Monthly Archives: March 2015

Animal Life Endemic to Australia and Places to Spot Them

australiaFabulous wildlife is one of the biggest highlights of Australia, with the Kangaroo being one of the most well known of wild animals to be found in the country. While, you may see this unique creature in zoos across the world, spotting a kangaroo in the wild is an amazing experience and Australia is the perfect place for this. Besides kangaroos, Australia is also inhabited by several other indigenous species. Let’s check in on kangaroos and other animals that catch the fancy of wildlife enthusiasts. Yes, we will also tell you where to find all these animals in Australia.


Kangaroos are divided into two main categories, Red and Grey, and they are to be found almost everywhere across Australia. However, Kangaroo Island, the third largest island in the country, is considered to be the best place to see this creature in the wild.


The Koala is endemic to Australia but it is recognised all over the world. Take a drive along the Great Ocean Road and you get several opportunities to spot these lethargic yet cute creatures in their natural habitat near Kennet River.


The look-alike of the kangaroo, Wallaby is smaller in size. Like kangaroos, Wallabies also have a pouch to carry their young offspring. They are also to be found in almost every part of Australia may be divided into various categories such as Agile Wallaby, Albino Wallaby and Black Wallaby.

Tasmanian Devil

Unlike other marsupials like kangaroos, koalas and wallabies, Tasmanian Devil is an aggressive carnivorous marsupial. To watch it in the wild, plan a trip to Tasmania. A coastal scrubland or dry woodland would be an ideal place to spot this ferocious creature.


Emu is the smaller version of ostrich and can be found in most parts of Australia. The rural areas of Outback Southern-Queensland and Outback New South Wales are best for catching a glimpse of the Emus.


Small yet muscular, Wombats are also known as “bulldozers of the bush” and are quite similar to koalas. Eastern Victoria and the forests of New South Wales have large populations of wombats. However, it is not easy to spot them in the wild as they live in burrows.

Events Promising a Fun-Packed May in Australia

australiaLots of exciting events and festivals are going to be held in Australia in the month of May, with a couple of especially interesting ones being a food and wine festival and a great marathon. If you would rather prefer something on more cultural lines, check out the best Jazz festival in the country. Come, take a more detailed look into these events and faake your pick.

Aussie Wine Month, 1st – 31st May

The Aussie Wine Month is the biggest yearly celebration of Australian wines. Here, one is treated to the perfect blend of the best of Australian wines and great food. With the exception of the Northern Territory, this festival will include numerous delightful events across the country. Major highlights of the event include cycling tours of wine regions, winemaker talks, blend-your-own wine classes, behind-the-scenes tours, degustation dinners and tastings. Many restaurants will also participate in this gala event.

Great Ocean Road Marathon, 16th – 17th May

Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road Marathon is one of the most spectacular marathons to take place in the country. Held over two days, it is one of the best events in Australia. The superb seaside location of the event offers spellbinding views of the Southern Ocean and does its bit to attract international athletes. The marathon stretches across a variety of distances, ranging from 1.5 to 44 kilometres and thus offers varying degrees of challenges to athletes of all ages. The different categories are 1.5 km, 6 km, 14 km, 23 km and 44 km.

Melbourne Jazz International Festival, 28th May – 07th June

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) is all set to truly live up to its name. Well, it has done so every year in the past. This time round, 300 renowned artists from over 10 countries will perform alongside local stars in a colourful 10-day celebration of jazz in all its greatest forms. Film screenings, late-night art parties, daily free concerts, evening ‘sound walks’, intimate club gigs, master classes, and programmes for families and children are some of the exciting events that MIJF will showcase to create an unforgettable experience. An array of venues, from intimate local clubs to large concert halls, will play host to the events.

Uncork the Foodie in You at Vegas Uncork’d 2015!!

Las Vegas is billed as one of the most dynamic culinary destinations in the world. Vegas Uncork’d is the Sin City’s way of celebrating the best of food and wine. Celebrity chefs, world class hotels, scrumptious dishes and irresistible wines – you are sure to catch all of it and more.

Las-VegasVegas Uncork’d will mark its 9th year as the best foodie event in Las Vegas and this time it is going to be larger than ever with one-of-a-kind events that truly define the characteristics of the city. If your palate is yearning for some delectable flavours, head to Vegas and have an unforgettable treat here. The shows of the event will be hosted across four hotels, namely Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and MGM Grand. Though all the shows are amazing, there are some that stand apart. Here, take a look at them.


23rd to 26th April 2015


23rd April, Thursday:

CHEFS’ COUNTER: ALL-STAR FEAST. Aria invites you to experience true Vegas-style dining. Expect an impressive line-up of A-list celebrities such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Masa Takayama.

25th April, Saturday: MIX MASTER: POUR LIKE A PRO. Watching mixology experts and professional bartenders concocting Aria’s signature drinks will overwhelm you with a powerful desire to try your hand at shaking up the cocktails. Well, if you are good at this, there is a competition you can participate in.


23rd April, Thursday: PRIME TIME WITH JEAN-GEORGES VONGERICHTEN. Bellagio Kicks off the event with fine steakhouse dining, premier wine pairings and much more. Do join the special 4-course dinner served by the celebrity Chef Jean-Georges himself.
25th April, Saturday: AN ITALIAN BRUNCH AT LAGO. Love Italian? You can be one of the first to explore the brand new restaurant ‘Lago’ from award-winning Chef Julian Serrano. The restaurant will open in the Spring of 2015 and offer a fresh take on social dining.

Caesars Palace

24th April, Friday: THE GRAND TASTING. 75 award winning chefs, a staggering variety of signature dishes, and unlimited premier wines and spirits – need we say more?
25th April, Saturday: IN HELL’S KITCHEN DINNER WITH GORDON RAMSAY. If you have watched Hell’s Kitchen or any of the Ramsay’s shows on TV, you will know the reputation of his culinary skills. This high-energy event is a rare opportunity to appear in your favourite TV show. Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant is the winner of 15 Michelin stars.

MGM Grand

25th April, Saturday: EMERIL’S NEW ORLEANS SEAFOOD EXTRAVAGANZA. Exclusively for seafood aficionados, the show offers a poolside party where you can enjoy freshly shucked raw & grilled oysters, New Orleans style boiled seafood and more with a wide range of craft beers.

The Rand Show – A Colourful Easter Highlight of Johannesburg

The Rand Show, a 10-day annual festival, is perhaps the best Easter show in South Africa where eclectic stage performances, death-defying stunts, animal shows and an array of contests promise a fabulous time. The Rand Show will start from 3rd April and is going to take place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre. Take a look at some of the colourful events lined up for this exciting festival.

Pirates Paradise

Pirates Paradise is a huge, nautically-themed playland, which has been specially imported for the festival from Italy. It features a variety of rides and other fun activities with some of the most prominent ones being a Sea Park, an artificial beach, and monster slides such as Kraken and Titanic. Pirates Paradise is primarily meant for families with kids between the ages of 3 and 14. There are no extra charges for enjoying Pirates Paradise.

Battle of the Behemoths

Visit the main arena on 11th and 12th April to witness the display of strength. This is one of the most popular highlights of the Rand Show, where competitors perform certain tasks to qualify for the title of South Africa’s Strongest Man. The 380-kg Yoke Carry, Truck Pull, Car Deadlift, Axle and Log Lift, and the Atlas Stone are some of the challenges that let the participants prove their strength.

Animal Kingdom

This event is a sneak peek into the rich South African wildlife. At Animal Kingdom, you may join any of the several interactive shows to take a closer look at various creatures, especially birds and snakes. Snake Bite Jones is a reptile show where you get to watch the creepy-crawly action of monitor lizards, Cape cobras and other species. Enjoy the low-lying aerial acrobatics of Harris hawks, owls and vultures at Bryan Vorster’s Free-Flight Bird Show.


Two types of tickets are available – Peak and Midweek. Monday, Saturday, Sunday and Friday are Peak days, when tickets would cost R120. On other remaining days, Midweek tickets are available for R60. Entry for kids below six is free.

Thing to Do In and Around Ranthambore National Park, India

One of the best places in India to spot tigers in their natural habitat, Ranthambore National Park is thronged by hordes of wildlife aficionados. Undoubtedly, the big cat is the main attraction here but there are several other highlights both in and around the national park as well that promise a fascinating experience. Treat yourself to some of the major wild highlights of Ranthambore National Park.

Ranthambore National Park

Enjoy a Jungle Safari

Plan an early morning safari to admire the fabulous wildlife of the park. Besides tigers, you may

Ranthambore National Park

encounter other wild animals such as the leopard, bison, deer and striped hyena. Home to about 270 bird species, the park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. Safari timings at Ranthambore National Park vary according to the season. During the winters, the peak season, the three and half hour morning safaris start at7:00 am and the evening safaris start at 2:30 pm.

Visit Surwal Lake

It is located around 25km from Ranthambore and exudes natural beauty in abundance. From November to March, the lake is flocked by numerous migratory birds. Naturally, numerous birdwatchers as well as photographers plan their trips to Surwal Lake during these months. Also, the tranquil and surreal natural beauty is perfect for leisurely strolls.

Discover History at Ranthambore Fort

Counted amongst the oldest forts in India, Ranthambore Fort boasts a massive construction, which depicts the architectural brilliance of the erstwhile royals. Apart from its mammoth size, the craftsmanship and the interiors of the fort are also impressive. You may get to spot tigers from this fort if you carefully scan the surrounding jungles with binoculars. Make sure, you visit this place with an authorized forest guide.

How to Reach

Ranthambore National Park is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. The nearest airport is located around 180 km in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. Tourists disembarking flights at Jaipur International Airport can easily avail cabs or bus services to reach the park. Alternately, you can book tickets to Delhi, the national capital and enjoy a memorable road trip to this national park.

Adelaide Botanic Garden – Three Unique Attractions You Should not Miss

Would you like to see a species of plant so old that it dates back to the time of the dinosaurs or a mysterious water lily which flowers only at night? What about a unique museum that is the last of its kind? The Adelaide Botanic Garden has them all!

This botanic garden not only features these amazing charms; it offers a lot more to bewitch visitors. The garden is like an oasis of serenity in the bustling city of Adelaide and is a great place to relax with friends and family. There is a collection of native as well as exotic and ornamental plants here. Besides the impressive flora, there are historic buildings, one-of-a-kind museum, charming cafés, and much more. Here is a quick peek into the unique highlights of the garden.

Wollemi Pine

If rare species of plants excite your imagination, do not miss the ‘Wollemi Pine’.

Wolleimi Pine is one of the oldest and rarest plants in the world. Considered to be one of the ‘Most Dramatic Comebacks in Natural History’, it dates back to the time of the dinosaurs. Not just rare, it was considered extinct until ten years ago. The amazing discovery of this plant by a bushwalker in New South Wales made it the talk of the town overnight.

Victoria amazonica water lily

A very special water lily, the Victoria amazonica flowers only when it’s dark, and lures scarab beetles for pollination.

The flower opens its white petals in the evening and releases a scent, which is irresistible to the beetles. Once the beetles come, the petals close and trap the beetles. The petals turn purple by the time it’s evening again. This signifies that pollination has taken place. Now, the petals reopen and release the beetles to move onto the next flower. Once the beetles are out, the plant closes its petals again and sinks underwater to develop its seeds.

Santos Museum of Economic Botany

This museum is the last of its kind in the world, with a permanent collection of exhibits dating back to the time it opened in 1881. The permanent collection includes Fruit Model Showcase, Fungi Model Showcase, Grove and Exhibition Space. You will get a fascinating and doubtlessly eye-opening insight into the importance of plants in our lives and their effect on our present and future. Countless plants along with their numerous uses are showcased and there is a strong focus upon the minimisation of waste.

Top 4 Auto Shows Every Car Enthusiast Should Attend

Auto shows are the biggest events in the automotive industry. While numerous auto shows are held every year, there are few that are too wonderful for any car enthusiast to miss out on. Here are top four auto shows that are known to showcase the best and latest cars.

Frankfurt Motor Show

Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, better known as the Frankfurt Motor Show, is the undisputed king of auto shows. The largest show in the world is hosted every two years to showcase the best of automotive industry. The sheer number of car displayed here is enough to amaze the visitors. With more than ten huge exhibition halls, each featuring a different theme every year, Frankfurt Motor Show is a haven for car buffs to check out the latest models.

Woodward Dream Cruise

A dream cruise in true sense for car lovers, Woodward Dream Cruise boasts over 30,000 muscle cars (usually the two-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving), hot rods (motor vehicles that are modified to give them extra power and speed) and more. A large number of spectators flock to the Woodward Avenue each year to look at some of the best looking and powerful cars in the world. Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest single-day automotive event.

Auto Shanghai

 Auto Shanghai by Ken Matsuhashi/ CC BY

Auto Shanghai by Ken Matsuhashi/ CC BY

Auto Shanghai is for those who are addicted to cars. The event showcases a large number of latest models of premium car-makers. Inquisitive minds can explore a wide array of latest concepts and technology that are yet to hit the market. Over the years, Auto Shanghai has become a prominent place for North American and European car companies to unveil their latest models of supercars.

Pebble Beach Car Week

Considered the most glamorous event in the world of automobile, Pebble Beach Car Week is best suited for discerning car aficionados with a sophisticated taste. The show attracts celebrities as well as other high-profile individuals each year; you can spot them attending the auctions here. Pebble Beach Car Week is known for its display of beautiful and rare cars.

Some Weird but Bewitching Museums from around the World

Some-Weird-MuseumsA collection of art, historical objects or well-preserved literature is what comes to mind when we talk about museums. How about museums dedicated to death, the occult and parasites? Sounds bizarre? Yes, there are some museums around the world that exhibit such eccentricities and even draw huge crowds. Check out this list of some of the weirdest museums in the world.

Museum of Witchcraft, Cornwall

Dedicated to the occult, this museum gets its fair share of visitors in Cornwall. It has the world’s largest collection of witchcraft-related artefacts, many of which were once owned by proclaimed or self-proclaimed witches and wizards. There is a warning on the museum’s portal, which reads ‘People with children of a sensitive disposition are warned that some of the exhibits are controversial.’ Do we need to say more?

Museum of Bad Art, Boston

Pay a visit to MOBA, as the museum is popularly called, and feel proud of your artistic ability! Aimed at collecting, preserving and exhibiting the ‘art too bad to be ignored’, the museum’s ever-changing exhibits feature some of the world’s most ‘wrongly-gone’ artworks across an array of themes such as Poor Traits, Unlikely Landscapes and Out of Proportion Figures to name a few.

Siriraj Medical Museum, Bangkok

Not the most obvious crowd puller in Bangkok, Siriraj Medical Museum has a unique display of human body parts, skulls, dead bodies and much more related to physiology. Dubbed as ‘Museum of Death’, it is not for the faint hearted, as many of its displays are disturbing. However, if you like quirky things, the collection is definitely worth exploring.

Parasite Museum, Tokyo

This museum is dedicated to parasites. The repository consists of about 300 species of parasites including tapeworms, head lice and many others. The highlight of the collection is a 30-foot tapeworm pulled out of a woman’s stomach. There is a detailed display of the creatures, complete with a research facility.

Peep into Washington DC’s Cultural Richness with its Annual Celebrations

Washington-DCWashington DC hosts an interesting set of cultural fests. There is hardly any month of the year that’s devoid of a mega cultural celebration in the capital of the USA. These celebrations also include different annual festivities, offering a sneak peek into the diversified character of a city that’s home to people of many ethnicities.

Cinco de Mayo

This grand event is a Latino celebration, featuring entertainment and engagement for one and all. The festival originated in Mexico but in Washington DC, it has become a Latin American Family Reunion! This, free and open to all event, is scheduled to take place at the National Mall on 03rd May, 2015. Traditional music and dance, local food, games for kids and a variety of workshops depict an impressive blend of the cultures of the USA and Latin America.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Centre for Folklife and Cultural Heritage hosts Smithsonian Folklife Festival, an exclusive annual event that celebrates different cultural traditions. In 2015, it is scheduled from 24th – 28th June and 01st – 05th July. This edition of the festival will focus on Peru and the various aspects related to the country. No entry tickets are required to enjoy the musical shows, dance performances and cooking demonstrations that are scheduled to take place. Like Cinco de Mayo, the venue for this fiesta is the National Mall.

KORUS Festival

Be a part of the KORUS Festival to appreciate the remarkable fusion of Korean culture and American lifestyle. On 19th and 20th September, 2015, this festival will take place at The Plaza, Tysons Corner Center. Lively music and energetic dance performances will demonstrate the cultural richness of Korea. Also, don’t forget to satiate your taste buds with authentic Korean dishes.

Liveaboard Trips and more from the Maldives

MaldivesA liveaboard trip is a lovely way to spice up your holidays in the Maldives and many visitors are waking up to the charm of booking such trips around the archipelago. Simply put, liveaboard trips are mini cruises, which take guests on an island-hopping spree and offer a first rate diving experience. This way, one gets to enjoy almost all the facets of this delightful island nation.

Popular Liveaboard Trip Routes

Popular routes for liveaboard trips lie along the colourful atolls surrounding the capital city of Malé, with the Ari atoll being a pretty famous one. A couple of other popular trips are to Rasdhoo Atoll and Baa Atoll. Travellers looking for long distance liveaboard trips may sign up for a voyage to the recently formed Huvadhoo atoll to the far South or the Haa-Alifu atoll to the far North of the island.

Best Time to Go….

The best time to enjoy liveaboard trips in the Maldives is between November and April as the weather is quite pleasant. The prices are high during this period but one also gets to indulge in various other delightful activities.

Top Dive and Snorkel Spots

•   Kudarah Thila (South Ari Atoll) and 5 Rocks for watching incredible coral formations and unique species of fish
•   Cocoa Corner (South Malé Atoll) and Guraidhoo Kandu for exciting drifts and watching sharks and rays
•   Fotteyo (Felidhoo Atoll) and Dhiga Thila for colourful soft corals and near-vertical drop-off diving
•   Madhivaaru Rangali (Ari Atoll) and Lankan Caves (North Malé) for snorkelling

Other Sights and Sounds….

Besides a legendary diving, surfing and snorkelling scene, the Maldives has many other charms. The capital city of Malé alone spoils one for choice with wonderful attractions such as Sultan’s Park, Grand Friday Mosque, Fish Market, National Museum and the Graveyard. The ones looking for more adventurous pursuits may try out canoeing and wakeboarding.