Category Archives: Day Trips From…

First-Ever Drone Footage of Uluru, Australia

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of Australia. People travel from around the world wake up at sunrise for some gorgeous views. But have you seen the first-ever drone footage of Uluru in Australia?

Willamette Intl Travel has sent countless of clients to their ideal destination in Australia. Margaret River, Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef, Kangaroo Island—the list goes on. Uluru is just one of the many incredible sights on this wild and ever-changing continent. 

Check it out! Footage is courtesy of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

Read what some of our friends said about Uluru:

“We were literally up at the crack of dawn, actually before that, as we wanted to see the sunrise on the giant monolith at 5:46 to be exact!  We arrived exactly then at the “sunrise viewing” area. We were the ONLY folks there at first! The idea is to watch the colors go from black to the varying hues of browns, oranges and reds, looking quite different than at sunset. 

William Gosse, the first white man to see this rock in 1873, wrote: “An immense rock rising abruptly from the plains….this rock is certainly the most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen”. This is considered by some accounts, to be the largest monolith in the world and recognized by UNESCO on 2 lists, quite rare.  The first is its geological listing in 1987 and 10 years later, they added it as a cultural site due to its sacred value to the local aboriginals.

After seeing what we wanted of this experience, we drove closer to the rock to give it a different close up perspective, which I liked better.  So many crevasses, water lines colored black, large moon-like holes, really fascinating and really old!  It’s thought to have been created by the chaotic upheavals on earth about 700 million years ago!  How’s that for old!”

— Mary W., Dec 2015

Did You Know? While not illegal, climbing on Uluru is highly discouraged. The indigenous tribe, the Ananou, believe that climbing path crosses a highly sacred dreamtime track—a spiritual place beyond time where past, present, and future all exist together.

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Filed under Australia, Day Trips From..., Oceania

A Drive through Snaefellsnes Peninsula

2000px-Map_of_Iceland

WIT Iceland Correspondent Wailana embarked on a trip to Snaefellsnes Peninsula (in Iceland) this past weekend. A day trip includes pick up from Reykjavik hotels, and a guided drive through this spectacular national park. Check out her photos and overview from the trip!

Trip Highlights:

  • Snæfellsjökull volcano glacier
  • Gerðuberg basalt columns
  • Bird cliffs at Arnarstapi
  • Kirkjufell church-shaped mountain
  • with Kirkjufellfoss waterfall

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There were about 18 people in our cozy van, we drove from Reykjavik downtown through Hvalfjordur out to Borganes town and Snaefellsnes, the westernmost peninsula in Iceland. We stopped frequently to check out the dramatic landscape of bird cliffs, sloping mountains, black sand beaches and the occasional coffee/bathroom break. We stopped midday for lunch at Grundarfjörður and picturesque views of Kirkjufell. The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the history of the region; he even shared some of his family history with us–turns out he can trace his lineage all the way back 1200 years to the west coast of Norway!

Though it was a long day, starting at 8:30AM and ending around 7:30PM, it was definitely worth it! My recommendation: bring a bit of water and your camera.

For more day trips through Iceland and other hot destinations, contact Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. We can connect you with the best guide services to make your trip all the more memorable!

 

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Filed under Day Trips From..., Europe, Iceland, News

Iceland: 5 Easy Day Trips Around Reykjavik

Taking advantage of free stopovers in Reykjavik with Icelandair? Don’t know what to do with your extra time? Here are some suggestions for a few days in the capital city.

Strokkur (c) Emil Kepko, Creative Commons

GOLDEN CIRCLE

This classic day trip takes you out to the most accessible sights in Iceland. Stop at Geysir and Strokkur hot springs, then check out the powerful Gulfoss waterfall. Visit Thingvellir, the site of the oldest functioning parliament in the world. Your visit will also include a visit to the Nesjavellir power plant (weather permitting) and the charming village of Hveragerði.

Northern Lights (c) Steve Hicks, Creative Commons

NORTHERN LIGHTS

Don’t miss the exceptional opportunity to view and photography the Northern Lights! Only available from September to April, this tour will take you on a mysterious night trip far away from the city’s lights.

Blue Lagoon (c) Sarah Ackerman, Creative Commons

BLUE LAGOON

Only have a day’s window in Reykjavik? Head to the Blue Lagoon, one of the most valuable tourist destinations in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon lies between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik, allowing easy access for folks on layover. Bathe in warm waters or enjoy a spa mud treatment surrounded by lava fields and snow-capped mountains.

SOLHEIMAJOKULL GLACIER

Embark an adventure with an expert guide to hike and ice climb on this magnificent glacier! Explore the rugged terrain with provided ice axes and crampons—beginners welcome! View some spectacular ice formations on the glacier tongue, from crevasses, sink holes, and jagged ridges. Once you’ve had your glacier adventure, stop and admire Skogafoss, one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls.

Jökulsárlón (c) Shadowgate, Creative Commons

JOKULSARLON

Take a full day tour to South Reykjavik and the stunningly gorgeous Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Enjoy a scenic drive past picturesque villages, through the vast desert of Skeidarasandur, and pass Iceland’s biggest volcano, Oraefajokull. At the lagoon, you’ll enjoy a boat ride through the ice lagoon. This tour is seasonal, operating from 1 May to 31 October.

WIT Agent Wailana will be heading to Iceland next week. Stay tuned to her first hand account! Summer airfares are now open on the nonstop Seattle to Reykjavik! For more information booking a holiday in Iceland, call 503-224-0180 or email info@witravel.com. Did you know that you can book free multi-day stopovers in Reykjavik? Yes! Call us to find out how!

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Filed under City Guides, Day Trips From..., Europe, Iceland, News

Day Trips Outside of Lima, Peru

Planning a Trip to Peru? Only have a few days in the capital of Lima? Lima is a gorgeous city, but there’s a plethora of activities to do just outside the Peruvian capital. Here are some day trips to add on to your tour or independent travel in Lima.  

Museo Del Ejercito “Real Felipe” © Aleks J Clark, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

  • Islands of Lima Sightseeing Cruise

Duration: 4 Hours

Enjoy a relaxing morning boat ride to the isles off of Lima—Palomino, Cabinzas and El Fronton. You’ll explore archaeological sites and spot marine and aviary wildlife. On Palomino you can view the historic Fort of Real Felipe, a Spanish defensive barricade against pirates and indigenous Peruvians.  Passing by El Fronton, you’ll hear the story of this prison island and its most famous resident, President Fernando Belaunde Terry.

“Paracas Bay and Ballestas Islands” © lisa_aw, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

  • Nazca Lines Air Tour and Ballestas Islands

Duration: 16 Hours

From Lima, you’ll board a ferry and visit the famous Ballestas Islands and their sea lion residents. On the Paracas you can view the Candelabra of the Andes, a 600-foot painting carved into the mountain side. Then, you’ll board a small Cesna plane for a scenic air tour over the mysterious Nazca Lines. Learn about the folklore of the Nazca people and the symbolic meanings behind the monkey, spider, hummingbird, lizard and other gigantic drawings.

“Lima” © spersper, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

  • Lima Culinary Tour

Duration: 6 Hours

Learn about and sample delicious Peruvian cuisine. Wander around markets with your local guide, smell mini avocados, cherimoya fruit and sample the indigenous lucuma. Next, visit a seafood restaurant where a top chef will instruct you how to make the perfect ceviche, a chilled dish of fish and shrimp marinated in seasonings. Enjoy a buffet lunch that features traditional Peruvian dishes. Then head to a Lima tavern to concoct a pisco sour, the national drink of Peru.

lima

“Views from the top of Temple Del Sol – Pachacamac” © kthypryn, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

  • Temple of Pachacamac

Duration: 3 Hours

Take half a day to drive along the Pan-American highway to the famous Pachacamac Temple. Built between 200 and 1450 ce by various kings, this incredible religious compound houses giant pyramids of the sun and moon. It is composed of an estimated 50 million sundried bricks. Walk with an informed guide and learn all about the Moche and Huari cultures.

You can book these and more incredible day trips and tours with Willamette Intl Travel. Let us advise you on your trip! WIT Agents Pam and Barb have both traveled to Peru and would love to share their insider scoops with you. Did you know that there are nonstop flights from LAX to Lima? Call today to reserve your seat on a tour in Peru! 800-821-0401 or email info@wittravel.com to find out more.

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Filed under Day Trips From..., Peru, South America

Day Trips from Auckland

Have a few days in Auckland but not sure what to see? Why not join a day or half-day tour exploring the great highlights of the town and around? Board a dinner cruise, watch a breaktaking Maori haka performance, or take a tour into the mysterious Waitomo glow caves. Below are just some of the many tours available on the North Island. Call us up to book or discuss your thoughts: 503-224-0180.

Hop-on Hop-off Tour

The hop-on hop-off buses take you around major sites of the vibrant city of Auckland. Explore Kelly Tarton’s Sea Life Aquarium, Auckland Museum, Sky Tower, Parnell Rose Park Gardens, Bastion Point Lookout and much more. Includes audio commentary in multiple languages. From 33 USD.

Dinner Cruise on Waitemata Harbour

Take an evening cruise from Auckland to the gorgeous Waitemata Harbour for a spectacular view of the city lights at night. Dine aboard a 50-foot yacht and enjoy a beautiful, scenic dinner. From 79 USD.

Photo by Sids1, Creative Commons

Whale-watching in Hauraki Gulf

Take a luxurious 20m high-speed catamaran out on Hauraki Gulf for an unforgettable viewing of whales, dolphins and sea birds. Considered one of the most biologically diverse marine parks in the world, there have been no less than 22 species of marine mammal identified in this gulf. Cruise around with a crew of scientific experts for some spectacular views of these creatures. From 131 USD.

Bungee Jump

Take the 40-meter plunge from Auckland Harbour Bridge over sparkling Waitemata Harbor. This fun, adrenaline-rushing excursion offers a number of options available, including the favorite “water touch.” From 123 USD.

photo by Graeme Churchard, Creative Commons

Hobbiton Tour

Take a small group tour through the movie set of Hobbiton. Pose for photographs in front of hobbit holes and wander the Shire for glimpses of the party tree, Green Dragon Inn and Bilbo Baggins’ house. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at The Shire’s Rest Café. From 196 USD.

Maori Tour

Explore Auckland’s historic sites from the Maori perspective. See a live performance of the Haka War Dance and explore the surrounding countryside, including the ancient forest of Tiriwa. You’ll learn about black sand beaches, native flora and fauna, and Maori legends and traditions, all from a well-versed Maori guide. From 243 USD.

Kumeu Wine Country

Sample the region’s top wines just outside of Auckland in Kumeu. Discover the wine-pioneering history of the area, stroll along the gorgeous Muriwai Beach, and enjoy tastings from several award-winning wineries. Afterwards, enjoy a fresh Mediterranean-inspired New Zealand lunch at the Solkans Estate Winery. From 147 USD.

photo by Ian Armstrong, Creative Commons

Waitomo Caves and Rotorua

Take a guided tour from Auckland to the glowworm grotto of Waitomo by foot and boat. Catch a magnificent view of Rotorua’s bubbling mud pools and geysers. Visit the Agrodome for shearing demonstrations and sheep mustering. From 267 USD.

Our agents have been to New Zealand many times and would love to share our knowledge and expertise with you! Give us a call at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Day Trips From..., New Zealand, Oceania