The 10 Best Things to do in Tasmania in Spring

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September has arrived and that means Spring has officially sprung in Tasmania! As my all-time favourite season (ahem, it is also my birthday season), there is no better season to visit Tasmania in my eyes. The weather has started to pick up, the days are noticeably longer, and visiting in Spring has the added benefit of beating summer crowds (and price hikes!) So if you’re coming to Tasmania in Spring, here are the best things I suggest you do!

Bloomin Tulips Festival

1. Experience the Bloomin’ Tulips Festival

If you can time your visit for it, the Bloomin’ Tulips Festival is perhaps the biggest event on the North West Coast at this time of year (those colours – its not hard to see why!!!) The festival comes about in October of each year, this year set for October 8, 2016.

(Image via Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail)

Tasmania East Coast

2. Check in to a Coastal Getaway

Just before the summer price hike, take advantage of low occupancy and check yourself in to one of Tasmania’s privately owned coastal holiday homes! My favourites include Thalia Haven (pictured), Rocky Hills Retreat and the Avalon Coastal Retreat. Each holiday home has a kitchen, so be sure to pick up some fresh local produce and cook up a storm!

West Coast Wilderness Railway

3. Ride on the West Coast Wilderness Railway

Although most of the tourist action takes place on the East Coast in the warmer months, a great escape is the popular West Coast Wilderness Railway. The West Coast is full of beautiful rainforests, misty skies and extremely beautiful scenery, so if you wish to make the most of it be sure to stay a couple of nights in Strahan to explore the region.

(Image via WCWR)

Maria Island Painted Cliffs

4. Explore Maria Island

One of the most photographed spots on one of the most popular outlying islands, is the gorgeous painted cliffs on Maria Island. Daily ferries operate to the island in both directions, but due to popularity I would suggest booking in advance!

(Image via ABC)

Raspberry Farm Tasmania Raspberry Farm Tasmania

5. Indulge at The Raspberry Farm

If you happen to visit Tasmania by ferry (the Spirit of Tasmania operates twice daily from Melbourne), one of your first stops should be the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, located on the highway between Devonport and Launceston. The entire menu features raspberries, raspberries, and more raspberries!


Brooke Saward Tasmania

6. Visit Tasmazia!

One of my favourite little finds off the beaten path is a great place for kids (or big kids like me) – Tasmazia. The maze is a great outing for the day if staying in the Central Highlands, or taking a day trip from Launceston.

Tahune Airwalk Tasmania

7. Walk on Air at Tahune Airwalk

Heading down South, one of the most beautiful attractions is the perfect day trip from Hobart: Tahune Airwalk. The crowds start to arrive roughly one hour after opening, so if you’d like to have the place to yourself I would suggest arriving bang on opening time (which means an early start – but so worth it!)

 

8. Step Back in Time at the Penny Royal

Back up North in Launceston, the Penny Royal has recently been refurbished and is an absolute mecca for kids (and again, the big kids!) There’s rock climbing, a bridge walk, motorised boat tours and some fab food. I really love this part of town as it also connects to the Cataract Gorge, a natural gorge full of great walking and hiking routes.

(Getty Images)

Wine Tour Tasmania World of Wanderlust in Tasmania

9. Take a Wine Tour

Tasmania is famous for its wines, so why not head to one of the fabulous wineries (there are many) or pick a few to visit in the Tamar Valley Wine Region! My favourites include Josef Chromy (Launceston) and Strathlynn (Tamar Valley).

Tasmania

10. Fly over Wineglass Bay

As the weather starts to pick up around the state, the East Coast of Tasmania begins to draw crowds in the hundreds and thousands – from all over Australia and the world! Be sure not to miss Wineglass Bay, one of the most photographed spots on the island. You can hike to the bay, see the bay from above, or take a cruise to the bay.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Highlights of Italy – Where to visit in Tuscany

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As one of my all time favourite road trip destinations in Europe (if not for the food then for the views!!!), a visit to Tuscany is a must at least once in your lifetime. The rolling hills, the endless vineyards, the magnificent cheese, wine, gelato – the list is truly endless. Full of character, greenery and lively locals, here is a complete guide to where to visit in Tuscany to help plan your adventure!

Guide to Pisa Italy

Pisa

With direct flights in to Pisa from the rest of the world (with Qatar airways via Doha), you might as well start your Tuscan adventure in the city of Pisa. Pisa is of course most well-known for its architectural failure, the leaning tower of Pisa. Beyond that, be sure to wander the streets to discover the true charm of this city. Make your way over to the Arno river for beautiful views morning and night and be sure to grab a gelato or two for a sugar hit to make it through the day!

Guide_To_Tuscany_Lucca

Lucca

From Pisa make your way to nearby Lucca, a small but charming city with plenty to see and do. You’ll need at least half a day here, though could easily spend a full day or two exploring the sights and meandering the small alleyways. For the best view of the city, be sure to climb the Guinigi Tower, complete with a gorgeous garden on top and offering panoramic views of Lucca. Be sure to try the buccellato (rasin bread), a local delicacy found at most bakeries in the city.

Guide_To_Tuscany

Florence

It just wouldn’t be a trip to Tuscany without visiting Florence! As one of my all time favourite cities not just in Europe but the entire world, you absolutely must make a visit to Florence for a few days. Full of mesmerising history, art, culture and great food (where in Italy doesn’t have great food!?), this is one of the world’s most charming and endlessly fascinating cities. You’ll need at least three days here, though could easily spend up to a week visiting the many monuments, museums and meandering the streets.

San Gimignano - Guide to Tuscany

San Gimignano

A small and unassuming town, San Gimignano sits on top of a large hill overlooking the hills of Tuscany. In terms of great views, those atop the tower in San Gimignano are some of the best you will find. You’ll need at least a day to explore the small town on foot, though could easily spend a couple of days using this as a base to explore the countryside. Wineries (as always in Tuscany) are just a stones throw away!

Guide to Siena Italy

Siena

One of my favourite cities in Tuscany that I only just discovered on my August ’16 trip is Siena. With so much wealth accumulated over years of successful banking, the city maintains an element of grandeur every which way you like: from the Cuomo to the City Hall. You could aim to see Siena in a day, though I would suggest at least two days here to explore as there is much to discover!

Still want more?

Cortona – where “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed

Elba – seaside Tuscany

Livorno – canals, seaside escape

I flew to Tuscany on a direct route with Qatar Airways. Flying from Australia, this meant just two flights to reach the Tuscan region: Melbourne – Doha & Doha – Pisa. I would highly recommend this route for travellers interested in basing their trip in Tuscany, a region that warrants at least one, but up to three weeks to discover. With thanks to Qatar Airways for welcoming me to experience Tuscany on this new direct route!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

The Opposite of Loneliness

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There are books that take me chapters to start enjoying, books I never enjoy at all, and books that grab me hook, line and sinker within a few pages. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan was the latter of all three: pure brilliance for a work of only partly edited short essays that spoke to me, and I’m sure, my generation.

The Opposite of Loneliness

Marina writes with years of maturity, set in the context of modern adulthood. Her short essays in this book consist of both fiction and non-fiction, giving you a small window into the life behind the author, whilst keeping you guessing as to who she was and what she was all about. Far from an enigma, Marina makes herself, her views and her life goals very clear from the outset. But with a mind so busy and wildly imaginitive, I found myself soaring through this book with constant intrigue.

Fair to say, I loved Marina’s story just as much as I loved the stories she wrote.

I’ve read the reviews on this book and not to my shock, they’re fairly mixed. Some readers love her concisely written narratives, others are quick to criticise her prose. Then there are the readers who claim her work only shot to success following the tragedy of her death – a poor accusation to make for such a talented aspiring writer who used her natural voice to convey the dramas and dilemmas of our interwebs generation.

Whatever you thought of the book, that’s great. Go you. If you’ve given it a read and formed your own conclusion, all power to you. For me: I loved the book. I didn’t love every single essay as much as the other and at times I found Keegan’s writing hard to connect to or find rhythm to, but after a few blurred sentences I always found myself falling back in love with her rawness.

Questions for Discussion:

How did you feel about the short story nature of this book – a collection of short essays?

Did you feel yourself connecting more with some essays over others?

Did you feel vulnerability in the author’s characters – like many were self-deprecating and very self aware? Do you think this is due to the age of the author – that many of us in our early twenties are still stuck figuring ourselves out, let alone someone else trying to?

Do you believe Marina Keegan’s work would have been realised if not for her untimely death?

Did you love, hate, or sit on the fence with this book?

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this one! I don’t want the questions to dampen the mood on this book (which I believe was truly fabulous), but after reading so many mixed reviews, I’d love to hear what you thought and why!?

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Europe by the season: Where to go in Autumn

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As the summer makes a slow escape in Europe, the leaves begin to find their colours and the months of September, October & November make up fall/autumn in Europe. While the Mediterranean still enjoys warm temperatures, the ocean begins its rapid decline in temperature, as do the countries in central & eastern Europe. Meanwhile popular destination in the west continue to enjoy warm temperatures with a balmy breeze, making Autumn one of the best seasons to travel in to escape the crowds and still enjoy the weather.

Stockholm fotog

City Breaks

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital thrives at any time of year, but Autumn is a great chance to see the city in calmer crowds and enjoy lower hotel rates. Stockholm is by far one of my favourite cities in all of Europe, with its effortless Old Town that comes to life with autumn leaves (pictured above) and locals who enjoy the last of the sunshine before the cold weather kicks in. Be sure to visit Gamla Stan (Old Town); the Vasa Museum; Fotografskia and many more of the top things to do in Stockholm.

Berlin, Germany

After living in Berlin for a few months in Autumn, I have an understandably very fond memory of the city! While the skies begin to grey and by December light is low going into winter, Autumn itself can still be quite enjoyable for visitors. The autumn leaves begin to crawl their way across cities throughout the city, though if you’re looking for greenery the best suburb to stroll around is Prenzlauer Berg. Also be sure to see these 20 top attractions in Berlin and check out this Berlin on a budget guide if you’re strapped for cash. For more tips on Berlin, see our Berlin guides here.

Paris, France

Paris is one of the few cities in the world that I will never tire of, regardless of the season. Before you go, you should be sure to read these books to inspire a trip to Paris and read up in order to make the most out of your trip (Paris is a big city, one should come prepared!) If you happen to be on a budget, there are many great free things to do in Paris which should also allow more budget to try the best sweets in Paris. If you find yourself with extra days to explore, check out the best day trips from Paris.

Cotswolds_Tour_England

Countryside Escapes

The Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds are an area in England that appear to have quite literally been frozen in time. The gorgeous cottages and rolling hills make this an idyllic spot to spend a few days in the English countryside, though it can quite comfortably be done as a day trip from London.

Northern Lights, Finland & Sweden

Seeing the Northern Lights is on many travellers’ bucket lists, but the reality is that you can never know whether you will or will not see them. The highest chances are in the winter months, though there are many sightings throughout Autumn as well, just be sure to spend a few days to a week here to heighten your chances!

Snowdonia, Wales

Snowdonia National Park is located in Northern Wales and a offers a great insight into the rugged wilderness of this small and unassuming country. If you fancy a day hike or wish to trek for a few days, this land is vast and incredibly remote, so you will feel as if you have the whole place to yourself (although it is quite popular among walkers!)

Fort William, Scotland

Scotland is full of fantastic countryside to explore but one must have a starting point and Fort William is a great place to begin (especially for Harry Potter fans wishing to ride the Hogwarts Express).

Munich Oktoberfest

Festivals

Oktoberfest, Munich

You can’t come to Europe in Autumn and not visit Oktoberfest in Munich. That really would be plain blasphemy! Get yourself there to experience Bavarian culture, traditional dress, and of course the beer! Check out this guide to Oktoberfest for everything you need to know, like the fact that the festival actually takes place in September!

Perugia Eurochocolate Festival

The Eurochocolate Festival takes place annually in Perugia, central Italy. The festival quite literally takes over the city, happening across the city for a total of 9 days. For chocolate lovers, there could quite possibly be no better place to find yourself!

Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival

Countries in Eastern Europe often get a bad wrap for their food offerings (traditionally carb-heavy dishes like dumplings and stews are staple recipes), but one shouldn’t jump to conclusions unless they’ve been to see (and taste) it first! The Lviv Cheese & Wine festival is your chance to sample Ukrainian food and culture as it is the countries’ leading food + wine festival, held annually in October.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

10 Stupidly Delicious things to Eat in New York City!

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New York is no stranger to food that looks almost too good to eat. Colourful bagels, over the top donuts and sorts of sugary good news is on offer. For the ultimate list of food too-good-to-eat, see below!

BlackTap-Milkshakes-NYC

Milkshakes like you’ve never seen ’em

If I could have chosen one place to visit on this trip to New York and one place only, it would be these deliciously good looking milkshakes from Black Tap NYC. They don’t come cheap at around $20 a pop, but they’re a work of art if I do say so myself.

Foun at: Black Tap NYC

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Cereal Ice creams for breakfast

If you’re a cereal eater and want to try some of the North American offerings, then save yourself a trip to the supermarket and head straight to Emack & Bolio’s. This delicious ice creamery serves an incredible list of flavours inside cereal coated ice cream cones. Ice cream for breakfast!? Why on earth not!

Found at: Emack & Bolio’s

Levain Cookies

The Gooiest Cookies

Nobody hates cookies and nobody will disagree that if you’ve eaten a cookie from Levain bakery, they’re probably the best cookies you’ve ever had. If you have a chance to go in the morning be sure to arrive early and you’ll be able to have them at their best – warm, fresh, and deliciously gooey!

Found at: Levain Bakery 

Shake_Shack_new_york

Burgers & Curly Fries

There’s no doubt you’ve heard of Shake Shack before. Long before I came to New York for the first time I had heard about the craze, and years later it appears that craze is yet to die down. Be sure to grab a burger AND the curly fries, because they’re damn delicious. The shakes are great too, but you’ll be struggling to fit in all three so choose wisely!

Found at: Shake Shack

Cronuts New York | World of Wanderlust

The Cronut

Chances are you’ve heard of the cronut, too. If you haven’t then prepare yourself for the most intriguing creation of your life: a croissant-donut. Yup, it exists! They’re super popular and sell out by 10-11am each day, so be sure to arrive early and be prepared to wait in line.

Found at: Dominique Ansel Bakery

Takumi Taco

Japanese Tacos

It might sound like an odd combination at first but believe me when I say you won’t regret trying Japanese-Mexican tacos. This is a great option for vegetarians, with a number of offerings but I’d mostly recommend the lentil tacos! The iced tea is really good, too.

Found at: Takumi Tacos 

Cereal milk Ice Cream

Cereal Milk

The flavour that Milk Bar are most famous for is cereal milk. It might sound a little confusing at first, but let me explain (trust me, you’ve gotta try it!) The flavour is the one you get when you’ve eaten a bowl of cereal and there’s the sugary milk leftovers at the end – kind of like the milk has been infused by the sugary cereal. In other words, it is delicious! You can buy cereal milk flavoured everything, but I’d mostly recommend the soft serve ice cream (even if it is overpriced and undersized).

Found at: Milk Bar by Momofuku

Danas Bakery USA

American Style Macarons

Although Macarons are French and Italian (by creation – depending how you make them), you won’t find anything more American than the macarons on offer at Dana’s Bakery. Unfortunately their NYC location closed down, but just half an hour over in Jersey they have their flagship store or you can order them to be delivered to your hotel. Expect flavours like S’mores, cheesecake, and red velvet. Yum!

Found at: Dana’s Bakery

Rainbow Bagels WHAT!? | World of Wanderlust Rainbow Bagels

Nothing is more iconically New York street food-ish than an old and faithful bagel. Although the best bagels I tried were at Ess-a-Bagel, the prettiest I saw were at Best Bagels (location in the Upper West Side). They almost look too good to eat!

The Bagel Store

Where to find the Best Pizza in Naples

$1 Slice of Pizza

Because where else can you get a good ol’ greasy slice of pizza for just a buck!? If you’re around the Times Square area and want a cheap but filling snack, you can’t beat the $1 slice of pizza – available at street stalls in the surrounding side streets.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Checking In: Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

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Looking for a pinch-me-is-this-real-life experience in Moscow? Then look no further than the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski. With many of its rooms overlooking St Basil’s cathedral, this is by far one of Moscow’s most sought-after hotel experiences. On my recent visit to Moscow I checked in to for myself just why!

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Checking In: Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

Stepping into the hotel you feel immediately welcomed by the accommodating staff who go above and beyond to make Hotel Baltschug Kempinski feel like a second home. The concierge were quick to offer pre-booking of tickets to any of Moscow’s attractions, reserving a table at any restaurant, and quite literally looking after every aspect of your visit to the Russian capital if you so wish.

Moscow IMG_8856

Around the Hotel

The hotel is located on an island surrounded by the Moskva River, connected to mainland Moscow by a bridge. Crossing the bridge you’re a mere few minutes walk from Moscow’s most famous attractions, the Kremlin and Red Square to name but a couple. Alternatively staying on the same side and walking the length of the river provides postcard worthy views over the Kremlin’s sights.

If this is your first time visiting Moscow, be sure not to miss this shortlist of the Top 10 Attractions in Moscow. While this hotel is within walking distance of all the main sights, I would still recommend checking out the underground subway, which is an attraction in itself in Moscow. The interiors underground are so ornate, they transport you to another time and space. Don’t miss it!

Moscow IMG_8767 IMG_8404

Inside the Hotel

The interior is as lavish and ornate as you’d expect any luxury Russian hotel to be, all the while feeling warm and cosy. The beds in the rooms were so comfortable – decorated with the fluffiest pillows to rest your weary head after a full day of sightseeing!

A little downtime is always necessary on any vacation, especially in a city as sprawling and large as Moscow. After an action-packed day of sightseeing, be sure to make the most of your stay by visiting the hotel’s heated pool and sauna where you can relax and unwind. Or if you’re feeling particularly lavish, then indulging in one of the beauty treatments at the spa is always a good idea.

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The Baltschug Dining Experience 

The Hotel has two restaurants, the Baltschug Grill where they serve breakfast and Café Kranzler which has a terrace overlooking the Moskva River and St Basil’s cathedral. The dishes served inside are typically Russian with a modern flair. The evening menu offers vodka-infused smoked salmon and Russian caviar. Nothing beats dining with the Red Square lit up in the background.

Near to the hotel you will also find a great range of cafes, patisseries and dining experiences. Here are my top 7 picks for the best cafes in Moscow (you’ll want to visit all of them but Cafe Pushkin is my all time fave!)

IMG_8791 IMG_8804 Moscow

World of Wanderlust visited Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow as a guest, however my opinion is always my own.

WOW Contributor

Story & images by World of Wanderlust contributor Faye Bullock.

Is it safe to travel to Europe Right Now?

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This is something we gotta address.

For the past few months I’ve been asked what feels like a dozen times a day, “Do you feel safe travelling right now!?”, “Do you think I should change my travel plans?”… and so on, and so forth. Most of these questions (I’d throw a rough guess and say 90%) centre around travel to and within Europe.

First of all, I get it. I get the concern and I get that sick feeling at the pit of your stomach every time you switch on the news and hear, see or read something terrible has happened. Nobody enjoys that.

But is it unsafe to a point where you should change your travel plans or avoid travelling right now altogether? Lets talk about that.

I know I’ve been avoiding the topic for some time, because from the way I see it there’s a right and a wrong time to voice your opinion. For me, the right time is when you’ve stepped back, taken some time to yourself and to think before you speak.

To have answered this topic in a timely manner would have felt insensitive to all those effected in any of the attacks that have occurred this year, so I wanted to let the dust settle and come to terms with how I felt about everything before speaking up.

As many of you know, I’ve been talking a lot lately about a number of “safety first” matters related to travel on my Youtube Channel and here on the blog. This is part of my ongoing collaboration with Southern Cross Travel Insurance, who have been really great in helping me get the message out about important considerations for travellers – especially those new to travel, new to solo travel, or nervous travellers who just want a little more beyond the pretty photos (I hear you!)

It is important to talk about these things and get real about travel, because at the end of the day there is much more to a travel lifestyle than a likeable instagram photo, an inspiring video or a nice outfit to match your backdrop. Yes, there are downsides to travel and I believe it is important to touch on these subjects and stay realistic.

So about Europe.

These questions I tend to receive in the immediate aftermath of an event and as mentioned earlier, it seems insensitive to comment at the time. Now, in this video, I want to break it down for you how I really feel about travel in 2016.

Travelling does not make you more or less susceptible to an unfortunate turn of events. You never know what will happen in any place, at any time and you will never be able to completely control all situations.

My advice is to take precautions always (not just when the media jumps on a story). I would never travel anywhere without travel insurance and I would never suggest anyone do so – I have made multiple claims on flight delays, cancellations, and that time I wound up with a 5 figure hospital bill.

It is also important to read your policy clearly and understand what you are covered for. For instance if you travel with thousands of dollars of camera equipment, you may wish to pay a little extra to cover these items. Similarly with random acts of terror you may not be covered to fly home, but if you are injured your medical bills would be covered. Take a few minutes to read through and know what you’re entitled to!

And my final opinion on the matter is not to live in fear of what may happen to you. Life is to live, not just exist.

Thanks to WOW Readers for encouraging a conversation on the topic, to Southern Cross Travel Insurance for being generous enough to give WOW Readers 10% off (use the code “WOW” – Australia only) and to everyone out there who is still travelling, still supporting the tourism industry and still living.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

These photos prove Finland should be your next travel destination

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Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting Finland will back me up when I say this has got to be one of the most scenic countries to visit! The National Parks are expansive and vast, meaning you can visit in shoulder season and feel as though you have the entire place to yourself. From winter in the North to the beautiful colours of Autumn in the southeast, to the intriguing and ever-changing capital city of Helsinki… there are so many reasons to visit Finland! Here’s a little more convincing for you:

Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland by World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because surely this is the real Chronicles of Narnia!?

Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because even in the winter time it is encouraged to get outdoors and get amongst your surrounds! A nice Finnish local made me this fire – what a charmer!

Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because where else in the world can you go to meet & feed reindeer in their natural habitat! (so cute!)

Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because you can run into locals riding around the “streets” on their snowmobiles (eeeeep!)

Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because canoeing is considered a regular activity and you’ll find plenty of locals happy to take you out and about!

Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because you can meet (and cuddle) huskies!!! These gorgeous snow dogs were gearing up for the winter season of dog sledding (which is also way cool!)

Finland | World of Wanderlust Finland | World of Wanderlust

Because there are ENDLESS lakes with ENDLESS activities. It really is too beautiful for words!

Which Lens for What? The Best Lenses for Travel Photography

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It has been a while since I’ve covered the photography subject on my blog and as such, I’m finding myself inundated lately with photography questions! Particularly on the photo-sharing app Instagram, I am asked on a daily basis about what camera I use, lenses, photo editing tips and all sorts of photography-related questions you guys are itching to know!

So today I’m going to cover what lenses I use, as these are the best lenses for travel photography that I have found. All my recommendations will by for my two cameras (that I strongly recommend as an affordable and most importantly reliable option!): my Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II and my Olympus PEN EPL7.

For those who don’t already know, I used to use a heavy Digital SLR camera as I was led to believe that it was one of the best cameras in the business. Sure, it took great photos and sure… but it was also much more expensive, heavy, and difficult to use. Having no training in photography, I was in the market for something more simplified, a whole lot lighter and more compact. Thus I opted for the mirrorless cameras I use today and I have never looked back since.

Best Lenses for Travel Photography | World of Wanderlust

The Best Lenses for Travel Photography: What I Use

Over the past few years I have slowly but surely self-taught myself how to take better travel photos. Using lots of information found on online and more importantly with a lot of practice, I have found myself much more comfortable behind the camera in the last 12 months, armed with my tools of the trade (cameras, lenses, tripods, etc.) To help with your own travel photography aspirations, I’ve compiled a list of my current gear and what I use it for, when and why.

Positano_Amalfi_Coast

Olympus OMD EM5 MARK II with 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

This photo was taken in Positano by my boyfriend, who gladly takes my instruction to “stand here, feet firm, up a notch” extremely well! Each time I get him to take a photo I adjust the camera settings to suit the lighting situation, set him up like a tripod, run in the frame and yell “I’m ready!” with great enthusiasm.

This photo (and most of my photos) was taken with my 12-40mm PRO lens. This is the lens that I use most frequently and only ever change if I’m going in to a unique situation requiring a long-range lens, wide-angle lens or playing around with my fisheye lens (all below!) If I could recommend just one lens above all others as the best place to start, this one is it.

Shop the lens

Quick Guide to Strasbourg France | World of Wanderlust Quick_Guide_to_Strasbourg_France

Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II with M.ZUIKO 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens (Wide Angle Lens)

Some situations call for a little more scope, especially when trying to get a lot in the frame without being able to stand back far enough (there was a river behind me in these photos – probably wouldn’t have worked out so well!)

I mostly use my wide angle lens in tight situations, such as shooting hotel rooms, church interiors, or in narrow streets like this one in Strasbourg. This lens is great for capturing more in the frame when you can’t manipulate the situation as much and I almost always have this lens on hand for trickier situations.

Wide angle lenses are also great for distorting close-up subjects, providing depth of field, and of course are great for capturing landscapes (which I also use it for on occasion!)

Shop the lens

Cambodia_Angkor_wat

Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II with M.ZUIKO 8mm f/1.8 (Fisheye Lens)

A lens I’d like to use more of is my fisheye lens, which I often use to take photos of buildings up close (it creates a really dramatic effect that you don’t get with the wide angle). I really love experimenting with this lens and find it works best when focusing on a subject close-up, as otherwise you lose the fisheye effect and it doesn’t appear nearly as impressive. Although this lens is more of an investment piece, I find it worth it as it makes otherwise plain objects much more interesting and unique to other traveller’s photos of the same object in question.

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Oman-Khasab

Olympus PEN EPL7 with 14-42mm lens

This camera + lens combo is the most affordable option starting out and as you can see, still takes a really clear, clean shot. I mostly use my Olympus PEN for vlogging my travels (the flip down screen is such a boss), however I also use it for on-the-spot photos when I don’t have my other camera with me or the situation doesn’t call for it (like the snap below!)

Travelling in Canada Passport

Olympus PEN EPL7 with 14-42mm lens

As you can see this versatile little lens is great for quick photos on the spot, especially as both the camera and lens are really small and lightweight. I usually take this camera on the plane with me in case I feel the urge to take a photo (usually out the plane window or of my passport – ha!) This has been the closest lens I found to my beloved 50mm lens (on my previous DSLR) and I’m really happy with the Olympus equivalent as it provides a crisp, clear shot in seconds!

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Safari in Tanzania | World of Wanderlust Safari in Tanzania | World of Wanderlust Best Lenses for Travel Photography | World of Wanderlust

Olympus PEN EPL7 with 40-150mm lens

It might surprise you that I have taken all my safari photos with my tiny little Olympus PEN! As I couldn’t afford one of the huuuuuuuge pro lenses, I opted for the much cheaper telephoto option. From memory this lens is only a couple hundred dollars, which is really reasonable for the performance. I use this lens to capture sporting events and moving objects (like lions and leopards!)

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Best Lenses for Travel Photography | World of Wanderlust Best Lenses for Travel Photography | World of Wanderlust Best Lenses for Travel Photography | World of Wanderlust

Other Supplies

A few other supplies I would highly recommend are extra memory cards, extra batteries, and if you travel solo you’ll need a tripod! I use a gorilla pod and this little Manfrotto tripod. Both work a treat!

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World of Wanderlust is a proud Olympus Australia ambassador! I can’t tell you how fond I am of these products and know you will be too.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Behind the Facade: A Tour of one of the most luxurious hotels in Paris!

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I’m sure by now you have all figured out that I absolutely adore Paris and all things French. There’s just some element of decadence that lures me in, which has over time convinced me that I must have been French in another lifetime. So on my most recent visit to Paris with my other half, we stopped by the Hôtel Plaza Athénée for a fancy afternoon tea, so that I could indulge my sweet tooth and show off one of my favourite hotels in Paris. Of course we weren’t staying here (it is rather pricey), but I jumped at the chance to take a personalised tour of the hotel when offered (blogger benefits – woo!)

Thus I’d love to share with you some snaps behind the facade, a new series I’ll be starting on World of Wanderlust to show you some of the most stunning hotel interiors around the world!

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust Plaza Athanee Paris | World of Wanderlust

Each room category has its own unique flair, but to my surprise the higher price brackets don’t necessarily mean more stylish! If you’re after a certain colour code or theme, I’d suggest requesting particular room types at the time of booking, as each room is distinctly different from the next (my favourite is the purple colour palette!)

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust

You can also view the hotel’s famous inner courtyard by stepping inside the lobby and wandering through (you will spot it almost immediately). In the warmer months you can enjoy Afternoon Tea here, or enjoy the view of the courtyard from inside whilst sipping on your Earl Grey!

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust

Room categories get more expensive depending on size and view (can you honestly beat a balcony with that view!?!?) The fresh flowers make this hotel even more impressive in the Spring, my all time favourite time of year to visit Paris!

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris | World of Wanderlust

And the afternoon tea? Divine! This hotel skips the savouries altogether (dangerous, but right up my alley!) The entire setting is sweets, sweets, and more sweets!

Plaza Athanee Paris

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!