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Hidden Gems of Home!

Travel Forums General Talk Hidden Gems of Home!

1. Posted by Leanne81 (Budding Member 39 posts) 8y

I'm just back from a weekend of hill walking up in Aviemore, Scotland. The cairngorm mountain range has some gorgeous views and i'm quite chuffed with myself that i managed Ben MacDui, the highest mountain in the Cairngorm range and 2nd highest in Britain after Ben Nevis.

This isn't really a "hidden" gem as it's actually quite touristy now but it really does have some fantastic views on a clear day.

I went to Austria this year for a week in Mayrhofen near Innsbruk and went up some of the mountains there and it was absolutly lovely. It was June and the mountains (triple the size than the one's here in Scotland) were still snow capped.

I thought that i would just share these places that i think are fab and worth a see to anyone who is in this country or over in Austria.

If anyone has places that they think are worth a mention in their country it would be great to hear from you so if we are ever there we know where to head!:)

2. Posted by dr.pepper (Travel Guru 316 posts) 8y

Nice topic idea Leanne! One great gem around Melbourne is the Black Spur, an area of beautiful gum forests about an hour outside Melbourne. There's a spot to go for a treetops walk, which I haven't done, but it's just beautiful driving along there - especially on a slightly wet day.

By the way, this is the kind of stuff that would be really cool to add to the travel guide! (hint, hint) Some firsthand tips on hidden gems are always valuable for travellers:)

Cheers,
Eric

3. Posted by kiwiklou (Budding Member 39 posts) 8y

Cool, Dr. Pepper I'm in Melbourne at the moment, have to check that one out.

My favourite is Fox Glacier (West Coast, SI, NZ) I worked there for a while and besides the Glacier & Lake Matheson which are the main tourist points there, here are two of the many reasons why I love that place

1. There is a hidden track out past the glow worm cave at the south end of town that takes you to a beautiful, untouched HUGE waterfall, and some of the locals have carved foot holds so you can climb up the side and over the top. Its one of those places that you have to get a local to show you otherwise you'll get lost in the rainforest.

2. The beach where the Glacier used to reach out too. It takes about 30mins via a rugged, one-way dirt track out past Lake Matheson to get to Gillespes Beach but it is so beautiful, the sand is really hard so you can drive on the beach (just not in a campervan - as we found out the hard way) which is really wide but there's heaps of driftwood and some bits of whale bone, but again the locals have carved a kind of driveway for you, so it feels like your driving through some archaic site. And other people have built sculptures along the drive out of the wood, shells and rocks. Ohh yes there's nothing like standing on the waters edge while looking up over the seas ruins to see the newly sprouted yellow flowers that line the base of the glacier glinting in the distance. *starry eyed look*

4. Posted by kiwiklou (Budding Member 39 posts) 8y

lol, this might be one of my favourite topics. I'll keep thinking of new ones every five minutes.

So out past Haast (Mount Aspiring National Park) in the SI, NZ, there's a place (can't remember how far) where there is this old wooden sign posted on the road that says 'The Cascades 22km'. It is a one-way rough track through rainforest (I just drove it in a normal 2wd station wagon) with a gorgeous river lining the base of the snow covered alps on one side of you and rainforest on the other. You get to the end and this is what you see:

http://www.caingram.info/NewZealand/Nz-htm/dart.htm

Its a glacier carved landscape.

But turn around and you'll see the Cascade View Point which offers completely different scenery compared to the rest of the region... The Red Hills. I'm not sure what kind of rock it is but it has something to do with the concentration of naturally occurring minerals that stop the plantlife growing there. There's an abundance of iron in the mineral mix and because of this the rocks give off a red colour, which if your lucky enough to be there at sunrise sets the entire valley a blaze and looks like a fire has swept over the land. Its surreal and nothing a camera could ever pick up.

This is the furthest point south west you can ever get before reaching Antarctica (so I read on the plaque)

5. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

This is a great idea for a post well done Leanne for thinking of it. I am from Liverpool in the UK so my hidden gem (at least for most tourists, although not for Scousers) is Sefton Park in the south of the city. It really is a lovely and big park with streams and a lake and a field of 1 million daffodils in spring. It is a great all year round place to visit if you want to get out of the city for the day. Its also great for jogging around as there is a track going round it (most of the way) plus huge open fields for playing sport as well as great picnic spots etc. It is also where the legendary "Magic Tree" is, ask a local about this unusual tree as you will never find it on your own. There also may be a queue to get in it, so don't go there straight after the schools have finished in the summer

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 4, 2008, at 12:10 AM by bwiiian ]

6. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

I'd agree about Sefton Park in Liverpool, as long as you head to the 'blue' side of the park ;)

I'm originally from the Wirral, which is just over the River Mersey from Liverpool. The Wirral isn't visited as much by tourists who go to Liverpool (apart from the ones which do the ferry 'cross the Mersey experience, who get off the ferry and turn around straight back onto it!) which is a shame because it is a great place.

There are lots of country parks with sandstone hills (with views of Liverpool one way and north Wales the other) to walk around, some great beaches - one in particular at West Kirby which has a marine lake and is fantastic for windsufing...go on the right day and you can watch the professionals. The beach is very clean and there is a small island off the beach you can walk to in low tide and see sea lions.

The Hoylake Open golf tournament is held there...apparently George Clooney really likes the Wirral and Daniel Craig, Mr Bond himself grew up on the Wirral! There are lots of little country pubs ad nice scenery, it's just a shame most people in the UK don't know where the Wirral is!

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by Leanne81 (Budding Member 39 posts) 8y

Great guys some places noted when i head out for my travels in Feb 09 so far.

I don't have a way with words and not very good at describing things! I'll try my best......

For me i love getting away for the weekend away for the hustle and bustle of the city and work. I usually head up North and as soon as i reach Perth on the A9 i get a great feeling that i'm heading away from it all. After Perth the landscape changes the hills get higher, there's more trees and the colours change. The towns get smaller, the air smells fresher and life just feels better.

There's so many places off the A9 (the main trunk road to the north of Scotland) that i would be here all day.

The reason i chose to mention the Cairngorm mountains - or Aviemore as a whole - (in my first post) is the there seems to be something up there for everyone from walking (there is many, many hills or just flat more accessible routes), skiing, mountain biking, reindeer, canoeing, need i go on......?

My favourite is getting to the top of a hill, being all wrapped up warm, looking out at the view with a hot flask of tea and just watching..........Does it make it more special when you have someone to share it with?????