Why cheap hotels beat luxury

Taormina, Sicily is home to one of the best, friendliest little hotel anywhere.

The best hotel experiences are the ones you don't pay for.

The cult Hollywood loves

David Beckham after a SoulCycle workout in LA.

Nowhere does this fitness craze seem more appropriate than narcissistic Hollywood.

End of a love too heavy to bear

A recently-married couple from Poland, Dominika and Bartek Mieczkowski, sit near an iron grill coered with "love locks" on the Pont de Arts over the River Seine in Paris, France, May 31, 2015. On June 1, the bridge will be closed for a week and the padlocks which hang on the bridge will be removed by city municipal employees. A city hall campaign to save the bridges of Paris from the weight of hundreds of thousands of brass "love locks" has not checked the ardour of droves of tourists, who continue to view the City of Light as the City of Love. Iron grills lining the bridges have since 2008 been increasingly covered by brass locks purporting to symbolize the unending love of visiting tourists.    REUTERS/John Schults

Paris has started removing thousands of padlocks from a bridge, afraid the sheer weight of the romantic tokens could put it at risk.

Solar Impulse lands in Japan video

The Solar Impulse 2 (foreground), a solar powered plane, sits on the tarmac after it landed at Nagoya airport in Japan.

The Solar Impulse 2 made an unscheduled visit in central Japan, and landed safely at the Nagoya Airport.

Tramping like Twain in the Alps

A nun manoeuvres her wheelbarrow through the gardens at Felsentor, a spiritual retreat centre on Switzerland's Mount Rigi.

The American writer was intoxicated by Switzerland. You will be, too, after hiking Mt Rigi.

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Kiwi Traveller

A traveller's guide to etiquette

There is a difference between navigating a rainstorm and a medieval jousting match.

In a perfect world, safety and good manners run a parallel course. Yet that is not today's reality.

Expat Tales: Hit 'em where it yurts

Hamish Williams lives a laid back Kiwi life in Ulan Bator, Mongolia – favouring beers with the locals over hiking up the mountain surrounds.

Three weeks in the heart of Europe

Readers' pics of the week

news

Fly Taupo-Wellington again

From left Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford, Taupo mayor David Trewavas, and MP Louise Upston cutting the ribbon at the Sounds Air launch at the Taupo Airport.

A new Taupo to Wellington flight service has been launched after Air NZ scrapped the route.

Solar Impulse waits out bad weather video

The Solar Impulse 2 made an unscheduled visit in central Japan, and landed safely at the Nagoya Airport.

New ferry cruises into capital video

Key 'gutted' to miss Air NZ invite

travel troubles

Lion kills US tourist in African park

Tourists visit the Lion Park near Johannesburg in 2010.

The woman had her car window rolled down while driving through the lion park.

Muslim denied Diet Coke 'weapon'

Flight attendant denied Muslim woman an unopened can of Diet Coke because she could use it as a weapon.

Engines cut out on Singapore Airlines jet

Delta orders pizza for passengers

nz

Six of the best NZ bike rides

The Great Taste Trail, Nelson.

The best way to explore some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery is on a bike. Here are some of the best routes.

Hole in one

Even if you have zero interest in golf, there is lots to love about Northland's Kauri Cliffs.

"Lost in New Zealand" captures a "manic trip" through New Zealand.

'Manic trip' film explores NZ

A tourist's "manic trip" to New Zealand is catching eyes online.

pacific islands

Notes from two small islands video

Visitors to the Yasawas' Barefoot Kuata resort can get up close and personal with the nearby reef sharks.

The Yasawa Islands offer that rare combination of being relatively untouched but well-equipped for travellers. And the sea life is excellent.

Top 5 things to do in Niue video

The coral atoll of Niue is a different kind of Pacific destination. Here are 5 things to do on the island.

The Barefoot Manta resort sits at the north end of Drawaqa Island in the Yasawa archipelago in Fiji.

Fiji’s manta mantra video

No trip to Fiji’s Yasawa Islands would be complete without visiting the resident manta rays at Barefoot Manta.

themes

Why small, cheap hotels beat luxury

Taormina, Sicily is home to one of the best, friendliest little hotel anywhere.

The best hotel experiences are the ones you don't pay for.

Chilling in the Caribbean

Looking to get away from it all? These three islands fit the bill perfectly.

A nun manoeuvres her wheelbarrow through the gardens at Felsentor, a spiritual retreat centre on Switzerland's Mount Rigi.

Tramping like Twain in the Alps

The American writer was intoxicated by Switzerland. You will be, too, after hiking Mt Rigi.

south america

Crowds flock to World Trade Centre deck

People view the sunrise at the newly built One World Observatory at One World Trade Center on the day it opens to the public.

Thousands gather to take in the New York skyline as the observation deck of the new World Trade Centre opens to the public.

A bird lover's paradise high in the Andes

In southern Ecuador's Tapichalaca Reserve, armies of hummingbirds' beating wings are so loud they sound more like bees.

Where rustic meets riverside

South America: It's not that hard

middle east

Don't dilly-dally in Dubai video

Bentley Mulsanne Speed in Dubai.

Sun, sand and straight roads present their own challenges in a different kind of drive in Dubai.

World's largest hotel to open

The world's largest luxury hotel, set to open in Saudi Arabia in 2017, will house 10, 000 rooms.

Seeing Wadi Rum by camel

Daredevil Jetman soars over Dubai video

australia

Sydney's Light Fantastic gallery

'Sydney Opera House Sails' by Universal Everything

The Sydney Opera House showed its colours this week, with the launch of the Vivid Sydney festival.

Howe's that for an island escape

The challenge is to find a spot which is attractive enough to tour without being dominated by tourists.

A flatback turtle digs a hold to lay its eggs in on the coast of the Timor Sea.

Survival of the slowest

A rare flatbacked turtle lays her eggs on the shores of the Timor Sea - under the eyes of a group of fascinated tourists.

europe

End of a love too heavy to bear

A recently-married couple from Poland, Dominika and Bartek Mieczkowski, sit near an iron grill coered with "love locks" on the Pont de Arts over the River Seine in Paris, France, May 31, 2015. On June 1, the bridge will be closed for a week and the padlocks which hang on the bridge will be removed by city municipal employees. A city hall campaign to save the bridges of Paris from the weight of hundreds of thousands of brass "love locks" has not checked the ardour of droves of tourists, who continue to view the City of Light as the City of Love. Iron grills lining the bridges have since 2008 been increasingly covered by brass locks purporting to symbolize the unending love of visiting tourists.    REUTERS/John Schults

Paris has started removing thousands of padlocks from a bridge, afraid the sheer weight of the romantic tokens could put it at risk.

Tramping like Twain in the Alps

The American writer was intoxicated by Switzerland. You will be, too, after hiking Mt Rigi.

Essentials for visiting Paris

Where Bali meets Europe

uk and ireland

Nude art classes hit UK pubs

A model poses during a life drawing class at The Lion pub in London.

Forget karaoke, sketching nude models with a pint in hand is the hot new trend in British pubs.

Stay in a floating house on the River Thames

You could stay in a floating house on the River Thames for a night.

London to revive 'ghost stations' video

The odd case of Toast Mahal

usa

Kiwi chases storms across the US

Storm chasing is not a glamorous task, but it's all worth it for those who are passionate about severe weather.

2 min ago  When Graeme Macdonald went on his first tornado chasing holiday, his friends didn't think he would make it back alive.

The fitness cult embraced by Hollywood

Nowhere does this fitness craze seem more appropriate than narcissistic Hollywood.

Crowds flock to World Trade Centre deck

New York: Hungry for more

canada & alaska

Sailing in Alaska

The Jackson's yacht Sunstone at the foot of a glacier.

Sailers in Alaska learn to quickly to gusts and lulls, and to carry pepper spray when going ashore.

The best place to watch grizzly bears

At the confluence of two streams, one glacial green, the other silver grey, it's salmon carnage.

Top 6 Alaskan wilderness lodges

Living on the edge

asia

Private hospitals go luxe for growth gallery

A general view of the lobby area is pictured at the Fortis Memorial Hospital at Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, May 20, 2015. Cinemas, Rolls-Royces and rooms so plush they could belong in a five-star hotel: private hospital operators in India are all but rolling out a red carpet to lure affluent locals and tourists to seek medical treatment at their luxe facilities. At the 450-bed Fortis Memorial hospital near New Delhi, for example, there is an inhouse cinema lounge and a food court. Picture taken May 20, 2015. To match INDIA-HEALTH/LUXURY  REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Private hospitals in India are rolling out red carpet to lure medical tourists to their facilities.

A secluded Cambodian oasis off the grid

Cambodia's Koh Rong island has lush jungle and unspoiled white-sand beaches — but no roads and limited electricity.

Latest high-tech toilets are displayed at a showroom of toilet maker Toto, the world's dominant maker of high-tech loos, in Tokyo September 24, 2003. Government statistics show that combined toilet/bidets are now installed in 52 percent of Japanese homes compared to just 14 percent in 1992. Picture taken September 24.   TO MATCH FEATURE STORY LIFE-JAPAN-TOILETS   REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

High-tech toilets used to lure tourists

Growing popularity of high-tech toilets has prompted the Japanese government to use them to promote tourism and technology abroad.

cruising

Hole in one

The lodge at Kauri Cliffs is the heart of the 6000 coastal property.

Even if you have zero interest in golf, there is lots to love about Northland's Kauri Cliffs.

Cruise visitors spark tourism growth

The number of passengers arriving in Marlborough on cruise ships doubled over the summer.

Dancing Queens sail into Liverpool

Cruising in Fiordland

snow

Best ski resorts for singles

Keen skiers are hitting the slopes and their smartphone apps to find love.

If you're looking for love this ski season in Australia and New Zealand, geo apps like Tinder may help to fast track your quest for a date.

Big dumps on southern skifields

Southern Lakes skifields are reporting variable dumps of between 30cm-60cm across their mountains.

Going it alone (with kids)

Mt Hutt fires up snowmaker video

Video

Kiwi chases storms across the US

When Graeme Macdonald went on his first tornado chasing holiday, his friends didn't think he would make it back alive.

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