My Top 10 Destinations Part 2
We now continue the list of my top 10 destinations. If you missed part 1 please click here. We start with my number 5 location so please enjoy.
5. Oahu Hawaii USA
How could we not have Oahu in my top 10 destinations. For those people that know us, they would know Hawaii is one of our favourite locations having visited 14 times. So what keeps us coming back to this beautiful island. Where do I start!!! Firstly, and most importantly are the local Hawaiian people. They are just the most welcoming, friendliest and relaxed people we have met. Secondly, the scenery around the island is just spectacular from dramatic mountain vistas, tropical island beaches and pineapple covered fields. Thirdly, the atmosphere whether at Haleiwa on the north shore or walking down Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki it is relaxed, chilled and filled with joy. Descending into Honolulu Airport we feel like we are coming home, it is that charm that draws us back time and again. That ahh moment when we step out of the plane and look towards Diamond Head.
Where should you go!!! This is an open-ended question, but I will give you some places that are worth a visit. For the history buffs, Pearl Harbour is a must, it is very moving when you are on the Arizona memorial. Diamond head is worth the hike, with amazing 360-degree views, from the top. Allow at least 3 hours for a comfortable return hike to the summit. Haleiwa on the north shore is worth a day trip to see. The beach near Haleiwa Beach Park to see the sea turtles (remember to stay a safe distance from them). Also, go to the Aloha General Store for Hawaii’s Best Shaved Ice experience. Walk along Waikiki Beach and make a date with the Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Kahanamoku Beach. Stay tuned for a detailed Hawaii post 😊.
4. Hubbard Glacier Alaska USA
Cruising the inside passage has always been on our bucket list. Having seen and heard so many wonderful reports we were eager to finally see it for ourselves. Hopping on the ship at Seward, Alaska our first stop the next day was Hubbard Glacier, we are not really sure what to expect. However, we stand on the deck excitingly anticipating our first glimpse. Firstly, we sail into Yakutat Bay admiring the splendid scenic vistas of snow-capped mountains and dramatic landscapes. Secondly, into Disenchantment Bay as blocks of ice drift past us, the amazing shades of blue sparkling within the ice are incredible. Rounding the last outcrop of land Hubbard Glacier begins to appear. The more that appears the more awestruck we become. The immenseness of this glacier is truly remarkable and a sight to behold. We stand dumbfounded as the captain positions the ship side on to reveal this wonder.
Being an avid photographer, the chance to capture this epic vista is certainly one that I will cherish forever. Snapping away not wanting to miss a shot, I have to stop myself and just look up and take in this special moment in time. It is incredible to capture, but just as important is to be in the present. The width of the glacier was phenomenal, so had to capture it as a panoramic shot. Shades of blues through to aqua can be seen through the white of the ice. Such an epic visual experience is being had by all that are gazing on this natural wonder. Adding to the spectacle was the sound of large sections of ice falling from the glacier into the water. WOW, what a sight and noise that produced! I was lucky enough to capture it on camera. Definitely in my top 10 destinations.
3. Milford Sound New Zealand
New Zealand the “Land of the Long White Cloud” and just a short trip across the ditch for us Aussies. It is the home to amazing natural wonders, however, one stands out, from our time spent in Kiwi Land that is Milford Sound. Located on the south-west coast of the South Island approximately 290 kilometres from Queenstown. Milford Sound makes it to number 3 on my top 10 destinations. Before we make it to Milford Sound the drive in alone was spectacular, with snow-capped mountains on either side. Crossing over gentle running creeks to fast flowing rivers. Lovely rolling countryside home to sheep and cattle. Also, picture-perfect lakes that reflected the surrounding background like those seen on postcards. Furthermore, as we weave through the mountains we are presented with beautiful vistas and amazing waterfalls. Not to mention the one laned tunnel through a large mountain.
Descending down the winding well-worn road lays the dock where we will board our ship for the cruise. We are treated to the spectacular views of Milford Sound and the incredible surrounding mountains that encircle it. Off in the distance, the telltale signs of waterfalls cutting down the mountainsides sending plumes of spray into the air can be seen. Boarding our vessel we wait with anticipation for the magnificent views that will greet us over the coming hours. In time, this would prove to be true. In fact, we were so close to the waterfalls people on the deck got very wet. However, due to the cool temperatures we took refuge inside and stayed dry and warm 😊. Albeit, a fairly long road trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound the incredible pristine views and epic vistas outweigh the hours spent on the coach. Make this a bucket list item.
2. Great Smoky Mountains Gatlinburg Tennessee USA
The Great Smoky Mountains while being a last-minute inclusion into our itinerary it just blew our socks off. As Angela N. Blount said, “Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.” How true this turned out to be. Having only made this a belated 1-night stay over, we soon turned, into 2 nights. Furthermore, we are now just a month away from leaving Australia heading back to this amazing place for a least a 2-week stay. That is the extent that the Great Smoky Mountains has touched us. From the outset driving through Pigeon Forge we were totally surprised at this out of the way town and what it had to offer. Dolly Parton fans this is a place you would love to visit. Continuing on we enter the hamlet of Gatlinburg entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains.
Having never experienced true autumn where the tree leaves change colours so drastically we are mesmerised, to say the least. While only catching this change late in the fall we were still gobsmacked at its beauty. As we followed the GPS through the back streets of Gatlinburg to our hotel, we came across a black bear, what a great moment adding to our overall experience. To see the changing colours of the leaves and the magnificent tree-lined mountains who wouldn’t be impressed. Places worthy of a visit are the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Cades Cove and Dollywood. Gatlinburg, as we found out is a hype of activity in the fall. People soaking up the nightlife and enjoying days filled with adventure. Walking along the streets at night taking in the sights and smells were awesome. For those that like some moonshine this is the place for you 😊.
1. Peyto Lake Alberta Canada
Not many things in my life can I say have taken my breath away. Firstly, the night I met my wife. Secondly, the day our son was born. Thirdly, the first sight of Peyto Lake. I can’t fathom how beautiful some areas of this world are. God in his wisdom has created scenery I believe only heaven could match. While the slight hike from the car park to the viewing platform was a tad taxing. The ultimate payoff was the epic sight of this magnificent blue lake formed from accumulated glacier silt. With stunning vistas from the viewing platform permanently imprinted on my mind. If you have more time it would be incredible to hike around the lake to get a different composition of the lake. I have since found out there is an upper viewing platform, which we will go to on our next visit to Peyto Lake.
Check out our full post on Peyto Lake here. My number 1 of my top 10 destinations will be hard to top, but as we continue to travel we hope to find places that will top this. If you are heading to Canada and plan on doing the Icefields Parkway make sure you add Peyto Lake to your visit list. You will not be disappointed 😊.
My Top 10 Destinations Feedback
Thank you for taking the time to read my top 10 destinations. I would love to hear your thoughts on my list and what your favourite destinations are. You can comment below look forward to hearing from you. Here are some extra images of my top 10 destinations.
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