A Travellerspoint blog

What is the best half-day hike in South Island?

Hooker Valley Track hike is easily one of the most picturesque tramps New Zealand has to offer.

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You want to experience a real hike but can't stand walking for miles? Or maybe you don't have enough time to do one of those full-day hikes in New Zealand? Well, there is one tramp - easy, fast and as scenic as any other hike in both islands. Hooker Valley Track Hike is only 10 km long, mostly flat and can be completed in just 3 to 4 hours. You will get the chance to view some of the grandest peaks of Southern Alps, icebergs, glacier lakes and cross swing bridges - how much better can it get?

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The first part of the tramp is Mueller Lake with Mt. Sefton standing guard from above.

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The view from the first suspension bridge. The color of the river is awesome!

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Hooker Glacier Terminus can be seen on the far side of the Hooker Lake with numerous icebergs in between. Mt. Cook, shrouded in a veil of mystery can be seen in the background.

Feel free to read the full travel story about the best half-day hike in the South Island at Miles with Vibes.

Posted by mileswithvibes 11:08 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes mountains new_zealand hike hooker_valley Comments (0)

French crepes and galettes in Sydney

A visit to Four Frogs creperie in Circular Quay will have you reconsider the way those french delicacies should be prepared, served and taste.

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Sweet crepes or savory galettes? Lunch or dinner? Coffee or Cider? Worry not, for there is a place that can fulfill all your cravings - Four Frogs creperie in Circular Quay,

What’s so special about this specific French creperie?

To begin with, it is the great quality of service that amazed me, totally personalized and mostly friendly. All my questions have been met with answers and they helped to close in my selection, the grande Crepe Suzette. The divine combination of caramelized sugar, candied orange zest, orange segments, and Grand Marnier was something I have never tasted.

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But as soon as I tasted my flaming delight it was made clear to me that the four Frenchmen are pretty serious about their crepes. Naturally gluten-free buckwheat flour that is milled in-house, a well-known salt variety called “fleur de sel” and the best-brewed coffee available with a lasting chocolate aftertaste!

Is the Four Frogs creperie worth a visit?

The 4 Frogs is an authentic French creperie, in every aspect. Crepes are traditionally made in-store with high-quality ingredients and personalized service. Well worth a visit!

I claim no credit for any images posted on this article; they are copyright to their respectful owner, Four Frogs Creperie.

Posted by mileswithvibes 15:09 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney australia crêpes creperie Comments (0)

Hobbiton is real and will take your breath away

A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set is a truly mesmerising and memorable experience that will certainly take your breath away, fan or not.

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Imagine a place where having 7 meals per day and being invited to parties would be part of your weekly routine. A place surrounded by emerald hills, colourful houses and lush gardens. Does such a place really exist?

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Of course, it does and it’s called Hobbiton. Hobbiton is part of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional world, called Middle Earth, where Elves, Dwarves, Wizards, Dragons and other peculiar creatures roam freely.

What’s the story of Hobbiton?

Construction started sometime in 1999 when Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, deemed the Alexander farm to be the ideal location for Tolkien’s bucolic setting. Two decades and 6 movies later, the Hobbiton Movie Set, as it is called today, is the only movie set from the LOTR & The Hobbit films that is still standing.

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Where is Hobbiton located?

Visiting Hobbiton means that you need to travel all the way to New Zealand. The nearby village, Matamata, in the shadow of the Kaimai Range Mountains saw an increased flow of tourists since Hobbiton Movie Set officially started welcoming visitors.

How much does it cost?


The cost of the two-hour tour can range from 89 NZD to 119 NZD, depending on the exact town you will be departing (Matamata, Rotorua etc.). The ticket price includes the bus trip (if you book transfer), the guided your and your free ping at the Green Dragon. A cheaper option would be to rent your own car and get directly to the site. You may look at all the pricing options at https://www.hobbitontours.com/.
During the tour, make sure to keep close to your tour guide as he/she will be sharing some exciting and weird facts that took place before or during the filming of Lord of the Rings.

The Green Dragon Inn

One of the most interesting (and also the final) parts of the tour is your visit to the Green Dragon Inn.

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You actually get to chill next to the fireplace tasting authentic hobbit ale — “the only brew for the brave and true”. Additionally, you can order local Hobbiton products since all the produce of the village’s green gardens is not thrown away; instead, it is served to the pub’s visitors. Pretty awesome, right?

Is Hobbiton Movie Set worth a visit?

If you are a fan of Tolkien’s cosmos then there is absolutely no need to question yourself whether a visit to the sole place in earth resembling Hobbiton is worth a visit. For all those of you that have never heard of The Lord of the Rings, a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set will be a truly memorable experience. Don’t forget that you will get the chance to roam inside a fantasyland like no other and see up close where some of the most successful cinema movies were filmed.

Posted by mileswithvibes 11:08 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new_zealand hobbiton lord_of_the_rings tolkien Comments (0)

Visiting Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore

The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore

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Paradoxically located in Chinatown, even if the city has its own Little India district, Sri Mariamman Temple is one of the best things a visitor can do in Singapore. Why is that?


The oldest Hindu temple in the city

The temple was built in 1827 by the actions of Mr Naraina Pillai and since then it has undergone numerous renovations every 12 years (a ceremony know as Kumbhabhishekham)

The massive gopuram

The 5-tiered tower hanging above the front entrance of the temple acted as a beacon for early settlers and pilgrims.

A cultural and religious focal point for the Hindu community

The temple provided immigrants with shelter until they found a permanent job and moved on. Besides, numerous Hindu festivals are bein organised e.g. weddings, firewalking etc.

A fine example of Dravidian architecture

Dravidian style temples originate in South India, the land of Tamil people. This temple clearly represents the Dravidian architecture.

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Feel free to read the full story about Sri Mariamman Temple at https://www.mileswithvibes.com/singapore/sri-mariamman-temple-hindu-spiritual-destination/.

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Posted by mileswithvibes 01:01 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore tamil hindu sri_mariamman_temple dravidian_architecture Comments (0)

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