there is one place to utterly lose yourself in the majesty of this remarkable creature and that is the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.

Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour

Nestled in the foothills near Bonville, a short drive south of Coffs Harbour itself; the Butterfly House is an amazing indoor rainforest garden which is home to hundreds of majestic Australian butterflies which are hatched on site. The Butterfly house is home to around 400 live butterflies of 17 different species all year round. You may be in awe of the size of the Cairns Birdwing and amazed by the vibrant coloured Ulysses as they flutter, mate and sip nectar as you stroll through the gardens. If you’re lucky one may even land on you!

There is something for every member of the family at the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House. While children and adults young and old will love finding and identifying the many butterflies in the gardens the whole family can relax afterwards in the tearooms and enjoy milkshakes and light refreshments. Dad may be interested in the woodturning workshop where local artisans display and create their works made from Australian native timbers while Mum browses the vast selection of butterfly themed gifts at the souvenir shop. Older children may enjoy the outdoor maze which will keep them entertained and excited as they test their butterfly knowledge and hunt for the hidden answers while younger children may like to do some puzzles, colouring or have their picture taken in the butterfly face-in-the-hole.

Spending a day amongst the butterflies is a wonderful way to unwind and release some of the tension built up over the course of a life well lived. There is nothing comparable to having a giant and majestic butterfly land on you and call you its brief home. Insects are a much maligned class of species and one that often gets punished for its prolificness and propensity to be in places that are inopportune to humans but spending a day in the Butterfly Houses will make you realise just how important, beautiful and misunderstood not just butterflies but the whole class of insects are.

Be prepared to go home with a newfound love and appreciation for the butterfly and their amazing lifecycle. The Butterfly House is a truly unique experience set amongst the breathtaking natural beauty of the Coffs Coast. It’s a definite stopover for anyone holidaying in the region along with the Big Banana, Raleigh Raceway, the Dorrigo skywalk and the Coffs Jetty. The Butterfly House is open all year round and is easy to find right off the highway just south of Coffs. Follow the signs.

Would you like to spend a day with the butterflies, or just check out Coffs Harbour in it’s entirety? You should take the time to read Skedaddle’s “Coffs Harbour with a car” guide to see you get the most of the experience.

5 Locations You Must Visit in the UK

When it comes to holidays, some are lucky enough to be able to go once or maybe more times in a year. Some are only able to go on rare occasions, so it is understandable that people seek to holiday abroad. However, there are some quite beautiful locations hidden in the UK which I recommend you visit and make the most of the huge selection of holiday parks that are available. Below I have handpicked five of the most stunning locations that maybe you could consider next time you book your family holiday.

1. Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England
The Cotswolds are a range of hills that run through a number of counties, most notably Gloucester and Oxfordshire. The exceptional and spectacular landscape led them to be designated as England and Wales’ largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Whether you want to spend time in some gorgeous rustic villages or walk through the valleys surrounding the river Severn, you are surrounded by gorgeous scenery.

Cotswolds
Cotswolds

2. Portmeirion, Wales
Portmeiron, a popular tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales, is said to be based on the style of an Italian village. Made famous by its use in the 1960’s cult series The Prisoner as The Village, most of the fantastic locations used have remained unchanged 40 years on. The village is situated on the estuary of the River Dwyryd, and makes for some absolutely stunning panoramic views that will take your breath away.

Portmeirion
Portmeirion

3. The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
I have included The Giant’s Causeway as it is a marvellous natural phenomenon to behold. The 40,000 odd interlocking basalt columns were formed roughly 50-60 million years ago as a result of volcanic activity. There are many picturesque areas in Ireland, however, this made the top 5 as it is something that is only really appreciated by viewing in person and I would highly recommend, if you have the chance, that this is near the top of your ‘to see next’ list.

Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway

4. Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isle of Scilly
Again, the Tresco Abbey Gardens may not be at the top of your list, or maybe they were not even on your radar. If not, then they should be. The gardens are located on the island of Tresco, part of the Scilly Isles, just off the Cornish peninsula. The gardens are home to some exotic plants from all over the world, thanks to the mild winter climates and the long hours of summer sunshine. Entry to the gardens costs just £10, and you would be forgiven for forgetting that this was not located in the UK, and that you were somewhere more exotic.

Tresco Abbey Gardens
Tresco Abbey Gardens

5. The Highlands, Scotland
Lastly, but by no means least are the Scottish Highlands. Now this is a huge expanse of land, but here you will find exquisite views, mountains, and lakes. Be sure to investigate the picturesque village of Glencoe and the Lochan which is beautifully surrounded by amazing woodlands and mountain scenery. Alternatively, just have a look at what is available in the Scottish Highlands, most of it will blow you away. However, if you are feeling adventurous then you could tackle Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. There are routes available for all difficulties and the views you are rewarded with are breath-taking.

Highlands
Highlands

Please note that there were a lot of choices I considered before finalising on these five. If you have any thoughts on these or any to add, then drop your comments in below.

Author Bio
This article was written by Ricky May, on behalf of Best Holiday Parks, a resource for Holiday Parks, Holiday Lodges and Caravan Holidays

Travel to Venezuela

Venezuela is the country that weaves magic in every element. A land of the most beautiful women, home to the highest water fall in the world, and the house of the second largest river of South America, the Orinoco. Venezuela Travel is a lifetime experience. It has that typical South American touch engraved with a bit of Caribbean touch too.

Travel Information about Venezuela is not too difficult to gather. Caracas is the capital city and has a typical tropical climate. The place is more about concrete buildings and is very happening. This metropolis is a great place to be in. El Hatillo out here is so rich in architecture, and the beaches are so seducing to the minds that every tourist is left awe stuck. Soft and supple skin, tanned skin, great figures are all that you can get to see here on the whispering beaches out here. Snorkeling, Diving are some of the most exciting things you can do while you are traveling to Venezuela. The Venezuelans love to holiday on the beach of Isla de Margarita, Bonaire, and Curacao etc. These are lovely islands, which beckon every individual. Again the Porlamar here offers every modern amenity and facility to make life luxurious. Continue reading Travel to Venezuela

Cruise Casinos – Gambling at Sea

Cruise casinos have arrived and that means gambling at sea is a available to those wishing to take advantage of such adventures.

Is it really much of a secret people love to venture on gambling related vacations? Considering the enormous popularity of gambling resort towns, such a “revelation” is not much of a revelation. We all know that millions of people love to descend upon cities such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Atlantic City, and the like or simply take the chance playing online craps for real money. But, did you know there is another option available to those that love gambling? There is and it comes in the form of cruise casinos like for example the SunCruz Casinos or the MS Golden Princess.

As the name implies, cruise casinos are luxury boat liners that provide on board gambling for those that wish to try their luck. Then again, if you have a lot of experience with gambling you might not need much lick. Rather, you can put your personal skills and talent to the test.

And there would be a wide range of games in which to do this! Card games, table games, games of chance, and, of course, slot machines are all part of the mix with cruise casinos. You will never run out of variety as these types of cruises are no different than traditional “land based” casinos.

Some might look at the concept of cruise casinos as something new. This is really not the case. Anyone that knows a little bit about gamin history is probably familiar with riverboat gambling. Cruise casinos are basically “at sea” versions of this type of gaming. So, rather than just take a short trip up the river, you would be taking part in an actual cruise. Needless to say, a cruise such as that brings with it a lot of potential fun and excitement. Why take part in the traditional casino vacation when cruise casinos have so much uniqueness to offer?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnOEoTAqA_A[/youtube]

When you take part in a casino cruise, you not only have access to a wide range of gaming options, you also have access to the fun and excitement that a cruise can offer. For example, you have access to all the fine entertainment and dining cruises are known for. Depending upon the cruise line you select, you might gain access to all manner of onboard fun and entertainment.

You will have the great option of exploring the destination the cruise takes you to when you arrive at port. There are cruise casino ventures launched from all over the world. You will never run short of exciting destinations to visit which means such gaming cruises will always be exciting to take part on.

In short, a casino cruise is…a cruise. This means it presents a two-pronged approach to the traditional gaming vacation. In addition to all the fun and excitement at a casino, you can also be treated to the fun and excitement of a cruise. For those seeking a uniquely exciting vacation, a combination cruise and gaming excursion might be the perfect solution.

Traveling with a Child Who Has ADD or ADHD

Some parents hesitate to travel with a child who has ADD or ADHD, but traveling with special needs children can be a rewarding experience for the child and the parents. With a little preparation, it is possible to have virtually a stress-free trip when traveling with your children.

ADHD children
Image by chelseyxan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chelseyxan/)

Indoor Attractions

People who plan to take children to educational destinations, such as zoos or children’s museums, should take the time to explain the exhibits to the child. Make sure that the child is focused on what is being said and explain what he or she sees, using short phrases. It is also helpful to ask the children short comprehension questions, just to be sure that they are getting the most from the learning experience.

Outdoor Attractions

Try to take the go to places where he or she can touch the animals or physically interact with exhibits that are especially designed for children. Areas that are targeted towards children will have displays that allow children to become involved in the learning process without fear of breaking an item. Don’t forget to tell the children the rules before traveling. Parents’ rules should be brief and direct, and the rules should be discussed in the few minutes that the parents are certain that they have the child’s attention.

Outside activities can be particularly beneficial when traveling with a child who has ADD or ADHD, because they give the child places to run, climb, or safely explore nature. For younger children, choose attractions with outdoor recreational areas when making travel plans. It is a good idea to brief the child on how to play with other children in these areas. Remind the child not to hit, kick, or touch others at any time, but especially when the child is feeling frustrated. Always monitor the child carefully in public recreational areas, never leaving the child unattended.

Road Trips

Parents and children with ADD or ADHD may find that road trips are particularly hard to handle. Give the child his or her favorite games, a DVD player, or music to help the child pass the time. Parents can also think of fun road games to play along the way to help keep the child occupied. Young children may enjoy having a few toys or dolls in the car. Be sure to use a variety of items to occupy the child during long drives or plane trips. Consider giving the child one item at a time to avoid overwhelming her.

Children in Accommodations

Parents should be sure to instruct the child of the rules for staying in a hotel or other accommodations. Try to childproof the room as soon as you arrive. Consider asking the front desk to take small electronic objects, including the telephone if that may pose an issue for a curious child. Children with ADD and ADHD thrive in a structured environment, so a change in the structure may cause the child to misbehave. Parents can emulate their home schedule as must as possible, but tell the child about any changes to the usual schedule in advance.

Plan Ahead

Think about the travel plans from the smallest detail to the biggest change and give some thought to how this may affect the child. Try to foresee issues.
• Will there be restrooms nearby?
• Will the child be able to have positive interactions with other children who may be at the attraction or destination?
• Will the parent have private time?

Some resorts offer babysitting for a fee, and some attractions have children’s clubs, which work well with all children, including those with special needs. Contact the attractions several weeks before the trip for inquiries. Parents should not be surprised if things that they thought were going to be an issue become unimportant during the trip. The child’s behavior and adaptability during the trip may be a welcomed surprise.

Exploring Portugal by Car

Playa  Carvoeiro , Algarve - Portugal
Playa Carvoeiro , Algarve - Portugal

Driving around Portugal is undeniably one of the best ways in which to appreciate the country. But visiting motorists should come prepared for the occasional terrifying moment behind the wheel as the driving of local Portuguese can sometimes be downright dangerous.

High accident rates from speeding and reckless driving have prompted the authorities to come down hard on those who break the rules. This means that it is essential for those who are planning to see the country by car to brush up on the local regulations before setting off.

Lisbon is the usual starting point for most motoring tours of Portugal, but the driving seat is not the best place from which to experience everything the capital has to offer. This is one place where you should put your keys in your pocket and a stroll around the magnificent architecture, enjoy a seafood lunch in a pavement-side restaurant, and sample the drinks and live music in the establishments of the Bairro Alto or a night in one of the capital’s many marvellous hotels.

Once you’ve had your fill of Portugal’s star attraction, consider concentrating on the Algarve, in the south of the country. This is the place for those looking for beaches, or who only have a short time to explore this magnificent country. Less than an hour from the bustle of the capital by car is the town of Sintra, which is surrounded by tree-covered hills, and not far from here is the ancient village of Evora. Visit Portugal in August and you might catch the Sudoeste festival which takes place between Lisbon and the Algarve in early August.

On the south coast are the cities of Lagos and Sagres, which face out onto the Atlantic Ocean. There are some stunning coastal views to take in here as well as a great many secluded, and not so secluded, beaches. It is worth taking a break from driving as often as possible to sample the local, ever so fresh seafood.

If beaches and golf courses aren’t really your thing, then away from the resorts of the coast is the peaceful town of Monchique, where the air is fresh and the hills are wooded. A drive under the canopy of the Foia Forest really is a joy.

The Douro Valley is another area not to be missed while exploring the country by car. Located in the north of the country, the valley has been designated a national park and has some stunning, barely inhabited landscape to travel through. It also has some extremely good vineyards, and it might be worth ditching the car for a day to go sampling the local wine and port.

Because Portugal is a relatively small country, travelling around by car is not the daunting task it appears to be in some of its European neighbours. It also only has a population of 11 million, meaning that it does not take long to escape the crowds of the cities and get out into the relatively deserted countryside.

However, there are still places where visitors congregate in order to let their hair down and have a good time, and there are plenty of historical and cultural sights to explore. The weather can be fabulous and the beaches can be a distraction. Just remember to be aware of other less attentive motorists on the roads.

John wrote this guest post on behalf of Alamo who provide car hire Faro and across Portugal.

Choosing the Right Beach Safari in Kenya

Looking for a vacation that ventures from the norm? Safari beach vacations in Kenya may the answer. Travel Kenya to explore wildlife, other cultures –  and beautiful white sand beaches.

Mombasa Island, Kenya

Mombasa Island is the second largest city along Kenya’s coast and one of the most popular beach destinations. The city’s ethnic diversity includes Asians, Arabs and Blacks, and Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Islamic faiths.

Mombasa’s incredible business district is the place to buy everything from Calvin Klein jeans and safari shoes to vegetables, meats and fruits.

Diani Beach

Diani beach is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and forests and home to world-class resorts and hotels offering mostly 4 and 5 star accommodations. Diani Beach is also known for the massive coral reef that is ranked the third most popular in the world. While the area is primarily characterized by calm waters, waves are strong as they break over the reef. The water is a calming turquoise blue, the beaches are white powder sand and as many of the areas – the perfect getaway.

Resorts, hotels and sea lodges provide water sports like sea surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, deep sea diving, wreck diving, snorkeling, parasailing, beach parachuting, boat sailing, jet skiing and kayaking. Beach volleyball and deep sea fishing are also available.

The hotels also have fresh water swimming pools with pool bars, air conditioned rooms, ensuite bathrooms, room service, tropical gardens, shopping, variety of cuisine and cyber cafes.

Tiwi Beach

Tiwi beach is another beach recognized for its serenity and solitude. The area is undeveloped and accommodates tourists who prefer an area that is quiet and not crowded – great for couples that want to bask in the sun and each other’s company virtually uninterrupted.

Because of the solitude, this beach is slightly more exclusive than other beaches in Kenya. There are several beach resorts in the area. Additionally, several beach cottages are available that will house four or more individuals at a time. Many of the cottages have perfectly manicured gardens surrounding the facilities and numerous amenities.

Other Beach Areas

Visitors also check out Likoni Beach, Shimoni Beach, Jadini Forest, Nairobi National Park and Mount Kenya National Park.

Wildlife Safari

Those who want a full travel safari experience including wildlife can include a day-and-a-half tour along with their beach experience. During the safari, individuals will view Tsavo lions or visit the Masai Mara reserve. The reserve is home to more than 450 species of birds, plus giraffe, rhinoceros, gazelles, cheetahs, zebras and impala. Balloon safaris are also available to view the Masai Mara reserve, as are walking safaris. Day trips from most of the popular resorts will only cost approximately $20.

Bed and breakfast Scotland

Scotland has always been one of the most favourite tourist’s destinations. It has attracted people from all around, who flock in here together mostly to enjoy its rich scenic beauty. And as if that was not enough to attract people, ScotlandScotland Map continues to give the tourists new excuses to make them want to visit the place over and over again. The latest new excuse is the amazing bed and breakfast Scotland offer to the visitors!

The hotels in Scotland have never failed to please the guests. However, these days when you go looking about for the perfect holiday accommodation, Scotland surely has developed its hotel management skills a lot. When it comes to hotels and bed and breakfast Scotland is surely not behind the changing times. They make sure that you can get all possible service facilities in these hotels that you may desire.
Continue reading Bed and breakfast Scotland

Top Four Beaches in New South Wales Australia

Beaches in Australia are characterized by their pristine soft white sand and crystal clear blue waters. Many of the beaches are ideal for surfing, snorkeling, diving and numerous other activities. Visitors of Australia will enjoy nearly 16,000 miles of coastline. New South Wales Australia is a year round destination. Some experts recommend November to March for a beach holiday. Other experts suggest that June, July and August are the peak beach months. Travel dates will depend on your availability and personal preference. The temperature during this time ranges from 19 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. Though Australia officially enters winter in July, the weather is still pleasant during these months.

New South Wales Australia is home to some of the top beaches in Australia. Peering through the clear ocean waters, travelers will view some of New South Wales most breathtaking sites. The coral reef barrier is one of the largest in the world. Sydney alone has over 70 beaches where guests may enjoy this national treasure, as well as, indigenous wildlife such as dolphins. Whether you are seeking a relaxing day at the beach or an island adventure, our New South Wales beach guide can recommend a beach to cater to your needs.

Manly Beach, New South Wales

This beach is one of the well known beaches in Sydney for scuba diving, surfing, sailing, biking or volleyball. The area also attracts numerous artists to capture the beauty of the mountainous landscaping juxtaposed with the cycling blue waves. The name was given by Captain Arthur Phillip. He thought the indigenous people were characterized by the term, “Manly.” Visitors should consider the beauty of Manly Beach for their beach holiday.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most famous and well-known beaches. This beach is a mile long and is coveted by surfers, hikers, backpackers and true nature lovers. Whale and dolphin sightings are not uncommon at this particular beach. Bondi Beach was the host of the 2000 Beach Volleyball Olympics. The beach also features events such as Sculpture by the Sea, World Environment Day and Flickerfest. These events are held annually and bring visitors to the beach from all over the world. Hotel Bondi is a famous landmark of the area. This hotel features numerous bars and restaurants.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is located on the North Coast of Sydney. This beach is characterized by white sandy beaches and ideal surf breaks. Long boarders especially enjoy this stretch of the beach. The waves are often long and tubular. Surfers feel as though they are riding on a pocket of air. Dolphins are not uncommon in this area and may often approach surfers or swimmers near Wategos. Beach goers of all types enjoy Byron Bay’s immaculate beaches.

Hyams Beach

The Guinness Book of World Records has recorded Hyams Beach as having the “whitest sand in the world.” Hyams is a quiet beach recommended for a romantic excursion. There are numerous cottages and resorts catering to both couples and single travelers. Gourmet restaurants and cafes are available for the guests to enjoy as well.

Pebbly Beach

This beach is famous for its frequent visits by kangaroos. If you are searching for a wildlife adventure, Pebbly Beach has all the essential components of a beach vacation: Beautiful scenery, interesting rock formations, sand and surf. This beach requires a drive, but is worth the opportunity of viewing the kangaroos up close and personal. Because of the abundance of kangaroos, the beach is associated with a National Park and is considered one of the park’s main attractions. Birds, such as parrots and goannas are also indigenous to the area. Hilly grasslands, along with tidal rock pools, are not uncommon in the area. The beach is also conducive to surfing, as well as, surfing.

Summary

Beach vacations are a glorious way to relax and unwind. Australia’s beaches are some of the most coveted beaches in the world because they not only offer sand and surf, but beautiful underwater exploration. Activities are numerous for those who desire active beach vacations. Most of the beaches are within one hour or less of an area with cosmopolitan nightlife and bars. This type of activity is often within a few minutes of the beach area. Australian beach vacations will impress even the well-traveled individual.

Campervan Holidays in Australia

Travelling in a campervan in Australia with your family can be fun, especially if you rent or own a nice and comfortable vehicle where you can all sleep and enjoy the sights and the company. Australia has many attractive, touristy locations where you can go, most of them are located on the coasts where you can swim in the light blue waters of the coral ocean or dive in its reefs. A great trip to plan and take with your family during the summer is a trip from Port Douglas to Melbourne or vice versa.

Campervan
Image by Christian Haugen

The distance between the two cities is roughly 1,474 miles. Most people enjoy the drive up the Sunshine Coast driving slowly and staying a couple of days in campervans along the way to rest and enjoy the ocean. There are many campervan parks along the way where you will find every commodity you need, running water, electricity, restaurants and even swimming pools to bathe in when you are tired of the ocean.

Port Douglas is a great place to visit, in fact it is unique in itself. Here you will come in contact with amazing ocean creatures which swim in the coral reefs and in the crystalline waters, huge white sand beaches where you can catch the rays or wander about. Four mile beach is another beautiful spot where you find small cafes and bars on the edge of the beach where you can enjoy an afternoon or lunchtime with your family and friends. When you grow tired of the beach the fun continues, it is time to move into the rain forest on a trip upriver to take a look at crocodiles and beautiful birds in their natural habitat. When travelling to Port Douglas, it is also an opportunity to visit Cairns, one of Australia’s major cities.

Mackay is another place you cannot miss on your way to Melbourne, it is another natural paradise besides the ocean. In Mackay it is possible for you to leave your campervan and take an overnight cruise out to the barrier reef, the most impressive and the largest coral reef in the world. It is totally unnecessary to mention the beauty you will see there and the great service cruise ships have on the way. Another option in Mackay is wild, unvisited, untamed rain forest. Here you have the chance to enjoy the animals and the plants in the forest from a different angle; you take a canopy ride and look at the forest from above.

Brisbane is another possible stop on your way; it is a vibrant city that prides itself for its restaurants and entertainment industry. Shows and musical events are a permanent occurrence in Brisbane where the people are friendly and enjoy tourists and their visits. Brisbane has something for everyone in the family, great historical buildings to visit, amusement parks, wild life reservations and picnic parks, the shopping district is also a place to visit and spend the day in.

Other possible places where you and your family can spend a couple of days visiting landmarks and zoos, or just having a good time at the beach or other resorts are Port Macquarie and finally Sydney. Australia has many places which you and your family will enjoy visiting, taking time off to enjoy them together is great opportunity you should not miss. It is important that before you leave your home all the plans and projections are in place. Make reservations ahead of time, check the news so you know if there are any climatic changes, check your campervan to make sure the motor, tires and everything else is in working order and finally get everybody inside and hit the road.

Emma is an experienced travel writer and contributes to a number of online travel blogs on a regular basis. She recommends that you take the time to enjoy a little luxury even when on a campervan holiday. It can give you a good chance to unwind, particularly if you are travelling with the family. If you are travelling to Port Douglas, she recommends you stop overnight in one of the many cheap Cairns hotels that are available. If need be, get separate rooms to the kids, just to give everyone some alone time.