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Archive for national parks

Captain Cook’s Landing

By Linda Tancs

In 1770, Captain Cook’s first landing in Australia took place near Silver Beach on the Kurnell Peninsula headland. He named the site Stingray Harbour but later changed it to Botany Bay because of the variety of plants found there. An important heritage-listed site, you can discover the area for yourself at the Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Take the Burrawang walk from the Kurnell Visitor Centre. As you pass over the dune you’ll see views of the bay where Cook’s expedition ship Endeavour was first sighted as well as a plaque marking the location where he landed.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Protected in Sumatra

By Linda Tancs

Located on the tip of the southwest region of Sumatra, Indonesia, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is like a fortress for the area’s endangered flora and fauna. For instance, one of the park’s objectives is to protect its lowland rainforests, one of Earth’s most diverse and most threatened. The park is also home to three of the world’s most endangered species: the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran rhino and the Sumatran tiger. The park’s conservation efforts aim to decrease poaching and deforestation. The main point of entry to the park is from the town of Bandar Lampung.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Zealand’s Treasured Possession

By Linda Tancs

New Zealand’s second-largest national park, Kahurangi takes its name from a Maori word meaning “treasured possession.” It’s easy to understand why. For one thing, the park served as a filming site for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Another one of its assets is the network of walking trails. The Heaphy Track, in particular, covers 48 miles of subtropical rainforest, high country, river valley and coast. It’s the same route used for hundreds of years by Maori tribes en route to the treasures of greenstone, a durable stone that plays an important role in Maori culture. And its ancient geology gives rise to even more treasures, like the discovery of New Zealand’s oldest fossil (540 million years old) and an extensive network of caves. Motueka, Takaka, Karamea and Murchison are the park’s gateway towns. Check with the Department of Conservation for the latest weather and track conditions before you set out.

Spurred On in Italy

By Linda Tancs

Most would liken the shape of Italy to a boot. The spur on the heel of that boot is the Gargano Promontory. Jutting into the Adriatic Sea, much of it is in preserved land comprising Gargano National Park. Regarded as the most extensive national park in the country, its heart is the Umbrian Forest, home to some of the nation’s oldest trees. The locale is the best place to experience an ancient forest in Italy; consider taking a jeep tour.

Pancakes in New Zealand

By Linda Tancs

The Paparoa Range is a mountain range in the West Coast region of New Zealand’s South Island, made of ancient granite shaped by ice to form a rugged backdrop to Paparoa National Park near Punakaiki. Limestone underlies most of the park, creating its signature cliffs, canyons and caves. But of all the coastal formations, the park is perhaps best known for what’s popularly referred to as the “pancake stacks.” You also won’t want to miss the three blowholes at Dolomite Point, which put on their best performance during a southwesterly swell at high tide. Intercity buses provide regular service to the area.

An Upgrade for White Sands

By Linda Tancs

New Mexico’s sea of glistening white sands known as White Sands National Monument got an upgrade in December, when it was officially designated the nation’s newest national park. Now known as White Sands National Park, it’s the 62nd such park in the country. In the spirit of the season, go sledding. Unlike snow, the sand is not slippery; you can buy a sled in the gift shop.

Wetlands in Spain’s Heartland

By Linda Tancs

Castilla-La Mancha is a region in central Spain particularly known as the setting of the 17th-century novel “Don Quixote.” But it’s also a bird watcher’s paradise, especially amid the wetlands in Tablas de Daimiel National Park on the La Mancha plain. Formed by the overflowing in the confluence of the Guadiana and Cigüela rivers, the wetlands are strategically situated on the migration routes of many bird species, including those that winter in the park. Its water birds are primary ambassadors, including the great crested grebe, little grebe and black-necked grebe, heron and cattle egret. The main access road to the park departs from the N-420 road from Ciudad Real to Puerto Lapice, which leads to the visitor center.

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