The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - DOC HOLIDAY - L I SA M AYO H

Is a New Zealand road trip suit­able for a sin­gle woman in her 60s? I’d like to do the North Is­land, up to the Bay of Is­lands, and the wine dis­tricts in the north of the South Is­land. Would it be nec­es­sary to book ac­com­mo­da­tion ahead or could I just hire a car and see where the road takes me?


A self-drive hol­i­day on New Zealand’s well-sign­posted roads is one way to en­joy jaw-drop­ping scenery from glassie lakes and snow-topped moun­tains to forests and long stretches of empty beach. Start by look­ing at, where Tourism New Zealand help­fully out­lines itin­er­ar­ies in­clud­ing the Twin Coast Dis­cov­ery High­way which trav­els from Auck­land up to the Bay of Is­lands. Just make sure you’re com­fort­able do­ing all the driv­ing, and build in plenty of stops to rest and take pho­tos at land­marks such as dra­matic Cape Reinga, at the very tip of the North Is­land, where the Pa­cific Ocean meets the Tas­man Sea.

Even if you travel at a less busy time of year, I rec­om­mend you book ac­com­mo­da­tion in ad­vance to avoid be­ing stranded alone. Break the trip into lo­ca­tions you want to visit, work out how long it will take you to get there and book a night’s ac­com­mo­da­tion at each spot. has sug­ges­tions for all types of ac­com­mo­da­tion, and you can search by lo­ca­tion, date and avail­abil­ity. Camper­vans are an al­ter­na­tive to cars but they can be hard to drive and ma­noeu­vre alone.


My wife and I just paid our de­posit on a 2020 world cruise and would like any tips on how we can en­joy this ex­pe­ri­ence more.


First, get in early and book your pre­ferred shore ex­cur­sions. They can sell out – as do spa treat­ments and spe­cialty restau­rants on sea days. Bev­er­age or cof­fee bun­dled pack­ages are of­ten good value, and make use of new cruise plan­ner apps to al­low easy on-board com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your wife and keep up to date on daily ac­tiv­i­ties. Hel­loworld’s head of cruise, John Si­mos, says it’s a good idea to walk the ship on your first day to be­come fa­mil­iar with its fa­cil­i­ties. And ad­vise the cruise line of oc­ca­sions like an­niver­saries or birthdays that fall while you’re on board.

Con­sider down­load­ing a city guide mo­bile app, such as Lonely Planet’s My City Guides which in­clude maps and sug­gested tours in ci­ties around the world. Take out an in­ter­na­tional roam­ing plan with a rea­son­able data al­lowance so you can wan­der far and wide and find your way back to the ship.

John also rec­om­mends ar­riv­ing at shows early to get the best seats and en­joy a pre-show drink, and re­mem­ber, on sea days the ship shops will run spe­cial pro­mo­tions with popup sales, so keep that in mind for any planned shop­ping sprees.

John also rec­om­mends ex­er­cise at the on-board gym to counter in­dul­gent menus, and if you plan to use ship’s laun­dry, go early to beat the queues.


Next Septem­ber I hope to take my son to South Amer­ica for two weeks. We’d like to visit Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro to start with and do not want to do tours. I am 71 and he is 37. If you could ad­vise of cur­rency, and any spe­cial things to do or in­ter­est­ing places to stay.


Copaca­bana is Rio de Janeiro’s most fa­mous and touristy neigh­bour­hood but you will find Ipanema or Le­blon, just to the south, safe al­ter­na­tives. Both sub­urbs are buzzing with restau­rants, bars and shops and on one side have beach, and on the other side the Ro­drigo de Fre­itas La­goon, bet­ter known as Lagoa, where lots of peo­ple walk and ex­er­cise.

Rio’s at­trac­tions in­clude Christ the Redeemer statue, Su­gar­loaf Moun­tain, the Mu­seum of To­mor­row in the city and an abun­dance of hikes of vary­ing dif­fi­culty – Pe­dra Bonita isn’t too dif­fi­cult and takes about half an hour, with a great view. The beaches on weekdays are re­laxed, but on the week­end are very busy.

You could spend a day peo­ple­watch­ing by life­guard tower Posto 10 on Ipanema Beach, or Praia Ver­melha is a lit­tle beach near Su­gar­loaf Moun­tain, which has a ca­sual, fam­ily vibe.

Rio is fa­mous for its chur­ras­carias (bar­be­cue restau­rants) where you pay a fee and waiters de­liver meat un­til you


N EW Z E A L A N D Cape Reinga is worth a stop on a New Zealand road trip; book shore ex­cur­sions early on a world cruise; and Ipanema Beach, Brazil, is good for peo­ple-watch­ing.



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