You are here
Home > Travel Tips

Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 757 Xiamen To Chengdu

Introduction: Visiting Pandas In China Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 787-9 Los Angeles To Xiamen Review: Xiamen Air Domestic Lounge Xiamen Airport Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 757 Xiamen To Chengdu Review: St. Regis Chengdu Booking A Panda Adventure In Chengdu, China Our Amazing “Pandadventure” At The Dujiangyan Panda Base Review: Chengdu Airport Domestic Lounge Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 737 Chengdu To Xiamen Review: Le Meridien Xiamen Review: Xiamen Air International Lounge Xiamen Airport Review: Xiamen Air 787-9 Business Class Xiamen To Los Angeles Xiamen Air 8401 Xiamen (XMN) – Chengdu (CTU) Saturday, September 30 Depart: 7:35AM Arrive: 10:25AM Duration: 2hr50min Aircraft: Boeing 757-200 Seat: 12A (Business Class) As I mentioned in the last installment, I was fully expecting our flight to Chengdu to be operated by a 737, so I was surprised when we pulled up to a 757 instead. I’m not sure if the equipment change was because a 737 was out of service, or if the flight was oversold because we were traveling over a Chinese national holiday, and they had the plane available. Regardless, I was excited to have the opportunity to try yet another Xiamen Airlines plane, especially as this is one of a limited number of 757s operated by a Chinese airline. Xiamen Air 757 Even more exciting was that I had no clue what to expect in terms of the plane’s interior. Usually I study everything I can about a plane before I actually fly it, though I hadn’t done any research on Xiamen Air’s 757s. So I was quite surprised when I boarded and found out that this was a three cabin 757, with first class, business class, and economy class. In the front of the cabin were two rows of angled flat seats, in a 2-2 configuration. Aside from the finishes, these seats were identical to American’s old business class. Xiamen Air 757 first class Xiamen Air 757 first class Immediately behind first class was two rows of business class, which consisted of eight seats as well. The cabin was in a 2-2 configuration, and was very much in a regional layout. Xiamen Air 757 business class I’d say legroom was roughly comparable to what you’d find on a domestic flight within the US. Xiamen Air 757 business class legroom We were in the second row of business class, and I couldn’t decide whether the cabin felt intimate or just plain claustrophobic, especially when the curtains between cabins were closed after takeoff. Xiamen Air 757 business class Xiamen Air 757 business class cabin In the far armrest was a tray table that could be folded over in half. Xiamen Air 757 business class tray table There were also audio controls underneath the center armrest. Xiamen Air business class audio controls I appreciated that these seats had personal air nozzles, which far too many planes don’t have nowadays. Xiamen Air 757 business class overhead consoles Waiting in the seatback pocket was a set of slippers, a shoe bag, and a shoehorn. The slippers were a different color than on our longhaul flight, and I sort of liked the contrast between the baby blue and the purple. Xiamen Airlines business class slippers Also waiting at my seat was a pillow and blanket. The blanket

Which Citi AAdvantage Card Offer Is Best For You?

We’re seeing one sign-up bonus on a Citi AAdvantage Card being pulled later today, while we just saw two new limited time sign-up bonuses being introduced yesterday, so I wanted to recap the offers for anyone who is trying to decide between these cards (since later today you’ll only have a total of two cards to choose from, rather than three). The three increased Citi AAdvantage Card sign-up bonuses At the moment there are three limited time sign-up bonuses on Citi AAdvantage cards. Here are the details of how big the offers are, their annual fees, and when the offers end: Limited time, ending later today: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is offering a sign-up bonus of 75,000 AAdvantage miles after making $7,500 of purchases within the first three months; the card has a $450 annual fee Limited time, just introduced: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months; the card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months Limited time, just introduced: The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months; the card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months Which offers are you eligible for? As far as applying for Citi cards goes: You can only apply for one Citi card every eight days You can apply for no more than two Citi cards every 65 days In terms of eligibility for these cards specifically, both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®  and Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® have the following restrictions: American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage®card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months. Meanwhile the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has the following restriction: This card is not available if the business already has a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® account. Bonus miles and any additional special offer not available if you have had any CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® account opened or closed in the past 24 months. In other words: If you have none of these cards, you can be approved for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® and either the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®  or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, but not both If you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and/or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’re eligible for the sign-up bonus on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®  If you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’re eligible for the sign-up bonus on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® if you haven’t opened or closed either account in the past 24 months (however, if you’ve had the one card open for 24 or more months, you’d be eligible for the other one) If you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’re eligible for the sign-up bonus on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive

The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking New Zealand

In a land far far away where snowcapped mountains dot the country and rugged coastlines shape it, New Zealand is a magical place. Although a trek to get to, there are so many reasons why it should be your next backpacking destination. Filled with world-class adventure activities such as hiking, skiing and bungee jumping, this country has become a haven for outdoor lovers and adventure junkies. Boasting some of the most beautiful coastlines and mountains in the world, New Zealand urges to be explored. It comes as no surprise, that it is a mecca for tourism with double-digit growth in annual visitors. While it is also a popular destination for vacationers and honeymooners, the best way to see the country is to strap on your backpack and spend some quality time exploring. Mount Awful, Aspiring National Park. Photo by When to Visit New Zealand Tourism in New Zealand is very seasonal. Unless you are looking for winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding, it’s best to visit between November and May. The summer, from December to February, gets very busy at tourist attractions. Campsites and backpackers tend to fill up quickly during this time. Our favorite time of the year is April and May. The temperatures start dropping quickly, but so do the tourists. This is a great time to hike and you should still be able to access the entire country before snowfall hits. Visa Options for Backpacking New Zealand Visitor Visa – If you want to stay longer than three months or you are not from a visa waiver country, you must apply online before your trip. This visa is valid for up to nine months stay in New Zealand. Visa Waiver Visitor Visa – If your passport is from a visa waiver country, you do not need to apply for a visa prior to arriving. Visas are granted for three months. Working Holiday Visa – If you are between the age of 18 and 30 and mostly want to come to New Zealand to travel, but also want the option to work or study, this may be a perfect option. The visa is valid for 12 months and requires proof of $4,200 NZD ($3,000 USD) equivalent in your bank account as well as full medical insurance. To read more on visa options related to your country and interest, check out the New Zealand Immigration page. A waterfall in the Catlins. Photo by Sim Card Skinny Direct was our preferred mobile carrier of choice. They have the best rates for a prepaid monthly plan and very good service backed by the Spark Mobile network. Prices are $30 ($21 USD) per month for 3GB of data or $50 ($36 USD) per month for 10 GB of date. All plans come with unlimited text and minutes. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for your trip to New Zealand. It’s the one thing you should always pack. World Nomads is a popular choice for adventurers and travellers. Enter your details below to get a free quote. Banking in New Zealand If you are planning to work,

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

Ever wondered who takes an active vacation trekking in South America? The type of folks who will be your fellow adventurers on an active tour of Peru or Patagonia? The answer might surprise you—because there is no one answer. We see an endless panoply of unique and interesting individuals, but they do share a few common traits: Openness, curiosity, enthusiasm, courage, and more than a little love of adventure. Over the years, we’ve identified a few general personality types that many—not all, of course—of our guests tend to display. Take a look at our list and see if you can find yourself or someone you know in one of them. Let us know in the comments if you think we’ve hit the nail on the head with any of them, or know of a type we missed.   Aaron the Adventurer – Age 56 Aaron is a bank VP by day, with a corner office overlooking a bustling cityscape. He’s a classic adventure personality, escaping the stress of his job with active weekends hiking, biking, and kayaking. Each year, he plans one extraordinary adventure to test his limits, to pit himself against Mother Nature and all she has to offer. Last year, Aaron spent 12 days hiking and kayaking the fiords of Norway. This year, he’s trekking somewhere new—Patagonia and the infamous “W” trek in the Torres del Paine National Park, a four-day journey through snow-covered mountains and sheer granite cliffs, summiting at one of the most incredible and widely recognized mountain landscapes in the world. At a height of 900 meters (about 3,000 feet), the “Towers of Blue” are believed to be the world’s highest natural cliff faces. Even that isn’t enough for intrepid Aaron. He’s going to strap on his crampons and shoulder his pick axe to ice climb Grey Glacier in Chile before exploring Argentina’s breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier. He’s debating a third week to explore Northern Patagonia and the Ring of Fire, the volcanic belt in the Chilean Andes.   Culturally Curious Carl and Christine – Ages 48 and 47 Carl, an architect, and Christine, a social worker, met 25 years ago on a cultural tour of China during their last year at university, and they’ve always shared a passion for cultural travel. They’ve recently made the last tuition payment for their daughter’s university education and decided to celebrate their new financial freedom with their first couples’ holiday in 13 years—a cultural exploration of Peru seemed like the perfect fit. They’ll begin in Cuzco, in the heart of the Incan Empire, visiting the archaeological marvels at the “House of the Sun.” They’re excited to hike the Lares Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and watch the morning sun break through Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. They’ll even do some trekking through the Amazon rainforest. What really speaks to their heart, though, is travelling through the farms and villages of the Andes, especially visiting the Quechua people near Lake Titicaca and experiencing their ancient culture, unchanged over the centuries.   Bucket-List Betsey – Age 61 Betsey recently retired from her job as a

Pathfinder pics: Myanmar from the water

Lonely Planet Pathfinders Atlas & Boots give us a floating tour of Myanmar‘s distinct waterways. Water plays a central part in Burmese culture and makes for a still, but stunning backdrop. Multi-day river cruises transport locals and tourists up and down the timeless Irrawaddy River. The boats drift by dense, jungle-clad riverbanks, endless rice paddies and rural river villages. Inle Lake is home to the unique Intha fishermen, who row their boats with one leg across the serene waters. Surrounded by marshes and green hills, the lake is dotted with stilt houses, Buddhist temples and tiny hamlets with floating gardens built from strips of water hyacinth. Wherever you are in the country – be it urban or rural – water is at the forefront of Burmese life. A fisherman on Inle Lake demonstrates the balancing act of fishing on one leg A post shared by Atlas & Boots (@atlasandboots) on Feb 13, 2017 at 5:05am PST The traditional and rather unusual technique of rowing with one leg has been developed over centuries so the fishermen can stand and row the boat while they fish. Standing allows them to see through the reeds that lie just beneath the surface in the shallow waters of the lake. A lone fisherman punts his riverboat past the U Bein Bridge near Amarapura   A post shared by Atlas & Boots (@atlasandboots) on Feb 21, 2017 at 4:58am PST The 1.2km wooden bridge spans Taungthaman Lake and is the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world. The sun was beating hot when we stopped at this picturesque spot but the lazy, hazy mid-morning walk offered a fascinating insight into life on the lake. Floating gardens and bamboo stilt houses on Inle Lake A post shared by Atlas & Boots (@atlasandboots) on Feb 18, 2017 at 6:51pm PST The local In-Thars grow vegetables on the floating islands, constructed from a collection of floating weeds and water hyacinth. The islands can be cut, rearranged and moved by boats, and even sold like a piece of land. They make for great silhouettes against the twilight tones of sunset. A setting sun lingers over the iconic stupas of the ancient city of Bagan   A post shared by Atlas & Boots (@atlasandboots) on Feb 22, 2017 at 5:34pm PST Founded in the second century on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, the kingdom featured over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries over the centuries. Today, the remains of ‘only’ 2000 can be seen, but it still makes Bagan the world’s largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples. Our boat glides through lotus plants and water hyacinths on Inle Lake   A post shared by Atlas & Boots (@atlasandboots) on Feb 14, 2017 at 3:56am PST We spent an afternoon relaxing on a boat ride around Inle Lake in Shan State. We slid past villages built on stilts inhabited by the local Intha people and leg-rowing fishermen as well as floating gardens built from strips of water hyacinth and mud, anchored to the lake bed with bamboo. Looking across the tranquil Kandawgyi Lake in Yangon A post shared by Atlas

Amex Business Cards That Won’t Count Towards The 5/24 Limit

One of the most restrictive policies for new credit card approvals is the 5/24 rule. Back in July I wrote a detailed explanation of how the restriction works, though let’s recap the basics first. What is the 5/24 rule? With Chase’s 5/24 policy, you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new accounts in the past 24 months. This is more of a general guideline than a strict rule, though. Here’s what you should know about 5/24: A vast majority of new credit card accounts will count towards that limit, meaning that opening five or more cards in 24 months will make you ineligible for certain Chase cards One exception is most non-Chase business cards don’t count towards this limit There are people who report not having any issues being approved for a card even though they surpassed the 5/24 rule, so it’s not consistently enforced The 5/24 rule doesn’t apply to all Chase cards, meaning that there are some Chase cards you can still easily be approved for if you’ve opened five or more card accounts in the past 24 months; among these cards is the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card This is mostly anecdotal, since Chase doesn’t officially publish this restriction for most cards Amex Business Cards don’t count towards the 5/24 limit As I mentioned above, generally speaking non-Chase business cards don’t count towards the 5/24 limit. I tend to think that the best non-Chase business cards are those issued by American Express. Given the number of limited time American Express credit card offers available at the moment, I think it’s worth specifically talking about them in the context of this. Why does this matter? For those with excellent credit, Amex business cards are among the easiest to be approved for Amex typically uses internal data to conditionally approve people for their cards (which means applying for Amex cards is basically “risk free,” since there’s typically not a pull if you get denied) Typically there’s not even a hard pull when applying for an Amex business card Three great limited time Amex business card offers If you’re looking to apply for cards but don’t want to increase your “count” towards the 5/24 limit, consider applying for one of the following three limited time offers: The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering 50,000 SkyMiles after spending $2,000 within three months, plus 10,000 additional SkyMiles after spending an additional $1,000 within the first six months, plus a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; the card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year (expires November 4, 2017) The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering 70,000 SkyMiles plus 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $4,000 within three months, plus a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months; the card has a $195 annual fee (expires November 4, 2017) The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering 25,000 Starpoints after spending $6,000 within three months, plus 10,000 additional Starpoints after spending an additional $4,000 within the

Just back from: Rome and Naples

Phil in front of Neptune’s Fountain in Navona Square, Rome © Phil Harper Phil Harper, PR Manager at Lonely Planet, recently returned from a trip to Rome and Naples, Italy. Tell us more… I’d been to Rome before, nearly ten years ago, but always wanted to return. This year I decided to go back and take my dad (who had never been) along with me, and I insisted we add on some time in Naples for the chance to explore somewhere new. In a nutshell… As a history buff, travel destinations don’t get much better than this. Few places can match Rome for architecture and archaeology; and while Naples is a bit more down-to-earth it’s also the perfect place to explore Roman ruins as well as beautiful coastal landscapes. Wandering the ruins of Pompeii © Phil Harper Good grub? You’re kidding right? Pizza, pasta, risotto, seafood, gelato… there are few places in the world where you can eat as well as you will in Italy. Naples is the home of pizza, so it was pretty much obligatory. A good local spot is Gino Sorbillo’s where fresh dough and simple toppings, like a classic tomato and mozzarella margarita, are cooked for just a couple of minutes in a wood-fired oven, then washed down with an ice-cold beer. We spent a considerable part of the week trying to find the best gelato in Italy too. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it… You’d be a muppet to miss… Pompeii. Sometimes you wonder if iconic places are going to live up to the hype – Pompeii absolutely does. While the ruins of Herculaneum in Campania are better preserved, the sheer splendour and scale of Pompeii is absolutely jaw-dropping. It also really brings home the human tragedy of the eruption of Vesuvius, which buried this Roman town beneath the ash for centuries. The Colosseum after dark © Phil Harper Fave activity? For the first time this year, visitors to Rome can book on night-time tours of the Colosseum. With only 300 people allowed in each night, it’s a fantastic opportunity to explore this incredible monument without the crowds – and to take a peek at the corridors beneath the arena floor, which are out of reach for most visitors. Quintessential experience? Grab an after-dinner gelato and take a stroll through the streets of central Rome in the evening. The streets are quieter and many of the city’s piazzas, fountains and monuments take on a whole new look under lights. Evening is a great time to take a trip to the Trevi Fountain – don’t forget to throw your coin in to ensure you’ll return to the city one day! Top tip… Invest in good walking shoes. While public transport is cheap and accessible in both Rome and Naples, it’s often easier to walk – and cobbled streets and Roman ruins require sturdy footwear. There’s plenty to see just wandering the streets and you’ll discover loads of hidden gems. Plus, you’ll definitely build up a good appetite for all that fantastic food! Want more

Diving In Raja Ampat: The Richest Marine Biodiversity On Earth

The best scuba diving in Indonesia is found in the far eastern archipelago of Raja Ampat. This cluster of 1,500 islands sits inside the coral triangle, an area known to have the richest marine biodiversity on the planet. There are at least 1,500 known fish species 537 known coral species, dozens of shark species (including the rare Wobbegong) as well as numerous mammals like dolphin, dugong and sperm whale. I was fortunate to be invited as a blogger for Goats On The Road to take part on the epic Trip of Wonders 2017 by The Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia. Raja Ampat was our third and final stop on the trip and I was ecstatic that the final spot was in one of the best dive locations on Earth, but at the same time I was sad to see such an incredible journey coming to an end. The entire trip started with diving in Alor where we had some of the best visibility and most abundant fish life, then we went to do some diving in Komodo where I finally got to see manta rays, and the final stop was in Raja Ampat. I really can’t express how blessed I felt to be invited on this trip and to be able to experience this once in a lifetime diving expedition. In this article, I’m going to share a bit about my experience on diving trip in Raja Ampat, but also share with you all of the prices, transportation and logistics of the trip so that if you want to plan a similar dive trip to Raja Ampat, you can do so easily using this guide. Getting To Raja Ampat Our plane landed at Sorong airport, the main gateway to Raja Ampat. We flew in from Komodo, so we had a long journey including 4 flights and an overnight layover, but most people who visit Raja Ampat will come from Jakarta or Bali, so I’ll include those logistics here as well. Photo By: Wet Traveler Our Flight(s) – Komodo to Raja Ampat We flew from Labuan Bajo to Denpasar to Makassar and finally onward to Sorong (Raja Ampat). The journey took us 2 days as we had an overnight stop in Makassar. If you were to do the same trip, you could likely complete it in a day, but it was nice to take a break mid-way as it’s a lot of flying! Flights from Bali to Raja Ampat If you’re flying from Bali, you will likely stop over in Makassar and a round trip flight will likely cost you between $180 – $200 USD depending on the season. The first lag will be from Bali Denpasar (DPS) with LionAir / WingsAir and will head to Makassar Sultan Hasanuddin International (UPG). Srawija and Garuda Air are likely the airlines you’ll fly with from Makassar to Sorong as they are the best airlines that have single stop flights to Raja Ampat. The layovers in Makassar tend to be quite long (8 hours in Makassar) on the way to Raja Ampat from Bali, but the return layovers are

A Traveller’s Story: Discovering Roots in Grenada

In 2015, my wife Sarah and I started planning what was intended to be a year long travel adventure. The first thing we did was to draw up a long list of the countries that we most wanted to visit. I’m talking dozens and dozens of incredible places, that for one reason or another we had a strong desire to explore. But strangely enough, Grenada, the beautiful Caribbean island where my mum was born, just wasn’t on that list. I think in many ways, the idea of it was too overwhelming for me. What if it didn’t live up to the expectations I had of it? What if I felt no connection with it? And what if I simply didn’t like it? But the more that we’ve travelled, the more I’ve begun to feel this intense, almost gravitational pull towards Grenada. It just seems crazy exploring so many amazing new countries, while at the same time putting off visiting the one that has the most personal meaning to me. Where Are You From? When you travel, there’s one question that you have to get used to being asked over and over again. Whenever you meet someone new, it’s usually the first thing to come out of their mouths, long before they’ve even asked your name. I guess for many people it’s a way to start building an idea of what you’re like as a person, to help file you in a neat little box in their minds. That question is “Where are you from?”. For most people it’s probably quite a straightforward answer, one that they don’t even have to think about when providing it. But for me it’s not so simple. You see, I’m mixed race, and visibly so. When someone directs that question towards me I have to try and figure out exactly what they mean. Are they asking where I was born? Are they asking which country I call home? Or, as is the case in many instances, are they asking where my colour comes from? For me it’s really a loaded question, and one which I usually have to take a few goes at answering. If I reply with the country of my birth, the next question is often “No but I mean where are you from originally?”, implying what is my heritage. Even though this question has a pretty straightforward answer which now rolls off my tongue automatically, the more I’ve been asked it, the more I’ve begun to question it myself. So it’s set me on a path of wanting to discover exactly where I come from. Which of course means I absolutely need to head to Grenada. Questions of Grenada I was totally fascinated by the idea of Grenada when I was a kid. My mum would tell me spellbinding stories of the country where she spent her youth. It seemed so far removed from anything I knew, that in my mind it grew into this almost mythical place. Lush green hills dotted with colourful wooden houses built on stilts to protect them from flooding. Trees

Celebrate Like A Kiwi – Hike New Zealand’s Milford Track this Christmas

Anyone living in the northern hemisphere will be familiar with the term ‘white Christmas’… but have you ever heard of a ‘golden sand Christmas’? Or a ‘lush green rain forest Christmas’? Maybe a ‘glass of wine as you’re sun baking beside a lake, high in the Southern Alps Christmas’? Ok, we’re getting carried away now, but what an amazing idea – a Southern Hemisphere Christmas! Summer solstice lands on December 22nd in New Zealand this year, so during the Christmas/New Year period our days are the longest, warmest, and it’s the perfect time to be exploring the great Kiwi countryside. This also means it’s the most popular time to visit New Zealand, but I’m here to tell you that the crowds don’t matter – if you choose your trip wisely. Most Christmas travellers from the Northern Hemisphere will have 2 or 3 weeks of vacation time, and the most popular way to spend that time is 1 week on the North Island, and 2 weeks on the South Island. Along the way you’ll want to hit a few beaches, visit a few wineries, get off the beaten track to hike a few local hiking and biking trails, and most importantly; hike a handful of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Of the 9 Great Walks, the Milford Track is without a doubt the most famous, and for many travellers it’s the single most important reason for choosing to travel to New Zealand. The Milford Track is one of the longest established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It starts on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau and crosses McKinnon Pass to Milford Sound, taking in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rain forest of the West Coast. Some hikers choose to hike the Milford Track in its entirety on a guided walk, or take a day walk it, along with a handful of nearby Great Walks. Fiordland National Park is home to 3 of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks; the Milford Track, the Routeburn Track and the Kepler Track. All of which are a short drive from one another, but all 3 of these Great Walks have very distinct personalities, and the scenery you’ll experience on each trail clearly distinguishes it from the others, meaning that day hikers can absorb a greater variety of countryside, in the same time as others hike one trail in its entirety. For those keen hikers looking to complete the Milford Track in its entirety, it’s possible to hike the track solo, or with a guided walk. The Department of Conservation has placed a limit on the number of hikers entering the track to prevent overcrowding and excessive damage to the trail – so with only 40 independent hikers allowed on the trail each day, and Christmas hiking passes sold out months in advance – the next option is to take a guided walk. The Milford Track guided walk is four days of breath taking scenery. It’s loaded with additional benefits over doing it solo,