Climbing Mt Warning (Wollumbin)

Well perhaps you shouldn’t climb it, some people say the local Aboriginal Bundjalung are unhappy about ascents of Wollumbin, rather like Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Central Australia. On the other hand when you get to Wollumbin National Park, starting point for the Mt Warning ascent, you’re simply requested to be respectful when making the climb.

IMG_5329 - view from Mt Warning - 540.JPG▲ The view from Mt Warning – looking inland, unfortunately looking in the other direction, towards Byron Bay and the coast, was obscured by cloud.

IMG_5321 - Mt Warning path - 270The English name comes courtesy of Captain Cook who reported spotting ‘a remarkable sharp peaked Mountain lying inland’ and naming it Mt Warning as northbound sailors should take care because they’d soon encounter Point Danger, today it marks the dividing line between New South Wales and Queensland.

◄ From the Breakfast Creek starting point it’s 8.8km up to the top and back down along a remarkably well kept path, much of it beautiful stone work. Allow five hours for the climb and descent, you start at 438 metres at the Breakfast Creek car park and the lookout on top is at 1159 metres

IMG_5339 - final ascent, Mt Warning - 540▲ On the final steep ascent a guide chain helps you clamber up the rocks, like a via ferrata – ‘iron road’ – in the Dolomites in Italy.

LP Pathfinders: top posts from January 2016

The floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca © Sean Caffrey / Getty

The floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca © Sean Caffrey / Getty

Another month, another Pathfinders round-up where we take a look at the travel tales you’ve been writing about recently. Our ‘best of’ from January meanders on and off the beaten track with posts ranging from cheap eats in London to visiting Peruvian tribes.

All about driving in Cuba – Hugo and Christina

Hugo and Christina provide a detailed insight into the realities of hiring a car in Cuba – from the cost and road conditions to cultural customs – whilst expertly capturing the magic of road tripping this region in their beautiful photographs.

This couple is on a quest to explore the world’s best cultural and natural destinations. Follow their blog at breathewithus.com

Top 10 cheap, delicious restaurants in Central London – Chloe Gunning

For Chloe, budget dinners don’t have to mean basic dishes – even in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Her guide to cheap eats in London covers a mouthwatering selection of meals (many of which come highly recommended by our London team), most for under £10.

After quitting her stressful media job Chloe’s motto is to ‘have more fun’. Follow her blog at wanderlustchloe.com

Planning the perfect Quebec City winter getaway – Justin and Lauren

We couldn’t resist this wintry walk-through of what Quebec has to offer in its winter months. With activities ranging from extreme skiing to visiting frozen waterfalls and Christmas markets there is something here for every traveller looking for a snowy escape.

Canadian couple Justin and Lauren are slowly making their way around the world. Follow their blog at justinpluslauren.com

A homestay on Lake Titicaca – Audrey Bergner

This blog post takes us off the beaten track and into the heart of the amazing places, cultures and communities which exist in, on and around Lake Titicaca. Audrey paints a beautiful picture of her journey and gives you some helpful info to plan your own adventure.

Audrey is currently backpacking around South America. Follow her blog at thatbackpacker.com

Capturing Neuschwanstein – Justin Greak

Coming up against unforeseen barriers and problems is a tale familiar to nearly everyone who has travelled, but Justin shows that perseverance pays off after hitting an unfortunate snag in his quest to photograph this fairy-tale castle.

When he’s not travelling the world, Justin is a fifth grade maths and science teacher. Follow his blog at justingoesplaces.com

 

Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.

Pathfinder Pics: Valle de Viñales, Cuba

A perfect little farm house in Vinales.

Recently, Lonely Planet Pathfinder, Yasmine Awwad of Peeking Duck, visited Cuba and took some time out to explore Valle de Viñales, a region that made it on to our Best in Travel list for 2016. Here, Yasmine shares some tips on how best to explore this part of the globe.

‘Viñales is a small rural town in western Cuba surrounded by dramatic limestone rock formations (also known as mogotes). The town itself is quaint and laid-back, made up of colourful wooden houses, each with a porch and a couple of rocking chairs out the front. A trip to this region in Cuba is really about getting out into the Cuban countryside. There are three main ways to explore – hiking up to the viewpoints of the mogotes, cycling out to tobacco plantations or horse riding through the valley. All offer beautiful views of the countryside and opportunities to meet local farmers and learn about traditional rural Cuba.’

Take a deep breath

A photo posted by Yasmine Awwad (@peekingduckco) on

‘Arriving in Viñales after a bumpy 3-hour journey is a breath of fresh air after Havana’s polluted streets. The roads are quiet, with more horses than cars, and the town is surrounded by rice paddies, palm trees and green countryside.’

Step back in time

 

A photo posted by Yasmine Awwad (@peekingduckco) on

‘On our first day we ventured into the countryside on bikes. Cycling out of town in any direction takes you past tobacco plantations, grazing cows and maybe even a cowboy or two. Just make sure you take a map to help find your way back!’

Take a ride

A photo posted by Yasmine Awwad (@peekingduckco) on

‘Another way to explore the Viñales countryside is on horseback. Horses are an important mode of transport in this area and they’re well looked after and trained. Most excursions are suitable for complete beginners, and start with an introduction on how to ride safely.

Get ready to hike

 

A photo posted by Yasmine Awwad (@peekingduckco) on

‘The Unesco listed Viñales Valley has plenty of viewpoints to climb up to, and are a must while in the region. Some can be reached on foot with just a map, but others, like this one, require transport, a guide and a muddy (but fun!) 2-hour hike.’

Enjoy the simple things

A photo posted by Yasmine Awwad (@peekingduckco) on

‘A highlight of our time in Viñales was going on a guided sunset hike. Stopping off at a lake and various farms along the way, we ended up at a tobacco plantation in time to see the sun setting over the mogotes.’

Learn from the locals

 

A photo posted by Yasmine Awwad (@peekingduckco) on

‘With dogs and chickens at our feet, the owner of the plantation explained that the tobacco leaves are coated in a mixture of mint, honey and rum before being made into cigars. Ninety percent of tobacco leaves have to be sold to the government but the farmers use what’s left to make organic, hand-rolled cigars.’

Find out why Valle de Viñales made it to our Best in Travel list for 2016 here. Find out more about Pathfinders here. 

Just back from… Lapland

Jane chilling with her new furry friend in Köngäs © Jane Grisman

Jane chilling with her new furry friend in Köngäs © Jane Grisman

Jane Grisman, writer and editorial support at Lonely Planet, is just back from a snowy escape in Lapland.

Tell us more… I spent a magical week in Finnish Lapland with my boyfriend and his family after Christmas. We stayed in a chalet in Levi (also known as Sirkka), which is the largest ski resort in Finland.

In a nutshell… Lapland truly is a real life winter wonderland, for adults as well as children. It may be the home of Father Christmas, but there is far more than just festive cheer on offer. With its frozen lakes, snowy mountains, frosty forests and the breathtaking Northern Lights, the natural beauty of Finnish Lapland really did take my breath away.

The Christmas markets at Levi © Jane Grisman

The Christmas markets at Levi © Jane Grisman

Defining moment? Surviving snowmobiling! It turns out that if you travel at 40mph in temperatures of minus 25°C, the wind chill factor at night brings a whole new level of cold to the experience. Minus 25°C plummeted to minus 40°C, and within the first 30 minutes of the 3 hour snowmobile safari, I’d lost all feeling in my fingers and icicles had formed on my eyelashes. It was an incredible experience, but not for the fainthearted.

Good grub? Reindeer hot dogs are a tasty snack. We grabbed a freshly cooked reindeer hotdog and a mug of hot Glöggi at the traditional Christmas market in Levi. Glöggi is the Finnish version of mulled wine, infused with spices, raisins and almonds – very welcome in sub-zero temperatures.

So, learn anything new?  The Sami are the only indigenous people recognised by the European Union. The Samiland Exhibition at the Levi Summit Congress Centre gave us a fascinating insight into the history of the Sami and their way of life. We took a cable car up the mountain to the indoor and outdoor exhibition, stopping to feed the reindeer along the way, and explored the traditional Sami buildings which show how Sami people have lived through the ages.

sledding

On a husky safari in Köngäs © Jane Grisman

Favourite activity? Finland has a huge range of winter activities on offer, but husky sledging was by far my favourite. We took a 10km safari in Köngäs, just north of Levi, and drove our own dog sleds which was amazing. Racing over snow-drenched fields gave us breathtaking panoramic views of Lapland. Seeing how excited the huskies were before, during and after the ride made the safari an unforgettable experience!

Bizarre encounter? Daylight – a rare sight in winter. On our first day, sunrise was at 12:21pm and sunset was 12:27pm, so we only had 6 minutes of daylight. It sounds a lot more drastic than it was though, as twilight lasts for around 5-6 hours so there was still plenty of time to explore and soak up the stunning sunrises.

 

Lonely Planet Kids: Let’s Explore competition

Had an 'out of this world' travel experience- (2)

We know that your little ones never stop being curious about the world, so this month it’s time to meet the newest members of our Lonely Planet Kids family: three activity books which will take your explorers-in-training on an adventure through the oceans, the jungle and onto safari!

To celebrate the launch of the new Let’s Explore range, February’s Lonely Planet Kids Creative Challenge is all about which destinations in the world your little adventurers would love to see for themselves.  It may be something specific that they want to see or do, it may be a whole continent that they want to explore, or it could even be somewhere they want to return to. Wherever it is, there are no limits, so let their imaginations run wild!

Follow the instructions below for a chance to win the new Let’s Explore activity books from Lonely Planet Kids and an exciting Miffy prize bundle! Two runner ups will also receive a Let’s Explore title of their choice.

THE TASK

We’re asking your child to answer the following question (in no more than 50 words, please!):

‘Where in the world would you most like to explore in 2016 and why?’

Whether your little explorer would like to journey deep into one of the world’s jungles, embark on an incredible safari or explore what lies beneath the ocean surface, it’s time to get your thinking caps on!

HOW TO ENTER

There are three ways you can help your child enter the Let’s Explore competition:

  1. By email: Email us your answer from your email address to Lonely Planet Kids at lonelyplanet.kids@lonelyplanet.com.
  2. By Twitter: Tweet their answer to @lpkids including #lpkidschallenge.
  3. By post: Send us their answer to us via post to:

Let’s Explore competition

c/o Lonely Planet

240 Blackfriars Rd

London

SE1 8NW

Please ensure you include your email address with any entry sent via registered post so we can contact you if your child’s entry is chosen as the winner.

Entries must be received by 11.59pm (GMT) on 29th February 2016. With all entries, please include whether you are happy for us to share your child’s entry on Twitter. This won’t affect their entry in any way.

THE PRIZE

The most creative and inspiring entry will win a copy of each title in the new Lonely Planet Kids Let’s Explore series (Let’s Explore…Jungle, Let’s Explore…Ocean and Let’s Explore…Safari) and an adventure Miffy bundle which includes a series of Miffy books and a Miffy plush toy. Two runner ups will also win a Lonely Planet Kids Let’s Explore title of their choice. 

ABOUT MIFFY

miffy flying with uncle flyer 2

Miffy is a classic character created by Dutch illustrator Dick Bruna more than 60 years ago. She loves to travel, whether it’s visiting the seaside or flying with Uncle Pilot. More information about Miffy can be found here.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Before entering, please read the terms and conditions here.

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