While USA passport holders do not need to apply for a visitor Visa before arriving in New Zealand, there is a new requirement to have the NZeTA, the New Zealand electronic Travel Authority. This new NZeTA is required before you travel to New Zealand, even if you will only be passing through Auckland International Airport or a cruise ship passenger.
The NZeTA allows Immigration New Zealand to carry out passenger screening in advance of travel, meaning passengers won't be allowed to board their aircraft without the required travel documents (visa or the NZeTA).
More information about the NZeTA can be found here.
You'll Never Run Out of Hiking Options
Tasmania, the island state in Australia, is situated about an hour's flight from Melbourne just south of mainland Australia.
Why is Tasmania the adventurer's secret? The amount of wild space and natural landscapes in Tasmania is unreal! With 19 national parks and reserves, nearly 40% of the island is protected wild landscapes.
There are 12 Great Walks of Australia (and by walks we're talking multi-day hiking adventures) that are regarded as highlighting Australia's most iconic landscapes. Five of the Great Walks of Australia are found in Tasmania - nearly half of the Great Walks of the country are in Tasmania!
Hiking in Tasmania covers incredible landscapes and ways to enjoy nature:
Don't worry about packing your camp stove and gear. There are fantastic guiding companies that will take care of the backpacking logistics for you. Just show up with your personal gear, a good pair of shoes, camera, and sense of adventure!
Not interested in camping? No problem! There are options from rugged huts to full luxury lodges. It's your adventure - choose how you want to experience it!
Best Time of Year to Hike Tasmania
Spring, summer, and fall are the most popular times for hiking in Tasmania. In the Southern Hemisphere, that means October through April/May are the ideal months. However, there are many hiking options throughout the year, too!
The best news is that Tasmania is the least visited part of Australia. For the hiker, this can mean uncrowded trails, unsurpassed vistas, and the peacefulness you expect from a trip into the wilderness.
Yes, the landscapes are spectacular but I would be remiss if I didn't also highlight the wildlife. Australian wildlife is utterly unique and there are many opportunities to see the local marsupials, birds, whales, dolphins, and penguins.
Kerry is an Adventure Travel Specialist who designs custom trips for adventurous travelers.
Ready to plan your next trip? Let's talk!
Text, email, or call - 775-303-6282
An Uncanny Coincidence at Port Arthur Historic Site
Upon entrance to the Port Arthur Historic Site visitors are dealt a random card, like a playing card, but instead of numbers, the cards depict the illustration of a person from Port Arthur's mid-19th century penal colony past. My card showed a man in a religious robe. Ok, interesting. Since we had to meet our tour guide, we skipped the Gallery till after the tour.
Upon my return to the visitor center I entered the Gallery. Filled with historical artifacts and interactive displays, the Gallery is designed to draw visitors into the greater story line of the site as well and to provide visitors with an in-depth understanding of the complex and layered history and world heritage significance of Port Arthur.
Remember that card I was dealt when I first arrived at Port Arthur? The card holds the story of a character that spent time at Port Arthur and is one of the methods of connecting visitors to the Site. Once in the Gallery, I took out the card I was dealt, matched my card to its corresponding twin in the Gallery, and pulled out the shelf to find out who he was. To my great surprise, the first thing I noticed was the name "Eastman." Why is this a surprise? Because Eastman is my maiden name! A random card given to me turns out to be a namesake - uncanny, right? Not only was he an Eastman, but this character was George Eastman - that's my grandfather's name! Talk about evoking a personal connection to the site!
I learned that George Eastman was a reverend and served as the clergyman from 1855-1870. I have the genealogy of my Eastman family and I know I'm descended from Roger Eastman of England who sailed to the United States in 1848. I'll have to check the genealogy to see if Roger is related to this George Eastman who left England for Australia!
When I shared this story of coincidence with my group, including my Tasmanian-born guide Dayna, her first response was to tell me that I've had a very Tasmanian experience - that of finding someone from the penal colony past that I'm related to (or potentially related to).