Author: Alistair Baillie

When I’m not sailing the seven seas as a Deck Officer aboard some amazing cruise ships I can be found travelling the world on my own or with friends.

Harry Potter Studio Tour

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Living in the UK, London is only ever a few hours away and when Warner Brothers opened up their studios in London where the majority of the films were filmed I had to visit. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour twice so far, the first was with my sister at the end of November 2015 and I visited again with my Floridian friend Zahra in August 2016.

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Darwin

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I landed in Darwin, capital of Australias Northern Territory, a little after lunch having taken a 4.5-hour flight from Brisbane and immediately was hit by the tropical heat on stepping off the aircraft. After grabbing my luggage I jumped onboard a shuttle which took me to my hotel. I had chosen to stay at one of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotels down on the Esplanade – mainly because I wanted a cookie – but also I quite like DoubleTree hotels.

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Brisbane

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We arrived late at night at the apartments, so next day we were up early and heading out into the city, we made our way up the main shopping street towards the river and hopped on a boat tour sailing down the river. The tour was very informative, sitting up on the open top deck might not have been the best decision as while it was warm in the sun, the breeze on the river was quite chilly.

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Hobbiton Movie Set

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No visit to New Zealand would be complete without a visit to at least one of the movie sets or locations from Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. As we were only planning on visiting the North Island we’d decided in advance that we would go to the Hobbiton Movie Set which is located around one hour north west of Rotorua or around two hours to the south of Auckland.

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Wai-O-Tapu

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Located around 16 miles south of Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand is Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, a very active geothermal area filled with mud pools, volcanic sulphur pools and the famous Lady Knox Geyser. My parents and I had travelled south from Auckland the previous day and stayed overnight in the quaint town…

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Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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While on the way south to Rotorua we stopped off at Waitomo Glowworm Caves which are famous for having millions of glow worms inside. The drive from Auckland was around two hours, initially down the motorway and then onto fairly good normal roads. The site features three different caves spread out over the area, the…

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Auckland

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We headed to our hotel in the centre of Auckland’s CBD and after dumping our stuff in the rooms it was time to head out and explore the surrounding area and find something for dinner. Our hotel was a short walk from Sky City and the main shopping streets, it was also ideally located for the waterfront areas, taking a little over 10 minutes to walk there!

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Antarctica

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The Drakes Passage is notorious for its weather and it definitely lives up to its reputation and is seen as a bit of a right of passage for travellers heading south. Of the numerous crossings I did over those four months all but two were rough and one, our last of the season was the worst weather…

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Australia: My First Solo Adventure

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For a few years, I had wanted to travel to Australia but wasn’t overly sure about going on my own. I spent several years looking into it and even trying to coordinate my travel plans with some of my friends and colleagues but for various reasons cost, vacation time not matching up & work to name a few, they kept falling through.

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Grytviken, South Georgia

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Grytviken was originally established as a whaling station back in 1904 and during its first season operating 195 whales were landed here. At its peak, Grytviken was home to over 300 persons and substantially reduced the whale population in the waters surrounding the island. The settlement is famously known as the end of Shackleton’s fateful journey…

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