Author Archives: Jod

Discover the Heart Of The Silk Road

Central Asia, specifically the countries that Australians refer to as “the Stans” – Kazahkstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have been a growing tourism location for decades. Originally the majority of visitors were Russian, simply because during the days of Soviet Russia travelling internally was easier for them than externally, with the fall of the USSR the face of tourism in these regions started changing, and while Australians have been travelling there for some time, accessibility – through flights, visa issued, permissions, have always kept the numbers low. With Uzbekistan now allowing for E-visas, and with the ability to get visas on arrival for other, and some waiving them entirely – the region is going to open up like never before, and it is a region that is well worth visiting for a huge range of reasons.

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Mountains of Kyrgyzstan

The region is filled with natural wonders in Kyrgyzstan areas like the Golden Spa, or Broken Heart Gorge, are scenic rivals that are comparable to places like the rocky mountains, and the desert landscapes of Eastern Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have incredible rock formations that are truly remarkable. With some f the worlds oldest inhabited cities, and some of the more incredible Heritage listed sites like Shakisirabz, Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand you can discover some of the origins of modern astronomy and mathematics, you can discover the cultural growth of the local tribes and the influences of religion in the region, as an integral part of the old silk road the entire region is covered with forts, palaces, temples and museums that leave a person stunned at the wonder – and places like Registan Square (which inspired the tale of a 1001 Arabian Nights) have been doing so for centuries.

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Registan Square, the inspiration for “1001 Arabian Nights”

When you combine he natural wonders, the ancient cultures and the ancient heritage, it would seem that these destinations have enough for anyone, but their years under Russian and Soviet rule have brought another aspect to travel with regions like old nuclear test zones opening up for travel, the Aral Sea disaster zone, the former Space Center in Kazakhstan from where the USSR launched their initial space missions including that of famed cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin bringing in visitors who love not just modern history, but whom have an intense desire to see man;s impact on the globe and how they can help moving forward – not to mention the every day aspect that Soviet rule had on the region which can still be seen in the older housing communities, as well as the soviet era-esque statues, parks and memorials in major cities like Dashanube.

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Ashgabat is a Modern Metropolis in an Ancient Land

Central Asia for centuries has been a crossroads for travel – like Turkey, like India, and like Egypt – and has been a cradle for civilization, science and culture, and while in the last century, the control of the region has seen a change in where its visitors and influence has come from its opening boarders is bringing this incredibly diverse ancient, culturally significant and naturally stunning area back into the forefront of thought for travellers. What’s more is that as an area that has seen less press, less coverage and visibility – there is less expectations, you can be floored by what you discover rather than being dissapointed that what you are seeing isn’t exactly as you saw it in the social media posts of a thousand or more other travellers. With many of the destination names meaning little to the average Australian Traveller even seeing where they are going in print is an exercise in exploration that has for the most part become lessened with areas that see much more regular visitors, and for a truly unique experience, a taste of what these destinations are, now is the time to get in and see them, while the infrastructure is being developed, whilst the numbers are low, whilst things are still raw and unedited and free of the filters that mass tourism tends to produce.

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Jety-Ogyuz (Broken Heart Gorge)

Once these lands tied together the wonders of China and the Orient to the realms of Western Europe and the Middle East, through the Silk Road. The “Heart Of The Silk Road” package for 2020 currently being previewed by My Travel Expert for 2020 is the prefect example of the diversity that one can expect to see and encounter within the region, and with a limited group size of 16 becomes the perfect intimate way to discover the area.

The Heart of The Silk Road tour will visit a number of incredible places including Almaty, Karakol, Altyn Arashan, Tamga, Jety Ogyz, Lake Issyk-kul, Bishkek, Tashkent, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Bukhara, Chardjou, Merv, Mary, Ashgabat, Kov-Ata, Tashauz, Dashoguz, Urgench & Khiva

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Gate Of Hell in Turkmenistan

This is a small group journey that will run with no more than between 8 to 16 travellers, and will journey through some of the most incredible regions of Central Asia as it journeys through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It should be noted that the group size is limited in part due to he vehicles that will be used to discover the natural wonders of Kyrgyzstan.

Note From The Tour Leader:

This tour will cover the natural, historical and cultural highlights of these zones including Lake Issyk-Kul, Altyn Ashran, the Gate of Hell, Buhkara, Khiva, Registan Square and more. We will also visit some of the most significant cities of the region including Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent and Ashgabat. This is not a 5 star luxury tour, whilst all the accommodation has been specifically chosen for flavor and experience – we have noted most as a lower category than official sites do, specifically so I do not raise expectations. We will be staying in a range of 3 star boutique hotels, a guest house, and what are officially listed as 5 star hotels but with their faded soviet glory would more appropriately be called a comfortable 4 star (on occasion). The package price is based Almaty to Tashkent and covers most expenses barring visas, tipping and most of the meals outside of breakfast. With the best food available outside local hotels I elected not to include meals so that we can get the best culinary experience whilst travelling.
The package price does not include the main international airfares, I do recommend using the Asiana Options when they become available but have left it open in case people decide to extend or visit other regions while on the road. This is a unique hand-crafted programme designed to take in the best of the region in relative comfort, and I would love to have you join us when we head there! – Regards Daniel

For more information on the Heart of the Silk Road Journey, please click here for the full itinerary!

Or Call My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters
on (02) 4421 5577 and ask to speak with Daniel

Seeking Solo Traveller: Egypt

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Temple Of Karnak

You may have seen that in January 2020, My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters have a group programme running to Egypt! (Click Here for Details). This is a fantastic escape that will take in the best of Egypt from Ancient Egyptian Sites to Mameluke Citadels, Ottoman Palaces, British Colonial Heritage and some of the best cultural experiences in the country.

If you are a single female traveller who is interested in doing this journey please get in touch with us ASAP as we have an incredible single lady looking for someone to share with on this voyage of discovery!

Just pick up the phone call (02) 4421 5577 and ask to speak with Daniel

My 2019 & 2020 Tour Launch

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You’re Invited

My Travel Expert has a fantastic array group tours upcoming in 2019 and 2020 including day tours, regional holidays, cruises and tours. This is your opportunity to come along and here about the incredible sights and destinations that are on the menu for the upcoming two years, and what we are considering “beyond”.

From classic destinations to less travelled paths there is something for everybody in our 2019 & 2020 selections. On the night we will cover destinations including Norfolk Island, Broome, Melbourne, Egypt, Russia, Spain & Portugal, Thailand, Hawaii, the Danube, Uzbekistan & beyond!

2019 & 2020
Tour Launch

Special Guest Speakers include:
Roger Condon – Star Clippers
Karen Arnold – APT

When: 1st November 2018, from 5pm
Where: Nowra Ex-Servicemen’s Club

To RSVP Please Click Here!

 

 

My Travel Expo, 21 September 2017

26 Exhibitors, Representing Dozens Of Suppliers
5 Film Sessions & Product Seminars
PLUS the chance to Win A Trip To Fiji!

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To our Shoalhaven Solo Sister Members, on the off chance that you have yet to hear – we are holding a travel expo on the 21st September at the Shoalhaven Ex-Serviceman’s Sports Club at Worrigee from 4pm til 8pm.

We have 26 travel industry experts attending representing dozens of companies, including several that have specials for Solo Travellers, and others that regularly have fantastic offers for Solo Travellers including Coral Expeditions, Wendy Wu Tours, Avalon Waterways, Cosmos and Peregrine Adventures.

We have 5 film sessions highlighting not just our upcoming tours but some of the incredible destinations and product that is on offer at this Expo. At 4:30pm we have Coral Expeditions hosting a session to tell us about their fantastic expedition cruises. At 5:00pm we have APT & Travelmarvel hosting a session on their incredible product. At 5:30pm Kirra Tours are going to tell us about all things New Zealand. At 6:00pm We have the Globus Family of Brands in to tell us about their incredible range of product and at 6:30pm the South America Tourism Office will fill us in on everything South America.

At 7:00pm, we will be doing our door prize draws which will include a range of smaller prizes, a mystery prize for those that have pre-registered and of course our major prize – a trip for 2 to Fiji including Flights, Accommodation, a day Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises and return airport transfers in Nadi.

To pre-register simply click here and apply!
or Call Us on (02) 4421 5577
We Hope To See You There!

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Images used courtesy of FIJI AIRWAYS and CORAL EXPEDITIONS

 

Canada Presale Ends! Book Now Save 7%

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Whether travelling on your own or in pairs, there is nothing like a Scenic Tour to explore the wondrous scenery of Canada. At the moment with My Canada Experience, you can book aboard one of their premier journeys that includes transfers to and from the South Coast with a night in Sydney so you don’t have an early morning when heading out. This tour will also be escorted from the South Coast and will visit the highlights of Vancouver and Victoria, of the Rocky Mountains and the Inside Passage.

Right now this tour is available to book on pre-sale which is coming to an end on the 31st May,  for the price and itinerary Click Here! So if you wanted to join us on this luxury trip through Canada, staying in Castles, talking with Mounties then NOW is the time to sign aboard, as prices for bookings made after the 31st May are due to rise up to 7% or more.

For More details or to book aboard Contact Us Now!

Or call us on (02 4421 5577

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Oh Canada! Film Night Update

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My Apologies to Everyone whom received the last blog post with the Canada Invite via E-mail, a slight detail escaped my usual sharp eyes – the date for the film night is 11 May 2017, the tour itself is in may 2018! So there is still a limited time to accept if you want to attend – again my apologies on any confusion. –  Regards Daniel

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On the 11th May 2017 we are hosting an evening at our office with the always entertaining Cathy from Scenic and would like to invite you to come down and see exactly what it is that we have planned for 2018!

When: 5:30 pm, 11th May 2017
Where: My Travel Expert
RSVP: ASAP

Just Call on (02) 4421 5577 or email nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

Discovering Joadja

Join Us On 2 September As We Discover
Joadja Ghost Town & Distilley

Joadja valley and town is a region of significant cultural heritage.  The community at its peak was home to more than 1200 people, mostly Scottish immigrants who lived in tough conditions in an isolated valley. The mine closed and the people that lived here moved away to start somewhere new. The town, the mine and its equipment were left behind, and now stand as a testament to what took place here all that time ago. Nature is slowly but surely taking Joadja back, climbing over the buildings and working its way into the foundations. Come and enjoy the beauty of this stunning valley, hear the stories and feel the history behind it all!

Includes Transfer to and from  the Shoalhaven (from designated pick up points), Morning Tea, 90 Minute Guided Ghost Town Walk, BBQ Lunch & Distillery Tour

Joadja Ghost Town & Distillery Tour
$110 Per Person
2nd September 2017
 

Reserve your space today simply call My Travel Expert on
(02) 4421 5577 or email nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

Finding Floriade

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1 Night / 2 Days,  30 Sep – 1 Oct

Nowra – Canberra- Nowra
$390 Per Person Share Twin Or Double
$530 Per Person In Single

Australia’s biggest celebration of spring – returns to Canberra for the 30th year in 2017
Developed in 1988 as a grand, one off floral tribute to mark Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th anniversary, Floriade has become Canberra’s most iconic annual tourism event and Australia’s premier spring festival. The floral display of more than a million bulbs and annuals planted across 8,000 square metres of inner city parkland is more than just a flower show.
If one million bulbs and annuals weren’t impressive enough, Floriade presented its popular after-dark experience NightFest across five illuminated nights in 2016 and is excited to do so again in 2017. Visitors explored amazing outdoor lighting design and production, curated and constructed by the expert team at Mandylights. They designed a parkland-full of impressive lighting installations which excited and delighted. Complementing the bazillion LED lights incorporated into inspired lighting designs, NightFest hosted a swathe of roving entertainment delighting those wandering through the wonderland.
Nightfest includes:
  • Illuminated wonderland – Explore the whimsy and the beauty in outdoor lighting design and production, as curated and constructed by the expert team at Mandylights. They’ve designed a parkland – full of impressive lighting installations which will excite and delight the fairy light lover in anyone.
  • Roving Entertainment – Be amused and entertained by talented musicians, quirky roving entertainers and circus acts, who will bring the park to life each night. Giant lady bugs, flame twirlers and many many more…
  • The Marketplace – To indulge your inner foodie (and food critic), we’ve created the Marketplace; a food, wine and beer bazaar hosted in the The Kitchen Company Tasting Plate, during NightFest. Explore the food and beverage crafts of Bentspoke Brewery, Pialligo estate, Mount Majura vineyard and more, in a melting pot of top local and regional talent.

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This 2 day package includes transport to Canberra and Return from the Shoalhaven, time on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday Morning to visit Floriade, a Standard Nightfest Entry Ticket, and One Night Accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Canberra.   Costs for upgraded Nightfest Tickets and Breakfast available on request. Spaces are limited

Costs for upgraded Nightfest Tickets, Breakfast and more available on enquiry.

Call My Travel Expert on (02) 4421 5577  or e-mail nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au to reserve your space today or

 

A Vivid Start To 2017!

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Welcome to 2017! We all hope that you had a fantastic Christmas and and incredible New Years.

Seeking Travel Companions.

Just a brief update to start the new year, we are still searching for travellers to join others in Japan this April for a Rail Tour, in Canada for a combination East Coast & West Coast Tour in September, and a fantastic Trip to Borneo. New Zealand –  We also have a lady looking for a travelling companion, looking to do the South Island over a period of around 10 Days. If this Sounds of Interest please let us know.

Upcoming Group Tours

In the next month we will have our 2017 and 2018 Major Group Departures online – these will include a fantastic Italian Journey this September and an incredible Japan Tour in April 2018 to cover the Cherry Blossom Season. If you would like further information then let is know !

Vivid 2017

We now have our 2017 Vivid Day Trips available, these include coach from Worrigee, Nowra and Berry to Sydney, and a 3 Course Dinner Cruise that includes free wine, beer and soft drinks. With Departures on 31 May and 07 June 2017 , you can join for only AU$139 ! For more details or to book aboard call us today.

My Travel Expert & Shoalhaven Solo Sisters
(02) 4421 5577 or nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

Exhibitor Exposé: Norwegian Cruise Lines

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My Travel Expo. 22 September, 4pm til 7pm
@ Shoalhaven Ex-Serviceman’s Sports Club at Worrigee

Appearing for the first time at one of our Expos will be the incredible Norwegian Cruise Lines. For years Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) have been awing passengers in the Mediterranean, Hawaii, the Inside Passage, the Carribbean and more, and in 2016 they will be sailing our way and will hopefully “wow”more than a few people whilst here in Australian waters.

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In 2017, for the first time NCL  will be bringing the Norwegian Star to Asia and Australian waters with three cruises departures that will tie in Sydney:  21 Days Hong Kong to Sydney Cruise 16th January 2017), 12 Day Sydney to Auckland Cruise (6th February 2017) and
31 Day Sydney to Singapore Cruise (6th February 2017).  This is the perfect chance to get aboard the Norwegian Star and get a taste of cruising with NCL.

Why? Well first off if the cruises are popular, NCL may be tempted to bring ships down here on a more regular basis, secondly because NCL is one of the premier lines doing cruises around the world and so this is a great opportunity to preview something you may want to experience in these destinations.

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The other reason that NCL should be in your mind is that they present one of the best ways to visit the Hawaiian Islands with their vessel “Pride Of America”which sails round the islands on a yearly basis giving you the opportunity to see the best that all the islands have to offer – without the need to take too many inter island flights, or spend over a month cruising to get to Hawaii and back.

They also have a fantastic array of Mediterranean Cruises, mostly around the two week duration, many covering the French Riviera, the incredible coastal locations of Italy, the Dalmatian Coast and the Greek Islands. This is the perfect way to wind down that frantic tour of Central Europe, or to start a larger European Cruising Experience, or just a great trip on its own!

 So why not join us at My Travel Expo and see if NCL has something for you!

Register Here For Quick Entry!

My Travel Expo. 4pm til 7pm, 22 September, at Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemans Club Worrigree.

Call (02) 4421 5577 for more information