Healesville Santuary is a zoo which only has Australian animals in a natural bushland setting. Healesville is an absolute must for any international visitor to Melbourne, and can be combined with a day of wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, although it can easily fill a day on its own.
Address Badger Creek Rd
Healesville VIC 3777
Phone 03 5957 2800
A water access-only island in Pittwater with view across the Northern Beaches of Sydney and Ku-rin-gai National Park, 45 minutes drive from Sydney. There is a ferry that goes each hour every day, bush walks around and to the top of the island and a park. The vibe is laid back and friendly - unlike some parts of Sydney CBD. There are about 400 houses, a bed and breakfast and a youth hostel.
If you want to know what the Japanese do on a Sunday afternoon, then head off to Yoyogi Park. The whole of Tokyo seems to descend on this wonderful park. Families come for a picnic, unsigned pop bands play inpromptu gigs, theatre groups practise their latest plays and people just hang out letting the world go by! Everything seems to happen in this one place! When I went there a year ago, I felt like I saw the real Tokyo - seeing the Japanese at play.
Don't miss it!
Adjacent to Yoyogi-koen and Meiji-jingumae Stations on the subway Chiyoda Line, and Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line
If you go down to Yoyogi park on a Sunday, you‘re sure of a big surprise. The rockers can be found in the entrance to the park. Managing to dance and keep their sky-high quiffs in place at the same time is as much a testament to the architectural ingenuity of the Japanese as the Tokyo tower. They must be using some industrial strength hair gel that has not yet been introduced to the west.
Equally baffling is their ability not to crack into a smile as they sombrely strut their stuff whilst being gawped at by passers by. On hot days they slip out of their worn black leather jackets to reveal skin sexily embossed with red and green dragons. Nearby on the concourse next to Harajuku station you can catch gangs of teenagers dressed up in the latest outrageous trends. Don’t worry if they scowl at you when you take their photograph, it’s all part of the attitude.
Turn right out of Harajuku station.
A 200,000 square metre plot of unspoilt nature, right in the heart of Tokyo's urban sprawl. This reserve, set aside for mostly academic purposes, teems with birds, frogs, insects and the occasional snake, and offers the kind of sanctuary that many never find in the city.
Entry is 200 yen, and tranquility is conserved by only allowing a strictly limited number of visitors inside at any one time.
East of JR Meguro station, next to the Teien Art Museum.
Ueno park is a haven of serenity in this bustling city. This beautiful park contains all you need for a lovely day out. Within the park are several art galleries and museums, a zoo, antiques market, an opportunity to go boating or to simply sit and marvel at the temples. In the spring season the cherry blossom really does take your breath away!
After you've amused yourself with the bizarre architecture and shopping malls of Odaiba, get the ferry across Tokyo Bay to Hammariku park (entry included in the ticket bought in Odaiba) and enjoy a relaxing stroll around the peaceful Japanese gardens.
South of Shimbashi metro station, a 10-15 minute walk from Ginza.
Not particularly original this one, featuring in a Belle & Sebastion song and all. Just outside the Meiji shrine on Sunday afternoons, right near Harujuki, all sorts of weird creatures and freaks assemble dressed as their favourite anime characters or gothic victorian dolls amongst other things, and all seem willing to have their picture taken. Once you tire of this, your right near trendy Harujuku with limited edition trainer shops, perhaps Japan's only Pizza Express and even a Gold's Gym.
Meiji jingu mae station
Heldenplatz is where Hitler stood and proclaimed the Anschluss (Annexation). Stand in the middle and look around you. You have the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) behind you and you can see the two matching museums, the beautiful Rathaus (city hall) and the Burgtheater. Breathtaking.
Hofburg, 1010 Wien
Roberto Burle Marx was born in the São Paulo on 4 August 1909. He studied in Germany, then returned to Brazil and worked as a landscape architect, designing parks throughout South America. These small, beautiful gardens stand as a tribute to him.
Designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx, the park is huge and always packed with people jogging, playing football or just snoozing on the grass. There are galleries, cafes, running tracks, bikes to rent, fountains, etc. Don’t go after dark.
You’re never pressed for space even in the tourist season. But if off the beaten track is the goal then rent a bike and ride out to Frederiksberg Gardens. It’s ten minutes from the Central Station to these relaxed gardens. The same paths and canal that the upper classes escaped to in the Danish Golden Age. Hans Christian Andersen and his fine friends promenaded here and you, too, can take a slow motion sail along the canal below the castle.
Head west along Vesterbrogade, turn right when the road forks and continue along Frederiksberg Allé. At the end of the road is the Gardens.
Bikes can be rented at the Central Station, next to Track 13.
Prices start at 75 kroner per day.
For centuries Copenhageners have made day trips out to Dyrehaven - or Deer Park - north of the city. The journey no longer requires a horse and carriage. Just hop on the C line of the S-trains and head to the end of the line Klampenborg station. From there you’re metres away from the main entrance.
King Frederik III designated Dyrehaven at a hunting area for his son, Christian V in 1670. There are still hundreds of deer and stags the fields and forest of the 1000 hectares of the park. In the autumn you can hear the feisty stags bleating loudly.
It’s the ultimate oasis for city folk.
It’s secret mostly because Google Earth’s satellite photos are so outdated that it doesn’t even exist. Copenhagen’s new riviera, Amager Strandpark, was inaugurated this year and puts a massive recreation area with beaches, lagoons and outdoorsy pursuits within a 15 minute bike ride from the city. A man-made island juts out into the sea towards Sweden from the island of Amager just to the south of Copenhagen and will undoubtedly be a popular summer destination. Copenhagen doesn’t lack great beaches. There are long stretches to the south and trendy beaches to the north, but the new beach is an impressive attempt to create new, exciting areas for recreation close to the city.
Located along Amager Strandvej on the island of Amager.
Reached by metro to Lergravsparken station and a 15 minute walk along Øresundsvej or by bus #12 from the Town Hall Square or the airport.
Walt Disney was so fond of Tivoli Gardens that he was inspired to build Disneyland. That’s where the similarities end. Tivoli is a must see, if not for the modern rides then for an understanding of the down-to-earth Danish mentality. Don’t expect an amusement park experience. Get ready to wander lazily about soaking up the quaintness of it all and it's simple pleasures: a cold glass of beer; feeding the fish in the lake; a bite to eat.
Sure, have a go on the gut-wrenching Demon rollercoaster or one of the other new rides, but remember to take a spin on the rickety old Odin Express rollercoaster or the little Ferris wheel.
All within earshot of the bells from the town hall. It’s a quintessential Danish experience.
Located between the Central Station and the Town Hall Square.
Only an hours train ride from Sydney central, the beautiful Blue Mountains are not to be missed. Take the popular day's walk from Echo Point, Katoomba (known to the aboriginals as "shiny, tumbling water") to see the famous 3 sisters rock formation. The most photographed feature of the national park, the three sisters lookout is often packed out with tourists by the bus load, so venture further down the steep 980 steps and deep into the Leura rainforest where you'll hardly come across a soul.
Weary legs will appreciate the scenic skyway cable car to the top of the gorge at the end of the hike. Alternatively catch a bus to Leura and visit Wentworth Falls. Hike the undercliff/overcliff walk around the enormous cascades and take in the stunning scenery from the cliffs of eucalyptus forest which contribute to the blue haze over the horizon, hence the range's name.
Stay in "No.14" backpackers hostel in Katoomba for a warm welcome and excellent value, cozy place to stay with open fire and clean facilities - just what you need after a sweaty day's trek.
Also plenty of traditional pubs in Katoomba town which have a great village atmosphere on weekends.
100kms west of Sydney, one and a half hours drive along the M4 Freeway or one hour on the train (from platform 12/13, Sydney central station.)
No. 14 backpackers: 14 Lovel Street,
Katoomba, NSW, 2780 Tel:02 - 4782 7104
Official Website: www.australiabluemountains.com.au/
An absolutely wonderful natural park just outside Madrid, it is a mountain river which falls in gentle cascades to form pools, some deep enough to swim in. In the summer it is a marvellous place to escape the heat of the city, but go early, it fills up fast.
From Madrid take the M607 to Manzanares el Real (about half an hour) and La Pedriza is just past the village.
A beautiful ornimental park to take a run in along with many chic (and often skinny) Parisien runners, before breakfast.
A wonderful place to walk, do tai chi, sunbathe and picnic on the many metal chairs. I can spend hours in this park it's also great for children with sand pits, toy sailing boats for hire and a huge (pay-in) playground. Not to mention a couple of reasonably good cafes to take coffee or lunch.
Jardin du Luxembourg, boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France
Directions for Visiting: Rue de Vaugirard, Metro Luxembourg
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