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Foodies Guide: Queenstowns Top Eats

queenstown new zealand skyline gondola

“Eat Well, Travel Often.”

Queenstown has so many things going for it, not only does this beautiful little town have great nightlife, beautiful scenery everywhere you look, an abundance of activities for every holiday type but it is also a great place to eat! If there is one thing to look forward to when you go on holidays, it’s that you get to eat whatever you want and not have to worry about going to the gym at the end of the day. Holiday calories don’t count right? Below I’ll share with you my favourite places to indulge at and my list of Queenstowns top eats.

Botswana Butchery

It was only by chance that I found myself dining at this class A restaurant but I am sure glad it came about. If you love sinking your teeth into a delicious cut of meat as much as me, then this is the establishment for you. Luxurious dining, a large selection of wines, a menu boasting a range of flavours and tastes, all served by top quality staff makes this one of the most popular restaurants in Queenstown. I highly urge you to make a reservation ahead of time if you want to dine here on your trip.

My pick of the menu: Scotch fillet from the butcher’s block. One of the most tender, flavoursome steaks I have ever eaten in my life. Without doubt make sure you get a side of the duck fat roasted potatoes to complete your meal. Just when you thought potato couldn’t get any better, cook it in duck fat and have yourself the crispiest, mouth-watering roast potatoes you ever laid eyes on.

sirloin botswana butchery queenstown top eats

Source: Botswana Butchery Instagram

Patagonia Chocolates

Aside from the wide range of scrumptious, hand crafted chocolates available here as the name suggests, this shop also have a full cafe menu with a prime position on the lake front in town. Everything on the menu sounds better than the next and makes for some tough choosing.

My pick of the menu: The hot chocolate!! Oh My Goodness…if there is anything better than walking around in the cool winter air and warming up with a hot cup of cocoa, I don’t know what it is. Patagonia hot chocolate is to die for; it’s creamy and basically sugar heaven in a cup. I cannot recommend it enough. If you visit in summer and it’s too warm for a hot chocolate, swap for one of the many varieties of ice cream Patagonia offers. Also an honourable mention to the crepes with choice of ice-cream flavours, this is definitely a close second on my pick of things to eat in Queenstown from Patagonia. If you don’t get enough of your fix while in town, be sure to grab a treat from the stand at the airport and take something home with you to enjoy later on.

patagonia hot chocolate queenstown top eats

Source: Patagonia Chocolates Instagram

Stratosfare

Taking a ride to the top of the skyline gondola is a must do while in Queenstown. Make the most of your time at the top with a luge ride and a meal at the restaurant with the best view in all of town. Make sure you make a booking ahead of time and request a front window seat, although anywhere in the restaurant will give you marvellous views as you treat yourself to a delectable feast.

My Pick of the menu: Buffet, it’s one of few choices and I understand buffets won’t be for everyone but fill your plate up high and take in every bit of that scenery. Make sure you leave plenty of room for all the dessert options; the little tubs of hokey pokey ice cream are delish. Note lunch is a cheaper option and you can take full advantage time wise of the daylight. If you go for dinner, be sure to head up early and check out the views during the day as well as under the twinkling night lights.

stratosfare queenstown top eats buffet

Source: Skyline Queenstown Instagram

The Cow

Tucked away in a tiny little corner of Cow Lane, if you haven’t previously heard of this place and you aren’t looking hard, you would probably miss it. If you have on the other hand heard of it, you know you are on to a good thing. With a simple but mouth-watering menu The Cow offers an Italian style menu specialising in pizza and pasta. The menu may not be fancy but you can be sure your meal will be big in flavour. This restaurant is another to put your name down for ahead of time, alternatively plan for a really early or later dinner as they have limited seating. The small establishment rocks the cosy feel, complete with outside heaters and roaring fireplace inside.

My pick of the menu: Her Majesty’s Pleasure Pizza, don’t forget to add pineapple because pineapple on pizza rules! Don’t even try to argue with me otherwise.

the cow restautant queenstown top eats

Source: Eatout NZ

Cookie Time

Warm, gooey, melting chocolate chip cookies…enough said. Apart from stuffing your face with cookies, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice at Cookie Time. They have cookie shots, loaded milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, coffee and sundaes to name a few. Perfect for a late night dessert snack but also no judgement if you want it for breakfast either.

My pick of the menu: Classic chocolate chip cookie straight from the warmer and melt in your mouth goodness.

cookie time queenstown top eats

Source: Cookie Time Instagram

Speight’s Ale House

If you love a good pub meal or cheap, filling lunch specials are your thing, then Speight’s is the place for you. Be sure to grab a drink as well and taste the many award winning, New Zealand brewed ales and beers on offer.

My pick of the menu: Chicken Parcels…so delicious. Can you really say no to anything wrapped in pastry? The hint of peach in these parcels really makes the dish and I’ll leave it with you to judge for yourself. Also grab some Kumara fries, fries can only get better when made with sweet potato right? Sweet potato fries are taking over menus these days and our friends in NZ have been perfecting them for years.

speights ale house queenstown top eats chicken parcels

Source: Tripadvisor

World Bar

You have to have at least one night with a few drinks in Queenstown, it just wouldn’t be right not to. When the time comes, you want to hit up the World Bar. While you’ll find a simple but appetizing menu of pub meals such as burgers, nachos and Mac ‘n’ cheese what you’re really there for is fun times and cocktails!

My pick of the menu: Teapot cocktails! Because how do you make a normal cocktail better? You make it essentially all alcohol; serve it with a set of shot glasses and straight out of a teapot! Ok so this one is mostly pure novelty. Be honest who doesn’t want to fill their Instagram with pictures of alcohol served in a teapot, but they really do have a good combination of flavours to the array of cocktails available on the menu, that you won’t find on repeat at every bar you visit.

teapots world bar queenstown top eats

Source: World Bar

Flame Bar & Grill

This restaurant is another to add to the itinerary for those of you that enjoy your meat. Hidden away in an upstairs location, you will also need to make a reservation well in advance here, as this place has a reputation for great food! With a fusion of South African and New Zealand style dishes Flame undeniably ranks in my top 5 meat related meals of all time.

My pick of the menu: The full rack of ribs, this is Flame’s signature dish and for good reason. You just can’t go past a secret recipe basting and meat flame grilled to perfection. If you are a lover or ribs, you cannot go past these guys. I also tried a small amount of the Rib-eye from my fellow diner’s meal and it was also amazing! I don’t you would find anything on this menu that wouldn’t have your taste buds tingly and leave you feeling content.

ribs flame bar grill queenstowns top eats

Source: Flame Bar & Grill Instagram

Fergbaker

Being Australian there’s nothing we love more than a good pie! It’s an Aussie staple and something we automatically turn to for lunch on the run when you’re busy jamming your days with adventure. It’s also something you’ll find yourself craving on your travels because you just can’t seem to find them in other countries. Lucky for me, our friends across the ditch do them just as well if not better. Fergbaker is your go to place for pies, bread and basically all pastry related deliciousness.

My pick of the menu: This one is just a little too hard, so I’m going to have to choose more than one. Fresh baguettes that will give Paris a run for its money. Breakfast rolls complete with scrambled egg, scrumptious relish and served on freshly baked bread. Of course, all of the pies and all of the many flavours they offer, Leigh can vouch for the venison if you feel like trying something a little more specific to New Zealand.

ferbaker queenstowns top eats pie

Source: Tripadvisor

Fergburger

While we are on a roll with the Ferg family and to end on the highest point, you can’t go past Fergburger. Chances are if you know anyone who has been to Queenstown you will have heard all about this Queenstown staple. If anyone visits Queenstown and doesn’t come home raving about how good the burgers were, then you’re probably not even human. There is a reason that these burgers are world famous, they are honestly so good that now every burger I try, at home or around the world, I find myself rating on a scale of 1 to (was it as fabulous as a Fergburger) 10. I kid you not; I literally rate these burgers as the best I have ever eaten. You will find ridiculously long lines if you don’t time your visit right but don’t let this put you off because good things come to those who wait!

My pick of the menu: Little Lamby burger. We all know that New Zealand is famous for its sheep and after sinking your teeth into this tasty treat you will understand why. Perfectly paired with its signature sauces, you’ll be questioning yourself on whether it’s acceptable to have a burger for every meal of your trip. The answer is of course yes, perfectly acceptable, there’s a breakfast burger on the menu for a reason! Make your meal complete with a side of Ferg’s crispy homemade onion rings. If you not a lamb fan try the original Ferburger (beef) or I also highly recommend the Bombay chicken.

fergburger queenstown top eats

Source: Tripadvisor

I hope this post has given you all a little inspiration  to enjoy some of Queenstowns top eats and finding some of your own favourites. If you have any suggestions of where else to get amazing treats and eats be sure to share in the comments below so I can add it to my long list of meals for my next visit. Happy eating and happy bellies. Xx Flick

 

Destinations Europe

Make the most of Rome in 48 hours or weekend

colosseum rome italy

There’s no way that just a weekend in the Eternal City (Rome) could ever be enough time to full grasp the array of culture, history, art  and of course Italian food that Rome holds.  But I’ll try my best below to give you a weekend itinerary for Italy’s bustling capital which will leave you with a full heart and a full belly in just 48 hours. This is ‘How to make the most of Rome in 48 hours or weekend’.

roman forum birdseye view rome italy

Birdseye view of the Roman Forum – Rome, Italy

Friday

Flying in: Rome has two major airports Fiumicino and Ciampino both of which are easily accessed by the city’s fantastic and very affordable metro system. I recommend staying within the city’s historic central district for ease of access to the sites. However if you want to save some $$$ that would be better spent on pizza and wine, as long as you are within walking distance of a metro station, you won’t have any problems getting from A to B within the city limits at an inexpensive cost. You can get 24/48 and 72 hour Metrebus passes which will allow you unlimited travel on the network of trains and buses through the capital and for fewer than 20 Euros. Note the airport line is an extra ticket as with most cities around the world. Remember to validate your ticket inside the bus doors or near the turnstiles for the metro. No one wants an unexpected fine from a ticket inspector to ruin their weekend adventure!

roman street italy

Typical Roman street – Rome, Italy

Saturday

Rise and shine. No sleeping in here, a weekend in Rome is not nearly enough time to see and do everything but you can sleep when you’re dead because right now you want to maximise every hour you have in this wonderful city!

Grab a cappuccino and cannoli on your way to the trusty metro station because today you’re headed to the smallest country in the world…Vatican City. As with anything in Europe, pre-book your tickets! The lines for the Vatican can be ridiculous; we’re talking out the gates of the city and around the corner. I’m sure you’ve all read about them if you’ve ever been on a Tripadvisor forum for Rome! By pre-booking your time ticket you will by pass a significant amount of the line and get so much more out of your visit. I would personally recommend booking a guided tour ticket which combines access to the museums including the famous Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. You could easily lose a whole day wandering through the endless Vatican museums so having someone who can point out what you should be looking at and what you need to know as well as getting you through in half the time is invaluable for anyone who has limited time to spend. Your tour will conclude within St. Peters Basilica which is a bonus of the guided tour and those who purchase separate tickets have to exit the museums and line up again for security to enter the basilica. Make sure you also grab a ticket to climb to the top of the Dome; it costs under 10 Euros and provides excellent views which are actually a highlight of a trip to Rome. Please remember this is a religious site so you’ll need to cover up shoulders and knees, be respectful and once again limit the size of the bag you are carrying with you.

Jump back on the metro and head over to Spagna station. Take the time now to have some lunch and get your walking shoes ready. From here you’ll head over to your next stop, the Spanish Steps. Take a walk right to the top, have a seat, take in the passing parade and appreciate just how blessed you are to be experiencing this wonderful city.

It’s time now to wander in a south west direction. I recommend using the maps.me app offline mode on your mobile for this next portion just in case you can’t appreciate getting slightly lost in a foreign city. Take a stroll down Via dei Condotti with its boutiques and big name fashion stores and over the next few hours wander your way to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and finally to Piazza Navona. Be sure to grab a gelato while you’re in this area as there are so many to choose from all which different flavours, each one better than the next!

Familiarize yourself with the area. Take the chance now to head back to your accommodation, freshen up and rest before heading out later for dinner. Head back to Piazza Navona area for dinner…think pasta, pizza, risotto and more. This area has a vast array of nightlife so enjoy a few drinks after dinner while taking in how beautiful the area is within the night light. After dinner why not take a stroll along the Tiber and gaze at the sparkling lights of Rome or retrace your earlier steps and enjoy the beautiful Trevi Fountain lit up at night.

roman architecture italy

Roman Architecture – Rome, Italy

trevi fountain rome italy front view

Trevi Fountain from the front – Rome, Italy

Sunday

Another early day today and once again take advantage of pre-booking your tickets.  Why waste time in lines when for most attractions you can pay the same price or a few euros more to book ahead of time and skip the lines! For this trip grab a combined Colosseum/Palatino and Roman Forum pass and we’ll start off the day with an early visit to the Colosseum. You’ll get the best pictures earlier in the morning before the hoards of bus tours begin to arrive and not to mention the lighting will be less harsh for your pictures. For an extra few Euro be sure to grab an audio guide so that you can really get a better understanding of the fascinating history that has happened within the tattered walls. Arrive up to half an hour before your entry time to clear security and be sure to only take a small bag as this is one of the few sites around Italy that do not have cloak facilities and strict rules on taking in baggage.

After you’ve wandered around the Colosseum and taken a selfie or twenty, it’s time to walk across the road to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You’ll want to spend a few hours between the sites, really taking a trip back to Ancient Rome.

Now that you’ve walked up at appetite, rest your feet on the metro and head to the Trastevere region well known for its many shops and cafes. Take full advantage of this chance to eat even more pizza and pasta and follow it up with gelato of course!

Now that you’ve refueled, take the afternoon to throw in an extra site or two of your choosing if you aren’t too tired. Below are a few recommendations:

La Bocca Della Verita (Mouth of Truth)

Catacombs of Rome

Villa Borghese Gardens

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Take a late afternoon or evening flight out of the eternal city and wisely use your time on the trip to home to plan when you’ll be back again to see what else Rome has to offer you.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post about how to make the most of Rome in 48 hours or over a weekend. If you have any tips or advice for a weekend in Rome, or just want to brag about how much gelato, pizza and pasta you ate I’d love for you to share in the comment section below. Safe travels Xx Flick.

gelato rome italy

Gelato tub – Rome, Italy

 

 

 

Destinations Europe

Photo Diaries: Barcelona in Black & White

casa mila barcelona spain gaudi

It was a perfect September’s day with the sky shining bright, as blue as the ocean and the warm Spanish sun beating down on me. All the hours of daylight were exhausted wandering the cobblestone streets and taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of a city rich in history and culture. Share in my discovery of the beautiful city of Barcelona…

barcelona spain

gothic quarter barcelona spain

barcelona spain

gothic quarter barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

park guell barcelona spain gaudi

park guell barcelona spain gaudi

barcelona spain

Do any of you have fond memories of Barcelona or great places to see around the city? Please share them with me and everyone below. Xx Flick

 

Destinations Oceania

Photo Diaries: Queenstown, New Zealand

mirror lakes new zealand

It’s no secret that Queenstown and I have a little love affair going on. It’s only a hop skip and a jump (or a three hour plane ride) from my home town of Brisbane and somewhere I constantly find myself longing to return to.

Long days on the ski fields, hot chocolate rugged up in my favourite winter coat and sitting back relaxing while taking in the breathtaking view as far as the eye can see from next to a toasty fireplace, this place holds nothing but fond memories for me.

There is literally something for everyone in this worldly town. Queenstown is a year round destination regardless of wether you want fun in the sun in the warmer months or a winter wonderland when the cooler months come calling.

It’s a food and wine lover’s paradise, an adrenalin junkies dream come true and a family paradise where you won’t catch anyone complaining “I’m Bored”.

Surrounded on every side by stunning, majestic (slightly misty some might say) mountains and set on the edge of the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu, it’s the perfect destination for your next holiday.

glenorchy new zealand

glenorchy new zealand

glenorchy new zealand

dog sledding cardrona new zealand

pine cone queenstown

glenorchy new zealand

kea bird snow

queenstown new zealand lake wakatipu

queenstown new zealand skyline gondola

holly snow

glenorchy new zealand

queenstown new zealand lake wakatipu

cardrona hotel new zealand

If you get the chance, pay this beautiful town a visit. There is no doubt in my mind that Queenstown will win your heart just like it did mine. If you’ve already been and fallen in love as well share your love affair with me in the comments. Xx Flick

Destinations Europe

Should Playing ‘The Home of Golf – St Andrews’ Be On Your Bucket List?

Hi All, Leigh here. For those that haven’t seen me on the blog before, I’m Flick’s partner and the blog below is a little contribution I wanted to make to the Fly With Flick community.

During our time in the UK, Flick was kind enough to surprise me with a round at the home of golf!! I played the St Andrews – Jubilee Course. When I have told people that I have played St Andrews, all I have been asked is “Was it worth playing”? As an avid golfer, my obvious answer was ‘YES!’, however I will discuss in this blog, why playing any course at the Home of Golf should be on your bucket list.

Unfortunately, due to holiday planning and timing, I wasn’t able to play the Old Course (I will one day). However, it was extremely easy to purchase a round at the Jubilee Course online. This ease of booking will obviously fluctuate with the seasonal demand, but playing in September was a breeze.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - 8th Hole

St Andrews Jubilee Course – 8th Hole

The day of my round, we traveled from Edinburgh (closest big city), which was a 30 minute drive through beautiful country side. Driving through the St Andrews town, around the 18th green / 1st tee of the Old Course, to the main car park was an incredible experience (would recommend walking this as well as driving).

From the car park to the first tee was very easy, as friendly staff helped with our booking and organising clubs (which was only 30 British Pounds). The hire clubs was a relatively brand new set of Callaways and they even had a set with stiff shafts. I would recommend checking out the change rooms before or after your round. I know this sounds a little odd, but the walk down there was draped in framed photos and memorabilia, and some of the change room lockers had the names of the famous golfers who had used them. I am sure this is the change room they use during most of the Open Championships played at St Andrews.

Stepping up to the first tee was a very surreal moment. The layout of the Jubilee Course was very similar to that of the Old Course; tight fairways, ominous deep bunkers and difficult long rough. With all that going through my mind, it was even sweeter to smash a good drive 40 yards short of the green. My first thoughts walking down the first hole was ‘This course is easy’. That particular day there was blue skies all around, no wind and a cool kick to the air, absolutely beautiful conditions for golf!

St Andrews Jubilee Course - 4th Hole

St Andrews Jubilee Course – 4th Hole

The first few holes follow the same layout as the first few of the Old Course. I was surprised how large the greens actually were. You’ll understand when you will have a 100+ foot putt for your birdie or par. The course itself is in immaculate condition; true rolling greens, trimmed fairways, groomed tee boxes and manicured bunkers.

By the time we reached the 12th, the famous Scottish weather had set in. Low clouds had rolled over, the breeze had picked up to almost gale force and it looked liked rain the closer we got to the 18th. Some of the holes were insane to play, especially the holes with the wind from the left. I remember the par 3, 17th hole. It was a 200+ yard par 3 with a relatively large green, surrounded by the classic St Andrew style bunkers. The safe play would be to aim to the left hand side of the green and use the wind to bring it back to the center. I did this perfectly, however underestimated the strength of the left to right wind. The ball ended up in the right hand side of the right bunker, leaving a difficult up and down. This sort of misjudgment happened pretty much on every hole after the 12th, making the course almost Tiger proof.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - Bunkers

St Andrews Jubilee Course – Bunkers

I took my time walking up the 18th hole. The course, the way it played, the way it looked and the way it twisted my thinking was all running through my head. From the 18th hole on the Jubilee, you can seen the 17th and 18th of the Old Course as well. With all this going through my head, I three-putt the 18th for a round of 81 (my handicap at the time was 12 and par for the Jubilee Course was 72) so not bad at all.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - Scorecard

St Andrews Jubilee Course – Scorecard

After the round, I walked up and down the 17th and 18th of the Old Course and had my photo taken on the Swilken Bridge. Typical tourist move but an absolute must!

I cannot put into words what it felt like playing the Jubilee Course and spending time at the Old Course at St Andrews. I would recommend it to any golfer that wants to experience a tough, links style golf course. Playing any of the courses at St Andrews, the Home of Golf, is a must and a priceless experience.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - 18th Hole

St Andrews Jubilee Course – 18th Hole

Africa Destinations

5 Reasons to Visit Egypt & Why You Should Visit With Topdeck.

Philae Temple egypt aswan top deck

“A thing of beauty is never perfect” – Egyptian Proverb

No country you visit is ever perfect and Egypt is no exception. This comes with the territory of a third world country that has been plagued by a revolution which has caused a huge downfall in their tourism and economy. But despite its hardships the Egyptian people and culture are filled with friendliness and optimism which is sure to win your heart and have you returning home telling anyone and everyone that they need to visit at least once in their lifetime. From watching the sun set on board a traditional felucca sail boat and watching the sun rise over the Nile from a hot air balloon it’s safe to say Egypt has taken over some of the top spots on my list of travel moments, and is something I never would have experienced if I hadn’t taken Topdeck’s Egypt Express tour.

Hot Air Ballooning Luxor, Egypt

Hot Air Ballooning Luxor, Egypt

1. The Experiences and History.

With over 7000 years of recorded history there is so much to see and learn in Egypt. The Great Pyramid of Giza in itself is reason alone to travel to make the trip to Cairo and is the only remaining marvel of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Where else on Earth can you visit what is considered the world’s largest open-air museum? The temples to the tombs are breath-taking and are something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. In addition to the monuments themselves the Topdeck team is a fountain of knowledge who can tell you more about a location than attempting to read a guide book on site ever could. Top deck hire local guides meaning that all the questions you could ever feel the need to ask can immediately be answered, something you just can’t get if you travel alone. The guides and local experts at each site allow you to step back and absorb every aspect of the area you are in.

Hot Air Ballooning, Luxor, Egypt

Hot Air Ballooning, Luxor, Egypt

2. Stress-Free Travel.

Having Topdeck and their trusty team by your side the whole time takes the stress out of your vacation. Planning travel takes a lot of time and you won’t have to think twice about organising things like accommodation, attraction tickets and transportation as it has all been sorted before you leave. You will also have a day by day itinerary that will aid you in budgeting for your spending. Your tour manager will be there on stand-by to help alleviate any issues that arise (Like lending you his personal phone to try and repeatedly call the airline when they cancel your flight…the day before you are set to leave) Taking a group tour with a company that has been perfecting their routine for years also means that you get to maximise the use of your time. They will ensure you allocate the right amount of time to each attraction and plan the right times for your visit attractions, both to avoid crowds and avoid the hot midday sun that comes with the territory. Things like this are something that you just might not take into consideration when planning an itinerary by yourself. Your only responsibility will be to sit back, take incredible photos and enjoy everything that this history rich country has to offer.

Abu Simbel Temples, Aswan, Egypt

Abu Simbel Temples, Aswan, Egypt

3. Safety 

Many people fear travelling into the unknown. Mainly because the media and the rest of the world, that doesn’t know any better, tell us the world is unsafe. Guided tours give people who may feel this way they opportunity to feel much safer than they would when travelling alone. There is always someone watching your back and people you can turn to and assure you that all possible measures that can be taken to ensure your safety have been taken (This includes armed tourist police escorting your tour where the government dictates the necessity). With Topdeck Egypt you will feel nothing short of safe and fall in love with a country that the rest of the world is missing out on. 

Great Sphinx and Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

Great Sphinx and Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

4. The Food.

I love to eat and Egypt albeit slightly more cautionary (No-one wants to anticipate Mummy tummy when you know you’re going to be spending 2 days on a traditional sail boat) was no exception. You can’t go past Egyptian cuisine…think an Egyptian version of pizza, camel, grilled meats, Baba Ghanoush and the tastiest Kofta you ever did eat. Expect big flavours similar to other Middle Eastern dishes that will be sure to making your taste buds tingle and leave you wanting more…even 5 months after you’ve returned home!

Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt Top deck

Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt Top deck

5. You are Never Alone.

You are guaranteed on a Topdeck tour to find it easier to make friends than comes from striking up random conversations in hostel common rooms. You will have the potential to make friends from all walks of life and from all over the world. Each fellow traveller you encounter on your tour will convey a different perspective to your trip and bring with them the potential to enhance your opinion about particular sites. Travelling is a bonding experience and you’ll automatically make friends with members of the group as you share lifelong memories and experiences together.

Pyramid Complex, Giza, Egypt

Pyramid Complex, Giza, Egypt

Have you ever been to Egypt? Been on a group tour with Topdeck or any other companies? What did you love or hate about group travel? I would love to hear all about your experiences in the comments section below! Travel safely. Xx Flick

Second Pyramid, Giza, Egypt

Second Pyramid, Giza, Egypt

Destinations North America

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sign

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…unless you’re writing a blog post about it.

Luxury resorts, flowing drinks, shopping and gambling galore…How long would it really take to uncover all the secrets Sin City holds? A lot longer than we had that’s for sure! 72 hours was all the time we got to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes that Vegas has to offer.

Friday

Staying at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino was a great decision on our first trip to the city of sin. Located centrally on the famous strip, it was not only about half the price of some of the other mega resorts but also a convenient ride from the Airport with the shuttle stopping right on the corner outside the hotel. This resort features sleek, brightly designed rooms and comes complete with its own 15 acre Caribbean style water playground and bird habitat inclusive of live flamingos of course. Flamingo is its own little piece of Vegas history as it is the oldest resort on the strip that is still operational.

Now that we’ve dropped off the bags, it’s time to explore the Las Vegas Strip and visit everywhere in the world from the one place. Take your day and night to fully wander the strip and all of the main hotels that line it up and down. You can grab cheap hop on hop off tickets to the deuce bus which runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day if walking all day isn’t for you or you want to speed things up. Personally I would begin at the Southern end of the strip and start the day off right with a classic picture with the Las Vegas sign (You’ve got to have those cheesy holiday snaps!). Then work your way north along the strip. Aim to be all the way downtown by evening fall so that you can see Fremont Street lit up in all its glory. This street is the place the majority of television and movies include in their displays of Vegas including the abundance of neon signs. Below are some of the notable things to see and do along the strip:

  • Visit the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
  • Watch the various free entertainment around the strip –The Volcano at The Mirage, the Bellagio Fountains, the Rainstorm show at Miracle Mile Shops or the Fall of Atlantis at Caesars’ Palace.
  • Botanical gardens and conservatory at the Bellagio.
  • Ride the rollercoaster at New York New York, check out the Adventuredrome at Circus Circus or the Insanity ride or Sky Jump on top of Stratosphere.
  • Visit the Eiffel tower at Paris, anywhere that gets you aerial views on the strip is worth the ride up.
  • Plus the many shops, bars, restaurants and other attractions.

Time to head out on the town for a few drinks…it wouldn’t be a trip to Vegas without a cocktail or two. Grab an alcoholic slushy from Fat Tuesdays and sip while you stroll. Not everywhere you get the chance to drink in public without it being totally frowned upon. Be sure to check out the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental for drinks with some of the best views of the strip at night.

Bellagio Fountains

Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas, Nevada

Saturday

It’s time to shop til you drop! If you’re a keen bargain hunter like me when it comes to shopping and you didn’t quite get your fill wandering the strip, you can’t beat the outlet shops the states has to offer. They don’t even compare to anything we have back home in Australia and Vegas has not just one but two premier outlet locations.

Having shopped up a storm is sure to help you work up one hell of an appetite. Lucky something else that is part of the classic Vegas experience is going to a buffet. I mean who doesn’t love all you can eat! If you have a Groupon account be sure to check out what deals are available, as often you’ll find some great deals for close to 50% off the full price of the buffets. Some recommended buffets:

  • Carnival World & Seafood Buffet at Rio features a made to order Teppanyaki station.
  • Paris Le Village Buffet at Paris is complete with a made to order crepe station.
  • The Buffet at Wynn which features a large chocolate fountain in which you can hand dip an assortment of sweets with white, dark and milk chocolate.

You can’t go to Vegas without seeing a show. After your buffet I recommend seeing one of the late time slot shows. I’d personally recommend anything by Cirque du Soleil but if that’s not your taste there’s plenty of things on offer such as magic shows and a plethora of singers and DJ’s.

caesars palace

Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday

Get up before the sun today and take a helicopter ride out to Grand Canyon. We took the ride with Sundance Helicopter which included return trip by stretch limo from outside our accommodation to the air field, the helicopter flight itself and a champagne breakfast picnic on the floor of the canyon. This is one of my favourite things I have done on a trip so far. While it isn’t the cheapest thing you will do in Vegas, the views are worth every penny including a flight over the strip itself on return to the air field.

Sundance will have you returned to your hotel in 3.5 hours door to door which will leave you plenty of time to get take a break from the Nevada heat and get cool in the pool. Las Vegas is famous for its extravagant pool complexes and for the more adventurous a Vegas pool party is the perfect place to beat the heat. Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel is famous for pioneering the pool party and is complete with swim up blackjack.

Sadly the evening brings the end to a fabulous weekend in Las Vegas. Don’t forget to have one last flutter on the slot machines at the airport just because you probably won’t anywhere else in the world. If you’ve been lucky enough to spend more time in the  city of sin and have recommendations for places to eat, drink, cool things to do or anything else  please share in the comments below.  I can’t wait to read through them and add to my list for my next trip. Xx Flick

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States

 

 

Destinations

Welcome to my travel blog!

Stirling Castle, Scotland

Hi, my name is Flick and welcome to my first post. I decided to start FlyWithFlick.com as a place where I can share my love for travel and photos from my trips with the rest of the world as well as try my hand at this blogging thing. I hope you enjoy hearing about my adventures, ideas, tips and trips, as much as I love sharing them with you all. Xx Flick

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