We’re passionate about finding new destinations as well as seeking out new ways to experience the places we love. Whether it’s eating something fresh off the grill at a market in Borneo or gazing at the stars in splendid solitude in the African bush, we want to uncover different facets and fresh perspectives. Here, we share some of our latest finds from around the world.
Kayak in Channel Islands National Park, California
Glide silently past sea caves and frolicking sea lions and explore pristine waters filled with nudibranchs and kelp forests on an all-day kayaking tour of the Channel Islands National Park. Despite its abundant wildlife and thriving ecology, the Channel Islands attract less attention than many of their fellow parks, offering a chance to explore this unique and well-preserved ecosystem in relative solitude.
Your guide will provide all the equipment you need to paddle through the archipelago. Be sure to keep an eye open for the lithe seals and playful dolphins who make their home in the cold, crisp waters. In season, you might also see migrating whales. Land occasionally to walk along the rugged shoreline and, if you like, you can swim and snorkel among the bright fish and sea stars that thrive here.
Explore Gawler Ranges National Park, Australia
Vast and shimmering in the relentless sunlight, Lake Gairdner is only a lake right after it rains. Most of the time, it’s a glistening expanse of silvery-white salt pan — a shocking sight in the dusty red outback. The outback itself seems endless, a rugged and raw landscape that goes on for days.
Exploring these immense spaces in an authentic way can be a challenge. We suggest allocating at least three or four days to visit the lake and Gawler Ranges National Park. This stony wilderness is known for its deep gorges, seasonal waterfalls and unusual rock formations, including the Organ Pipes, an eerie outcropping of regular columns thrust up from the ground, some of them canted askew at strange angles.
From there, head to the Eyre Peninsula to swim with sea lions and see pods of bottlenose dolphins frisk through turquoise waters. Along the way, sleep in capacious safari tents and nibble on ‘bush canapés’ in the central dining tent as you watch mobs of emus and kangaroos lolloping through the scrublands.
A tent with a view, Tanzania
Few people ever get the chance to spend time on their own in the vast African bush. A safari stay in a Bush Rover offers the rare opportunity of near-perfect solitude in the Serengeti National Park.
These Land Rover 110 Defender vehicles unfold into surprisingly spacious and comfortable two-storey tents, with flush toilets and full beds. The camp staff determine the best spot for viewing wildlife and sets up your 4x4 there, before withdrawing and leaving you to enjoy your privacy. Staff remain just a short stroll away, but completely hidden from view.
During the day, enjoy game drives to the furthest reaches of the park. In the evenings, sip a drink on your porch and relax as the animals slowly grow accustomed to you. You might see zebra and Thomson’s gazelle grazing or wildebeest ambling through the grass.
You can also enjoy a Bush Rover experience in the Nyerere National Park.
Try Cape Malay cuisine with Zainie in Bo-Kaap, South Africa
Usually sporting a big smile and a bright headscarf, Zainie Misbach is Cape Town’s grand dame of Cape Malay cuisine. This lifelong local started the first Cape Malay restaurant in South Africa and now offers guided tours of the city’s Bo-Kaap area. She’ll teach you about the city’s complex and multi-layered cuisine as you explore the quarter’s well-preserved mosques and cobblestone streets that are lined with houses painted in eye-smarting neons and pulsing pastels.
Then Zainie will bring you back to her kitchen, where she will demonstrate the techniques of Cape Malay cooking, a unique regional cuisine that fuses Asian roots and African ingredients with Islamic traditions. She makes samoosas (spiced meat dumplings) and dhaltjies (chickpea-flour chilli bites), as well as Cape Malay curry. You’ll also learn about the subtle art and science of blending spices.
Snorkel and dive off Lady Elliot Island, Australia
So small that you can walk across it in just 15 minutes, Lady Elliot Island enjoys an outsized reputation as (arguably) the best snorkelling and diving spot on the Great Barrier Reef. This tiny speck of a cay is surrounded by a remarkable abundance of coral gardens and marine life. Just walk from your room into the water to snorkel or dive amid shimmering shoals of small fish, shelves of bright coral and even lazy loggerhead and green turtles paddling through the shallow waters.
For a deep-water experience, walk a few minutes to the other side of the island to the Devil’s Marbles. The deeper water means you might see bigger animals like manta rays or spotted eagle rays. Between May and September, you might hear migrating humpbacks singing to each other as they pass by.
Be forewarned: The grassy island is beloved of birds and thousands live here, seemingly unconcerned by human visitors. Prepare yourself for feathered fly-bys and a very present avian smell.
Relax in Zihuatanejo, Mexico
A soft-sand crescent that curves around a placid bay, Zihuatanejo is a more authentic Mexican beach alternative to well-known destinations like Tulum and nearby Ixtapa. The sands here are wide and white, clean and mostly uncrowded on weekdays, with a beachside promenade where locals and visitors alike stroll in the evenings. In town, you’ll find cobblestone streets lined with small local shops, cafés and restaurants.
Despite its traditional feel, ‘Zihua’ offers good amenities for visitors. You’ll find pop-up massage stands and plentiful restaurants, as well as kayak and snorkelling options for those who want to explore the water and nearby small islands.
Take an after-hours tour of the MoMA, New York City
The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan is the superstar of the modern art world. The collection spotlights names that command instant recognition: Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Pollock, among others. Its galleries are home to masterworks like Warhol’s Campbell's Soup Cans and Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, as well as Lichtenstein’s Girl with Ball.
Of course, all this high-powered art also attracts high-volume crowds. It can be hard to contemplate the beauty of Cezanne’s brushwork amid all the noise and bustle. That’s why we suggest an after-hours visit. Enjoy the art in peace and quiet after the doors close on this hour-long tour of the museum’s many highlights, led by one of the museum’s expert lecturers.
Afterwards, indulge in dinner at the Modern, MoMA’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Ocean House at Stads K'uns GawGa, British Columbia
Ocean House is a fly-in floating lodge nestled among the red cedars and sitka pines of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the western coast of British Columbia. Owned by the Indigenous Haida Nation, the ecolodge offers an indulgent way to explore the remote wilderness as well as learn more about the thriving Haida culture.
The lodge is on the sheltered bay known to the locals as Stads K'uns GawGa (Peel Inlet) and surrounded by a rugged temperate rainforest that’s a protected national park co-managed by both the Haida Nation and the Canadian government. The towering trees and misty air create a mysterious, primeval landscape that’s populated by an abundance of wildlife, earning the islands the nickname ‘Galapagos of the North’.
The lodge offers guided nature walks which might see bald eagles, sea lions or orcas. The archipelago is also home to the world’s largest subspecies of black bear, revered by the Haida and known as taal. You can visit SGaan Gwaii, a Haida site with the remains of houses and a haunting grove of carved mortuary poles standing silently in the cool mist.
Visit a Night Market in Siniawan, Borneo
Red globe lanterns bob in the breeze and fragrant smoke billows from open grills at Siniawan’s Night Market, a lively weekend event in this small village just 45 minutes from Kuching.
Our new evening tour lets you sample traditional street food with your local guide, including satay dipped in a spicy peanut sauce and kueh (treats made from sticky rice). You can eat as you walk or sit at one of the many tables and chairs in the open-front stalls and shops that line the street, many still sporting their original 1920s façades. After grazing on traditional street treats, enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants.
On the drive from the capital, your guide can stop at Sam San Kuet Bong, a blindingly bright Buddhist temple known in English as Lord of the Mountains.
Trip ideas with Audley
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Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.
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