GoPro – HERO5 Black 4K Ultra HD Camera Accessories Review

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GoPro – HERO 5 Black 4K Ultra HD Camera Accessories Review

 

GoPro HERO users need an extra hand when they’re on the go to capture the sights around them. Fortunately there are plenty of harnesses and mounts to help you get just the right action shot when both your hands are busy! From head straps to give you the ultimate hands-free experience to a harness just to give you a glimpse in your dog’s day, GoPro has an accessory for every shot you could think about taking!

GoPro Headstrap and Quickclip

Strap your GoPro to your head and get moving! The Headstrap and Quickclip accessories allow you to attach your camera to your head, hat or helmet to capture low-impact activities and shots such as zip lining, bicycling or any other extreme sport that whizzes by. The Quickclip also allows you the option of an eye in the back of your head, allowing you to capture shots that happen behind you.

GoPro Chesty Chest Harness

Similar to the Headstrap, the Chesty harness keeps your hands free but also allows them to be the stars of whatever show you’re filming. Keep your Chesty handy for shots such as skiing, paddle sports or bicycling where you want to immerse your viewer in the action! The Chesty is fully adjustable to fit most adults comfortably, while children and smaller adolescents may require the Junior Chesty for a proper fit.

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GoPro The Handler (Floating Hand Grip)

Water sports and sparkling beach destinations are must for photos. Featuring an adjustable wrist strap, The Handler ensures your camera is always close at hand. The buoyant hand grip is perfect for catching stable selfies or photos, making it easy to point and shoot. You’ll be sure to capture the best photos of the sand and surf with The Handler!

 

 

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GoPro Fetch (Dog Harness)

If you travel with man’s best friend, why not give him a chance to take some photos as well? With the Fetch harness you can do just that! This harness allows you to mount your GoPro either upright on Fido’s back or underneath in front of your dog’s chest. Fetch is adjustable for all dog sizes. The harness is made of washable material, soft and padded for Fido’s comfort.

GoPro Gooseneck

The Gooseneck is a bendable neck with a quick-release mount for portable and flexible shots captured anywhere. Simply mount and go. The Gooseneck can be combined with other Goosenecks for increased flexibility and lengthy. This mount is great for capturing shots around corners and in hard-to-reach spots. While the Gooseneck may not seem like much at first, it packs a world of versatility into a small mount that proves it can do anything you can imagine with your GoPro.

You can read our review on the GoPro Hero5 here.

 

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GoPro HERO5 Black 4K Ultra HD Camera Review

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GoPro HERO5 Black 4K Ultra HD Camera Review

We have reviewed this GoPro as it is the camera that we still currently use, even though there are updated versions, we still find this is sufficient for our travel needs and is mostly used by Master G for snorkelling. The GoPro Hero5 is portable, lightweight and easy for kid to use.

Inspirove - GoPro Snorkelling Camera

The HERO5 Black lets you capture your travel and live experiences giving you the freedom to keep your hands free to create memories that are sure to last a lifetime. This camera is a small compact DSLR that packs as wealth of functions into a tiny package perfect the adventurous photographer.

  • The HERO5 is usable with a multitude of harnesses, tripods and other mounting accessories allowing you to keep your hands free to focus on other activities than angling for the best shot.
  • Speaking of a true hero, the HERO5 is at the ready to catch your shots right when you need them with voice activation. Control your camera with the ultimate hands-free experience with just the sound of your voice.
  • Edit settings, check your photos and trim videos on the go with the HERO5’s 2-inch display touchscreen. The HERO5’s settings and options menus are easy to understand and use in any environment for any skill level. Think of the HERO5 as a smart camera.
  • GoPro is famous for creating cameras that are durable in any element. The HERO5 is no exception. Built for all environments, from the snowiest peaks to the most tropical beaches, the HERO5 can withstand depths of up to 33 feet (10 meters) without protective housing. It’s the perfect camera to take along for a fast-paced snowboarding shred or for a more relaxed snorkelling exploration.
  • One advantage of sticking with the HERO5 is the level of stabilisation it brings to videos, whether you’re holding it in your hand or using any of the available mounts. Smooth videos that flow frame to frame are one of the HERO5’s best features no matter how bumpy the ride may actually be.
  • Pairing your HERO5 with a GoPro Plus subscription will ensure that your photos and videos get uploaded to the cloud from wherever you may be. Footage automatically uploads to the cloud for backup storage and easier editing, sharing and viewing from anywhere in the world.

You can read about a vast array of attachments that can be used with the GoPro Hero5 here.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review

This is a brief overview of the lightweight camera that I use personally when we travel. I do not like big, heavy devices as my camera needs to fit in my handbag/bag so I can take it everywhere. We are spontaneous on our day trips and never know where we may end up, so I have chosen this lightweight mirrorless camera for these reasons and the quality is good for us. I also use my iPhone camera and we have a GoPro Hero5 for beach and snorkelling adventures which is super easy for Master G to use.

Inspirove - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a camera for the more laid-back and artistic traveller. This mirrorless digital camera is easy to use and features a Wifi connection to make sharing and viewing on the go easier. The compact design makes this camera a great addition to any travel bag of someone wandering the streets of any great city hoping to capture the spirit of the city as they enjoy their walk.

  • Easy to use capability combined with high speed performance ensure that you capture the shot you’re aiming for before it’s over. There’s nothing worse than missing the shot because the camera couldn’t keep up, or worse, human error got in the way. An AF Touch Shutter is built into the rear touchscreen monitor so all you have to do is tap your subject that the moment you want to take a photo and you can ensure the shot is yours.
  • The Mark II includes a viewfinder that will give you a quick glimpse of the finished photo. Working with the touchscreen settings you can capture the shot as you see it without any sort of distortion or lighting issues (such as trying to photograph a dark scene).
  • Built into the Mark II’s software are creative filters and editors that allow you to add variety and edit shots right from your camera. You can create photo stories with multiple photos or merge two photos together to create stunning star trail photos over a city skyline. No matter what you imagine the Mark II gives you the ability to create it on the go.
  • The built-in Wifi allows you to connect your Mark II camera with your phone. This comes in handy if you want to use your phone as a controller to capture longer-exposure shots. The Wifi also allows you to upload photos to social media or cloud storage so that you may edit them in another medium.
  • One of the Mark II’s most prominent features is its interchangeable lens feature. By simply changing the lens you can dramatically change a shot. Making lenses easy to change and easy to transport gives you the ability to do this quickly in the field.
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Visiting Singapore Zoo

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Visiting Singapore Zoo

Singapore is a fantastic city and offers lots of stuff for everyone. Singapore zoo is among the best and most beautiful zoos in the whole world loved by adults and children. If you are visiting Singapore with children as tourists, a day in the Singapore zoo is absolutely a must do. The zoo is located in a rainforest natural environment with the animals dwelling on the open space where you get to watch them freely. The zoo has lots of shows that are directed towards educating on the benefits of wildlife and nature. Singapore zoo offers whole ecological adventure, rides, shows, feeding sessions and endless fun.

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You are probably wondering how to get to Singapore zoo. The zoo is situated at an approximately thirty minutes’ drive from the town CBD. You can either get a taxi or connect with a passenger bus to the Singapore zoo. Singapore zoo also has Mandai express shuttle bus that operates from various MRT stations. More so, you can purchase Singapore zoo tickets at either Suntec city or Singapore flyer safari gate. A bus will drive you directly to the zoo from there. Singapore zoo is always open every day of the year. The opening hours are from eight thirty a.m. to six p.m. with the last entry being at five thirty p.m.

 

Singapore zoo has lots of animals for you and the children to see serving as a home to over two thousand eight hundred animals. The animal parks provide a live classroom where learning comes to life.

Inspirove - Singapore ZooThe zoo has more than three hundred and fifteen animal species with sixteen percent of these being in the category of threatened species. Singapore zoo has six zones with each zone replicating a unique habitat for mammals, reptiles, and birds from across the world. Some of these zones include Australasia exhibit, reptile gardens, primate kingdom, and tortoise shelter. You will have a fantastic experience as you familiarise yourself with elusive and rare animals across the entire world. The children will have an opportunity to feed animals, take breakfast with orangutans and play with the animals. All in all, a tour to the zoo will give all the visitors a wide smile regardless of their age groups.

Australia Zoo

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Inspirove - Australia Zoo, Koala not a koala bearAustralia Zoo – Australian Tourist Attractions

One of the best tourist attractions if you are visiting Queensland, Australia is an Australian Zoo visit.

Australia Zoo is probably best known for The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin who had a passion for all wildlife and his famous saying, “Crikey.” This Zoo of Australia is a legacy of the late Steve Irwin who passed away far too early, and the Zoo is now looked after by his family, wife Terri Irwin and Steve Irwin’s Daughter Bindi Irwin and Son Robert Irwin. 

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As far as Zoos in Australia go, this is one of our favourite family outings. The zoo covers an impressive 1000 acres and his home to over 1000 animals including the endangered animals species, the Tasmanian Devil. The Brisbane to Australia Zoo drive takes approximately 1 hour and is conveniently located near Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.

The reason that I think that Australia Zoo is as popular as it is, is not only does it have your typical zoo animals, for example – giraffe, rhino, red panda, cheetah, tiger, reptiles like the snake and lizards, it is also home to a vast array of Australian animals.

Inspirove - Australia Zoo, Kangaroo & baby kangaroo The koala and the kangaroo which is what most guests are wanting to see and are able to get cute animal pictures with these iconic Australian animals. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hand feed a kangaroo or cuddle a koala. You are also able to arrange another animal meeting while you are visiting the zoo, be sure to check the website for a list of animals and booking details.

Australia Zoo usually has school holiday activities for children as well, with Zoo games for the kids to stay entertained and receive a prize, if they can figure out all the clues to the zoo games.

A zoo visit for most families travelling with children is a fantastic way to not only have fun, you also learn animal facts and in Australia this is a great way to learn about our dangerous animals. Out of the 25 most deadly snakes in the world, Australia holds the record with around 20 of these. These are definitely some animal facts you would like your family to be aware of whilst visiting or living in Australia.

Inspirove - Australia Zoo, crocodie show at crocoseum

The highlight of the Australia Zoo visit would have to be the midday Croc show at the Crocoseum.  The show is lively and entertaining and you get to see the zoo crew give an informative talk and do a feeding with a crocodile. Master G loves this show and we have seen it many times. If you are visiting on school holidays or Australia Day, be sure to check the days that the Irwin Family will be there as they also make an appearance.

If you are looking for other tourist attractions for things to do with your family on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Check out our Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium article here.

 

 

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Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium

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Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium

 

If you are thinking of visiting one of the Sunshine Coast attractions, Underwater World or as it is known now, Sea Life Mooloolaba, is a fabulous sea life adventure for the entire family. This Sunshine Coast Aquarium is situated in Mooloolaba, approximately 100km or 1 hour 15 minutes drive north of Brisbane.

There are so many sea creatures and aquatic animals to see in this sea life aquarium. Upon getting your sea life tickets you are able to go directly into the touch tank area.

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This is where you get to touch starfish, sea cucumbers and see an array of baby stingrays and learn important facts about these graceful sea animals. Following on from the touch tank is a display of tanks that contain many species of fish, jellyfish, seahorse and different types of coral. If you have ever seen Finding Nemo, this is definitely for you as they have clown fish, angel fish and an octopus that will remind you of Hank. The intelligence of the octopus will surprise you when you see the children’s toys that they play with. 

One of our favourites though is the Seals Show, which is both educational and funny. This is where you get to learn the difference between an Australian Sea Lion and other different species of seals. Make sure you book a seal kiss and photo at the end of the show. This will definitely be one fishy kiss you will never forget.

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The oceanarium or underwater aquarium is the most impressive attraction at Underwater World Mooloolaba. You can choose to walk around or stand on a conveyor belt for your convenience and experience this massive shark tank. Let’s face it, what child doesn’t want to see a shark up close and personal. If this is not enough for your family, you can also book a behind the scenes tour. We did this on our last visit and got to learn about turtles. The Mooloolaba aquarium has a turtle tank and we found out some incredible tips. ‘What do turtles eat and how they rehabilitate the sea turtles when they are injured.’

We think that Sea Life Aquarium is a great family outing as it is interesting and educational at the same time. We hope you enjoy your visit as much as we did.

If you are looking for other tourist attractions for things to do with your family on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Check out our article on Australia Zoo here

 

10 Reasons Travelling Often is Good for Your Soul

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10 Reasons Travelling Often is Good for Your Soul

Wanderlust can strike at any time, from the moment our last vacation ends to the middle of the workweek if we haven’t travelled in months. Taking time to travel often is essential to maintaining a sense of well-being as well as giving us a chance to get away from the daily grind. But don’t forget the mental and holistic benefits it holds as well! Frequent travel rewards you each day of your journey with new joys and wonders, making each day of your trip a vacation in itself. Check out these ten reasons you should travel more and how it helps.

  1. Gain Better Perspective of Faraway Places- Seeing a place in pictures does not do it the same justice as seeing it live does. Actually travelling to a distant city gives you the chance to see what it’s like in person. A picture can’t show you the city’s personality, how the people interact, how street food smells as you walk through a market or what landmarks look like up close and personal. Get to know a destination intimately by travelling there and spending a few days with it.
  2. Meet New People and Make New Friends- The strongest friendships can be formed through a chance meeting during a vacation. No matter where you go you’ll meet fascinating people who you’ll want to keep in touch with long after your vacation has ended. Not only that you’ll more than likely want to meet again prompting another trip in the future! Travelling often allows you to build a global friendship network with connections wherever you go. No matter where you travel you’ll always have a friend close by.
  3. Open your Mind- When we stay close to home and don’t travel we tend to find ourselves in a bubble where we aren’t aware of the larger world around us. Travel lets us explore worlds other than our own and shows us other goings on than we’re used to. We may be used to modern conveniences such as running water and electricity but have to learn how to live without them when we travel to a region that doesn’t have them. We learn to live a different way and open our minds.
  4. Ditch the Baggage!- First-time travellers tend to over pack while seasoned vacationers have learned that they only need the basics to survive. Travelling often lets you come to terms with why you need so much stuff over time, both physically and mentally. After a while you’ll learn how to travel with a lighter bag and heart, looking forward to the journey ahead and focusing less on what items you absolutely can’t live without. Travelling light lets you see the world as you are.
  5. The Food!- While vising your favourite foreign food place for dinner may be an exotic night out, it is nothing compared to eating a dish prepared in its home country. Tasting authentic food prepared in kitchens where it’s a nightly staple is an experience like no other, and an excuse you will make for future travel plans! Countless television shows are devoted to worldwide cuisines, so be sure you make tasting new food wherever you go a goal for all future travel plans!
  6. Experience Another Culture- While sampling the foods of another culture introduces you to the way they eat, learning about their customs, art and history is a great way to understand a new land as well while broadening your view of the world. Frequent travel allows you to learn about cultures other than your own first-hand. Learning new customs and values as you travel helps you to understand your own, teaching you about who you are as an individual abroad and at home. Travel nourishes the heart and soul.
  7. Learn a Place’s History- No matter where you travel there is sure to be a story that goes along with it. Whether you visit a mountaintop monastery with hundreds of years of history or a monument that has withstood thousands of years of weather, learning the history of a land that makes it unique allows you to understand what makes a place special. Places are connected to their landmarks so understanding why they’re important is key to knowing a place.
  8. Find Yourself on the Journey- Whether you’re travelling alone or with a group, frequent travel allows you to get in touch with the real you that has been hiding behind hard work at home. Through travel you gain a sense of independence and freedom. You begin to learn what drives you, what fascinates you and what motivates you to travel more. It’s a good idea to keep a journal with you while you travel to record your experiences and thoughts. Nothing can hold you back and travelling often lets you embrace that feeling.
  9. Stretch your Comfort Zone- As you travel more, you may begin to pack less, try more adventurous foods, or even try travelling on your own. Frequent travel lets you step out of your comfort zone and embrace a more forward approach towards life. Instead of holding back you may be more likely to dive right into trying new things. Without anything to hold you back or any safety nets you’re perfectly capable of taking on the world by travelling anywhere you wish.
  10. Create Lifelong Memories- One of the most important things you will get out of travel is the creation of memories. While you may be able to bring back souvenirs and trinkets, the memories of how you felt on top of a particular mountain or at a certain monument will stay with you forever. Your travel journal can hold all of these for you to look back on when wanderlust strikes and you begin to plan your next trip. Memories are yours and only yours to keep forever, and are the best reason to travel frequently.

Theme Park Holidays – Gold Coast Australia

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Are you interested in a Theme Park holiday on the Gold Coast Australia?

Below we have listed our go to favourite kids (big and little) theme parks on the Gold Coast. Also be sure to check out our Gold Coast hotel guide coming soon.

 Movie World

MovieWorld is a movie theme park situated approx a short 25 minute drive toward Brisbane from the GoldCoast. Warner Bros Movie World is great for the big kids as well as the little kids with attractions and events to keep the whole family entertained.

What kid big or little doesn’t love Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Batman or any of the other Warner Bros characters. Look out for special theme nights available throughout Halloween and Christmas.

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SEAWORLD Gold Coast

This is by far one of our favourite theme parks for kids. Sea World and SeaWorld Resort are situated approx 15 minutes north of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Those who love the sea are always going to find this particular theme park to be the best one. You will get to see a wide range of marine animals that will remind you of the entirely different world that exists underwater. Seaworld on the Gold Coast AUSTRALIA provides some of the most entertaining events that both kids and adults are going to love.

Make sure that you create the ultimate theme park holiday by including Seaworld in your holiday and you will love the moments that you will be able to experience with family and friends in one of the most legendary theme parks in the world.

Dreamworld

A short 25 minute drive from the Gold Coast is Dreamworld. With so many attractions at one park you will want to return for more family adventures. Dreamworld is great for the little kids with attractions such as Tiger Island, Wiggles World, Dreamworks and ABC Kids World. The big kids will also be entertained with the thrill rides – The Rollercoaster, Giant Drop, WipeOut, Tail Spin and many more. For the parents, why not hire a cabana and relax at WhiteWater World while the kids cool down. Dreamworld also has its own Lego Store for those extra special gifts.

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Wet ‘n’ Wild GoldCoast

There is nothing more important than being able to spend some quality time with your loved ones and friends. The Wet n Wild theme park is the perfect getaway for anyone who is looking to get the most out of their vacation and general leisure time. You are going to love the holiday packages that are available for the whole family and you can find them for a very affordable cost.

There is no other theme park with more water related activities that are both fun and safe for you and tour family.

Remember to bring you sunscreen!!

Paradise Country Aussie Farm Experience

Are you wanting to give your family the authentic Australian theme park experience. At Paradise Country Aussie Farm Experience and now the Farm Stay located behind the Movie World and Wet n Wild theme parks, you can come face to face with all the Australian animals you love. Cuddle a koala. Feed and pat the kangaroos. See dingoes and emus. Check out the baby animal nursery or watch one of the many shows from sheep shearing, watch the stock horses and sheepdogs at work and try some billy tea and damper.

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Whichever Gold Coast Theme Park you decide to visit with your family, I am sure you will all be thrilled and create many memories. 

Virginia, USA Things To Do.

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Virginia, USA – Things To Do.

The Virginia state motto says “Virginia is for lovers.” However, there’s a lot here for families and other adventure seekers as well! From rolling mountain vistas that ripple along the state’s western border to the pristine coastline that welcomes beach-goers to the east, Virginia is packed with a little something for everyone no matter what path you find yourself on. Combine Virginia’s natural beauty with its rich cultural heritage and historic treasures and you’ve got a recipe that’s sure to provide for many trips to this great state in the future. But with so much to do, where do you start?

While many wonderful new discoveries can be made in Virginia just by taking a chance turn and following a sign, it’s best to have a bit of a travel plan in mind before setting off across the state if it’s your first time visiting. Travelling to some of the larger cities first will whet your appetite for what larger populations can offer, while country drives will keep you full on rolling hills, quaint farmsteads and some towns that may take you back in time as well.

The following list highlights some of Virginia’s larger cities and attractions while moving across the state towards the shining Appalachian Mountains that the state is famous for. Some less notable attractions make the list, but that doesn’t mean they are no less awesome. This list will take you from the mountains to the sea, from the depths of the earth to the starry skies, and that’s without having to leave Virginia at all! But don’t take our word for it! Give this beautiful state a visit and see what else it has to offer!

Virginia Beach- Sand and surf await those who come to Virginia Beach, but that’s not all there is to do in this coast resort town. Days can be spent by the Atlantic Ocean while evenings can be spent on the bustling boardwalk. Activities include shopping, restaurants, and for the kids, plenty of amusement rides. The more athletic minded visitors can enjoy sea kayaking and plenty of golf courses, and families looking to escape the sun for the day can explore landmarks such as the Virginia Aquarium, the Military Aviation Museum, or the Cape Henry Lighthouse. Visit Virginia Beach during the off-season, when the weather is cool yet still pleasant but the summer crowds have dispersed.Inspirove

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Williamsburg, Va- Just to the northwest of Virginia Beach is the town of Williamsburg, which is home to Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum that showcases life in 17th century America, and Busch Gardens, a rip-roaring thrill-park sure to bring out your inner child. Take a day to explore each destination as you’ll want to leave no stone unturned here. Colonial Williamsburg features tours rich in history and glimpses into the life of America’s early settlers along with specialty shops with a wide range of selections beyond your wildest imaginations. Save your adventurous side for the next day at Busch Gardens. Four winding roller coasters await challengers while kids will find fun in water raft rides and tamer rides.Inspirove

Staunton River State Park, Scottsburg, Va- Travelling inland, you’re bound to need a rest from all the excitement. Staunton River State Park offers just that and more. Camping enthusiasts will find a welcoming campground with all necessary amenities, while those who prefer indoor lodgings can make use of the park’s charming cabins. For kids, the parks features three playgrounds and an Olympic-sized swimming pool with slides and wading pools. The surrounding rivers and lake allow for plenty of freshwater enjoyment, yet the park’s real draw kicks in when the lights go out. Staunton River State Park is a registered Dark Sky Park. Wait until late in the night to lay under the stars and see the sky as you’ve never seen it before.

Smith Mountain Lake- Staunton River State Park offers visitors stars and lake views, but Smith Mountain Lake ups the ante by including what Virginia is known best for: mountain views. While the two destinations are quite similar, Smith Mountain Lake does offer a bit more to do. Kids can enjoy an afternoon swimming or hiking, or even exploring the lake’s dam. Adults will enjoy the wide variety of restaurant and boat tours offered along the lake’s shores, and thrill-chasers can take a few lessons in wake boarding, a sport becoming popular on the waters of this mountain gem. Whatever activities you and your family fancy, it can be found at Smith Mountain Lake.

Roanoke, Va Tucked into the Roanoke Valley just north of Smith Mountain Lake is the thriving city of Roanoke. It is also called Star City. While there are many museums visitors can visit in Roanoke, including the Virginia Museum of Transportation, an integral part of Roanoke’s history, its main draw is Mill Mountain, home of an 88 foot star (which can be seen for 60 miles when lit), a zoo and overlook. Taking a detour onto the Blue Ridge Parkway before entering Roanoke will bring you to several overlooks that give you aerial views of the city and valley before bringing you to the base of the star, where you can then enjoy the zoo before taking in the city sights.Inspirove

Natural Bridge- Tucked into Virginia’s valleys and mountains are some real wonders of nature, and Natural Bridge is one that has stood tall for centuries. Natural Bridge is a natural arch carved out of the surrounding limestone by the flowing Cedar Creek. George Washington, the first president of the United States, surveyed the site, while at one point Thomas Jefferson, the second president, owned it. The surrounding forests are named after these founding fathers. Families can continue exploring nature’s wonder with the Natural Bridge Caverns, explore Native American history at the Monacan Indian Living History Village, or follow the formidable Cedar Creek along the Cedar Creek trail.Inspirove

Dixie Caverns, Salem, Va- Travelling south from Natural Bridge you’ll begin to see signs for Dixie Caverns. It’s easy to dismiss this as a small tourist trap at first, but it’s well worth the visit. Rather than a cavern tour that takes you down into the earth, the Dixie Caverns actually takes you up into a mountain! Guided tours will show you such interesting sights underground such as the Wedding Bell and Turkey Wing stalactite formations, natural pools of underground water, and other subterranean wonders. The tour completes with a total blackout, giving you a sense of what cavern life is really like. The gift shop is great to find rare crystals, antiques and gifts to take back home.

Blacksburg, Va- This quaint town in the New River Valley is home to Virginia Tech, but surrounded by plenty of outdoor activities for nature lovers. Be sure to visit during the first weekend in August for the town’s annual Steppin’ Out festival, a three-day event that features vendors, live music and food. Sports fans may like to visit later in the autumn to catch a football game at Virginia Tech, or to enjoy the crisp weather that settles in making Blacksburg the perfect place to enjoy the changing seasons. The Jefferson National Forest is a short drive away, where the season can be enjoyed on hiking trails to scenic overlooks and gentle waterfalls.

Cascade Falls, Pembroke, Va- The Washington and Jefferson National Forest is home to several of Virginia’s most beautiful landmarks, and the Cascade Falls is perhaps one of the most stunning and most visited. Tucked away at the end of a two-mile trail, this 70-ft waterfall tumbles into a natural pool that provides plenty of space for families to enjoy an afternoon wading in cool mountain waters and enjoying the wonder of nature far from the static of city life. If you have tiny travellers or tire easy, consider hiking along the upper trail, which provides a gradual slope without much obstacle. However, the lower trail follows closely with the splashing creek, often climbing over slippery rocks and taking several up and down routes.

The Blue Ridge Parkway- The Blue Ridge Parkway is also known as America’s Favourite Drive, and it’s not hard to see why after spending just a few miles on its meandering route. The road is recognized as a National Park and trails 469 miles, connecting Virginia with its southern neighbour, North Carolina. You don’t have to drive the entire route to experience it’s wonder; no matter what portion you choose to ride you’ll be sure to encounter wildlife, rolling mountain views, historic destinations and hiking trails that will show you Virginia’s hidden beauty. Younger travellers might not be able to handle longer journeys along the Parkway without several stops, but you’ll be sure to return again and again.

Fairystone State Park, Stuart, Va- Fairystone is home to the lucky fairystones, cross-shaped stones that are said to only be found at this location. Unfortunately, hunting for fairystones is not one of the activities that the park offers. Camping, swimming, paddle boats and hiking trails are available for those looking to take a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Fairystone Park is also located near the Philpott Reservoir and dam, which offers an overlook of the large lake built by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers, picnic shelters, a playground for young folks, and a museum about the dam. After you see the dam from above, you can see the 200 foot dam and spillway from below.

As you can see, Virginia is definitely worth the trip. What are you waiting for?

Things to do in Bali

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Things to do in Bali
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When you travel to Bali you have to ask yourself whether you want one of those relaxing Bali vacations hanging out at one of the amazing Bali Resorts or do you want to discover the Bali points of interest.

We were lucky enough to do both with our Bali travel, all with a bit of careful planning. If you haven’t already arranged your Bali airport transfers you can do that here.

Below are some general ideas of what to do in Bali, these are some that we were able to experience on our Bali vacation.

1. Traditional Dance – Dance Performance

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We visited a traditional Balinese Barong & Kris Dance.

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The Barong (a mythological creature) battles his enemy Rangda in the Barong dance which represents the battle between good and evil.

2. Rice Terraces at Ubud

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A must see on your trip to Bali for the stunning postcard views. If you are interested in visiting the Rice Terraces at Ubud.

3. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary at Padangtegal Ubud

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I must admit I was very apprehensive about visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Mandara Suci Wenara Wana)  at Padangtegal, Ubud however our guide assured us that we would be fine. We were able to purchase bananas to feed the monkeys at the front entrance and  were instructed to hide them, our sunglasses and hats in our bag and be wary of the cheeky monkeys stealing our belongings. This is an unforgettable experience and I highly recommend a visit, if not only to see the monkeys the Sanctuary has an Exhibition Hall, Holy Spring Temple, Dragon Stairs and an Open Stage to look through.

4. Tirtha Empul Holy Spring and Markets

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This is a Hindu Balinese Water Temple where the Balinese people go for ritual purification and is home to a fresh water spring.

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The markets here are extremely cheap and our guide also purchased her items from this local market.

5. Tegenungan Village Waterfall

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We got here fairly late and did not go for a swim however we  would go back next time, the waterfall looked amazing.

6. Kintamani Restaurant

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We had a buffet lunch here with outside seating overlooking the beautiful Mount Batur and Lake Batur. This was definitely a highlight of our trip.

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The buffet lunch at Kitamani Restaurant offered a variety of foods even for our fussy Master G, however this tour was worth it for the view alone. 

For the more adventurous, why not book a sunrise breakfast tour, the 2 hour trek gives you breakfast and stunning views atop of Mount Batur.

7. Hard Rock Hotel Bali – Cabana by the pool

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For Master G’s Birthday we hired a cabana by the pool.

 For an additional fee it was decorated, he received a Birthday cake and small gift.

It was a lovely day relaxing by the pool and chilling out in our waterfront bungalow before heading out for his Birthday dinner that night.

We really enjoyed our travel to Bali. The Balinese people were so friendly and welcoming, the food was amazing and Bali weather was warm and balmy. I do recommend taking a Bali tour if you get the chance. There are many things to see and do on your Bali trip, you will definitely want to return.

When travelling to Bali, Indonesia we highly recommend Travel Insurance for you and your family. We were lucky that we had Travel Insurance on this family vacation as we had to use it ourselves. Click here to read about our recommended Travel Insurance provider and get a free quote online.