International Travel

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How to feel like you are on holiday every day

<p>That holiday feeling... without the holiday<br />Whether Covid-19 has derailed your travel plans (or meant that money is too tight for a holiday this year), or whether you simply want to continue to enjoy that holiday feeling year-round, fear not. We show you how to make every day feel like a holiday.</p> <p>Make sleep a priority<br />Not only does a good night’s slumber improve learning but studies also show that not spending enough time between the sheets can have a negative impact on your daily life. People who are sleep deprived have a harder time controlling their emotions, making decisions, paying attention, and managing stress.</p> <p>“When you’re tired, you tend to cope poorly, eat worse, and have bad habits [such as caffeine consumption] that reinforce poor sleep,” says Dr. Atul Khullar, medical director of the Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic and senior consultant for MedSleep, a nationwide network of clinics that treats sleep disorders.</p> <p>“If you’re sleeping better on vacation, you should really examine your sleep habits in your own bedroom.” Dr. Khullar says that the most important thing is to not bring any problems to bed, which is what happens if you have your phone, computer, or television in the bedroom. It also helps to remove the clock (or angle it) so you can’t watch it and make sure that the room is dark and cool. Finally, you should aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re falling short, start by going to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier. “Added up over a week, it can make a big difference,” he says.</p> <p>Get moving<br />Exercise is one of the best and most effective ways to lower stress, and it’s inexpensive and healthy for you. On holiday, you do it without even thinking about it by walking around a new city. At home, you should build it into your day.</p> <p>“Even moderate-intensity activity, such as going for a brisk walk, releases ‘happy hormones’ like epinephrine, adrenaline, and serotonin, which improve your mood and increase your energy,” says Zilkowsky. “It also lowers all of the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.” Start with 15 minutes of daily exercise, which is enough time to increase your heart rate and begin to reap the benefits.</p> <p>Cycle to work, do a mini-yoga session or dust off the treadmill in your basement and walk while you watch TV. “It doesn’t have to be a long marathon run or CrossFit session,” says Zilkowsky. As well, she recommends building regular movement breaks into your workday, where you get up from the computer to get a drink of water or stretch.</p> <p>“It increases productivity and helps you stay focused,” says Zilkowsky. Set a notification reminder to help you remember.</p> <p>Eat mindfully<br />On holidays, we enjoy long drawn-out restaurant meals with loved ones; in real life, we scarf down processed foods in the car on the way to hockey practice. It’s a fact that stress leads to poor food choices, says Andrea Holwegner, a registered dietitian.</p> <p>“We have really good research to support that families that eat together have less anxiety, less depression and a reduced risk of obesity,” she says. “They score higher on tests academically, all because they’re simply eating together.”</p> <p>Holwegner recommends that families eat at least one meal a day together to connect and eat healthy (no technology allowed). If dinner isn’t ideal because of work commitments or kids’ activities, let breakfast be the backup. To make meal planning less onerous, ask the question “What’s for supper?” the day before and take something out of the freezer so you won’t have any excuses.</p> <p>Find a restorative practice<br />You know that moment when you lie back on your beach towel, toes in the powdery sand, tropical sun on your face, and literally sigh? That’s called the “ahh feeling,” and it’s important to make time for it daily to unplug, calm your mind and body and take a break from the world, says Zilkowsky.</p> <p>“There are so many ways you can get that feeling, and it doesn’t mean you have to go to the spa,” she says. It could be quiet time with a good book, breathing exercises or meditation, which is gaining more fans as a method to manage stress.</p> <p>“A restorative practice can be anything that makes you feel better,” says Martin Antony, a professor of psychology at Ryerson University and author of The Anti-Anxiety Workbook.</p> <p>“For some, it may be a hot bath or massage; for others, it’s getting social support.” Carve out space for your “ahh” time and schedule it into your day or week until it becomes a habit.</p> <p>Learn how to teach yourself to meditate and beat stress.</p> <p>Make “no” your default answer<br />It’s tempting to be a yes person, assigning yourself to school fundraisers and volunteer committees even though you don’t have the time. That’s the beauty of holidays: We only say yes to things we want to do. Ziplining? Heck, yeah! Hula lessons? Not so much.</p> <p>“Most people say yes to everything, and then they start getting stressed out and have to backtrack,” says Holwegner, who also coaches clients on workplace wellness and stress management.</p> <p>“We see so many overextended people. People have to be very intentional about what their priorities are in life and create boundaries around what’s really meaningful.”</p> <p>If you’re uncomfortable saying no to a request right away, ask for time to think about it. If it’s your boss asking and you really can’t say no, make sure to clarify what items can slide down the priority list to make time for the new project.</p> <p>Be a tourist in your own town<br />Part of what makes a holiday so exciting is the novelty of a new place. You eat at trendy restaurants, sign up for bicycle tours, and try activities like surfing. In short, you do things that bring you joy and let you discover a destination.</p> <p>The good news is, it’s easy to be a tourist in your own town, especially on weekends. Make a point of checking out that hot new jazz bar or signing up for a food or brewery tour. Try a new hike or visit a museum.</p> <p>“Day in and day out, we get up, go to work, come home, and turn on the TV while we’re doing chores,” says Zilkowsky. “We’re in a rut. A lot of that stuff empties our cup. So how do we fill it back up?” In other words, what will make you feel alive, right here, right now? Go and do it.</p> <p>Express gratitude daily<br />Giving thanks is good for you: It breeds optimism, boosts immunity and helps people cope with stress. Every day on vacay is a little shout-out – we feel so fortunate and lucky to be spending time with friends, loved ones or even alone. It’s much harder to practise gratitude back at home while living the daily grind, but it’s tremendously important.</p> <p>“Find gratitude in small, everyday moments,” says Lisa Jones, owner of Spark for Life Coaching. “Put your head down at the end of the day – even if you’re just grateful for surviving the day! That can really improve your mood, your happiness and your sense of fulfillment.”</p> <p>When we become consciously aware of all we have to be thankful for, whether by writing it down in a journal or just making a mental note of it, it puts the little aggravations into perspective.</p> <p class="p1"><em>This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/7-ways-feel-you-are-vacation-every-single-day"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p> <p class="p1"> </p>

International Travel

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The golf widow

<div><em>Homestead Bay on Lake Wakatipu.</em></div> <p>I’ve never understood my husband’s obsession with golf. Hitting a little white ball around acres of perfectly-manicured grass on gently undulating terrain is not my definition of exhilarating exercise . . . but he loves it despite the frustrations that seem to accompany the game.<br />So while Chris and his mate chased little white balls around the immaculate golf course at Jack’s Point near Queenstown, I set off to explore far more rugged terrain on my ebike, totally happy to be a golf widow for a day. I had scintillating companions — the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu — which dominate the landscape.<br /><br />I’ve always felt a strong affinity for the Remarkables dating back to my childhood days when we spent holidays at our little crib in Arrowtown. I regarded the sawtooth pinnacles of the Remarkables as mystical, my ‘maunga tapu’ (sacred mountain).They are especially dazzling in winter when white snow accentuates the jagged jet black rocks near the summit.<br /><br />One summer, as a dewy-eyed teenager, I climbed the mountain with a friend and camped up there for the night. The mist came swirling in with cold, damp fingers at about 3am which was eerie and far from romantic — but the sunrise was magical.<br /><br />The mountains towered over me as I skirted the golf course and cycled along a stunning lakeside track with Wakatipu sparkling in the sunshine. The weather was glorious and I had the day to myself so I meandered along any track that caught my eye. With a 100-kilometre battery range, I knew I would not run out of power on my Wisper Wayfarer. I cycled through the multi-million dollar property development at the far reaches of Jack’s Point, marvelling at the sprawling mansions under construction and the magnificent views the occupants would enjoy.</p> <p>Late in the day, I discovered Homestead Bay, a perfect spot to park our Maui motorhome overnight. With the snow on the Remarkables turning pink in the sunset and the lapping waters of Lake Wakatipu just a few metres away, it was an idyllic place to stay. The views were even better than the fancy mansions at Jack’s Point.<br /><br />But without knowing for sure whether freedom camping was permitted there, Chris decided it was safer to park in his golf mate’s driveway rather than risk a hefty fine. That’s another great thing about motorhoming. You can invite yourself to stay with friends without imposing on their space. He lives right on the edge of the golf course with a great elevated view of the lake and the mountains.<br /><br />Sticking with the golf theme, next day we cycled around the five-star Millbrook Resort set on 650 acres near Arrowtown. Chris wanted to check out the resort’s world-renowned golf course for future reference while I was keen to see what had become of the rolling farmlands and pretty little stream that I remembered in my youth.<br /><br />I had always known there was once a mill on the site but learning the full story was fascinating. In the 1860s, at the height of the Central Otago gold rush, French brothers John and Peter Butel from Normandy established a 450-acre wheat farm near Arrowtown to feed hungry goldminers. It was known as Mill Farm. The Butel brothers helped create Arrowtown’s first water race which can still be seen around the resort today. Originally built as a service to miners, it became the main water supply for the emerging township. Peter Butel was the first in the district to install electricity, running a generator off the water wheel he used for the mill.</p> <p><img style="width: 300.78125px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839353/5-the-mill-stream-babbles-its-way-through-millbrook-resort.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/08d90a01049942c1aa11ce11c146d776" /><br /><em>The mill stream babbles its way through Millbrook Resort.</em></p> <p>In the early 1900s, Millbrook became a camp for the Wakatipu Mounted Rifles and during WW1 it was converted to a hospital for injured Kiwi soldiers returning from Europe. After World War II the land reverted to farming.<br />Four decades later, the Ishii family came up with a plan to establish a lifestyle and golf resort of international standing on the land, and in 1993 Millbrook Resort opened to the public.<br /><br />In 2014 Millbrook purchased the neighbouring farm and in 2018 work began on a new nine-hole golf course which will see the complex grow from a 27-hole to a 36-hole golf course.<br /><br />Nowadays, Millbrook is a five-star resort with luxurious accommodation, four onsite restaurants, a soon-to-be 36-hole championship golf course, day spa, health and fitness centre and conference venue.<br /><br />While Chris was drooling over the prospect of playing 36 holes of golf, I was more interested in the rustic remains of the old farm machinery, the restored mill wheel and buildings and the stately avenue of trees still standing after 150 years. It’s a peaceful, picturesque place surrounded by spectacular mountains. The old mill stream babbles its way through the property, feeding tranquil lakes and ponds that reflect the beauty of the landscape.</p> <p><em><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839354/1-i-cycled-along-a-stunning-lakeside-track-with-wakatipu-sparkling-in-the-sunshine.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fcc7d5669edc426e8963929017bce464" /><br /><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839354/1-i-cycled-along-a-stunning-lakeside-track-with-wakatipu-sparkling-in-the-sunshine.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fcc7d5669edc426e8963929017bce464" />I cycled along a stunning lakeside track with Wakatipu sparkling in the sunshine. Photos by Justine Tyerman</em></p> <p>We sat in the sunshine and had coffee at the Hole In One Cafe before heading to our next destination. That was the closest Chris got to playing golf that day. Two days of golf widowhood would have been one too many on an ebike holiday.<br /><br /><em>To be continued...</em></p> <div><span>Read <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=2fFzQ1wtyiodwskIBQ4JVvViBc68KsIaXL7JozY1KCD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fheading-for-paradise" target="_blank">part 1</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=BBsJo-eUsUQYSrWM2VT2uxp14hUBYiAkph4kEzYecoD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fturning-greener-with-the-years" target="_blank">part 2</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=iBcmRS80gDFdRO80aBdHytOmh-n8EZJl54oaf9flot36lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fin-the-company-of-giants" target="_blank">part 3</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=AdZ5KLNAxMnSOVg9b6YxTitSqNh5QRX_JRdfbp5QSYD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fside-tracked-with-justine-tyerman" target="_blank">part 4</a>,  <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=sot8tH660q6Wk4pBtTPTdbhItB3lA7lYLqq94tU-6Uj6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2ffreewheeling-with-justine-tyerman" target="_blank">part 5</a> of Justine’s Central Otago road trip here.</span></div> <div></div> <div><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=bLkS9zYVJYJv3cQdm0_X1ZQB_1o4x1s2ikYto_9uL2n6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fRRP8C71RRPFmwDJT8y37E%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">thl</a> in a <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=6W8lckCI1tg0XRjV7mnS7Jf_p7XphCrKPnhc3WsW1cD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2frbTkC81VVQFjEoKS1P9YD%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a> and rode a <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=iwo5gWMw0OwkyXR-zqiLaN1D_KuAQgmwEtBzG_Z0sHj6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fQUVkC91WW0FmDGpT3BLtX%3fdomain%3dwisperbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a> courtesy of <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=o2YxOLzo4dxmUUl80mMJJFkRJoJmjv8dl7kyMtP8lhD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fMa6oC0YKKGC2p1LUWBkIy%3fdomain%3delectricbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Electric Bikes NZ</a></em></div>

International Travel

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The first place in the world to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>The tiny cluster of islands known as the Republic of Palau is one of the few places on Earth entirely free from COVID-19.</p> <p>Hoping to maintain that status, it could be one of the first countries to be entirely vaccinated against the deadly disease.</p> <p>The islands are home to around 18,000 people and received its first shipment of the vaccine on Saturday.</p> <p>The vaccine has been developed by US pharmaceutical company Moderna, with vaccinations starting the very next day.</p> <p>Health care workers, key officials and vulnerable groups were among the first to receive the vaccine, with the first shipment including 2,800 doses.</p> <p>The vaccine will be administered in two shots, 28 days apart.</p> <p>Palau has not recorded a single COVID-19 case or virus related death, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://covid19.who.int/region/wpro/country/pw" target="_blank"><em>World Health Organisation</em></a>.</p> <p>The country's Incident Commander of the Ministery of Health Ritter Udui spoke about receiving vaccines from the United States mass COVID-19 vaccination program known as Operation Warp Speed.</p> <p>The islands are an independent nation but have a free association with Washington.</p> <p>“We are lucky to be in a position where we have access to vaccines through OWS, and our small size makes it easier for us to roll out the program,” Udui said.</p> <p>“It’s not compulsory to receive the vaccine, so our goal is to vaccinate about 80 per cent of the population.</p> <p>“We hope to achieve herd immunity (through the vaccination program).”</p> <p>Sylvia Osarch, 60, was the first person to receive the vaccination.</p> <p>“I felt excited to set an example for my community,” she said.</p> <p>“I want to tell the community that I took the vaccine to protect them.</p> <p>“So when it is their turn to take it, please take it to protect us, the healthcare providers.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

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Coronavirus could turn cities into doughnuts: empty centres but vibrant suburbs

<div class="grid-ten large-grid-nine grid-last content-body content entry-content instapaper_body inline-promos"> <p>The most COVID-19 lockdowns were accompanied by sobering news from the UK’s high streets. The Arcadia Group, which owns some of the UK’s most iconic high street clothing retail outlets – Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins, among others – has gone<span> </span><a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55139369">into administration</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the UK’s oldest retail chain, Debenhams, is closing. Around 12,000 people are set to<span> </span><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55142724">lose their jobs</a>, on top of 6,500 already lost this year, after efforts to rescue the retailer fell through.</p> <p>All of this comes at the end of a decade that<span> </span><a href="https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137521521">saw a major decline of British high streets</a>. Since 2007, some<span> </span><a href="https://www.retailresearch.org/whos-gone-bust-retail.html">556 retail companies</a><span> </span>have failed, with the closure of almost 39,100 stores and the loss of 468,809 jobs as shoppers move online.</p> <p>These impacts vary geographically. Many of the closures are concentrated in city centres. But beyond the city core, there remains the prospect that smaller town centres and suburban high streets might emerge stronger in 2021 as people learn to love shopping locally again.</p> <p><strong>A downwards trend</strong></p> <p>Long before the pandemic, high street retailers were facing stiff competition from out-of-town shopping centres and, more importantly, online retailing.</p> <p>According to the UK’s<span> </span><a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/datasets/retailsalesindexinternetsales">Office for National Statistics</a>, online sales in November 2006 totalled 2.8% of all retail sales. The latest data shows that online sales in October 2020 amounted to 28.1% of total retail sales – but this had already risen to 21.5% in November 2019, before COVID-19 reached the UK.</p> </div> <div class="grid-ten grid-prepend-two large-grid-nine grid-last content-topics topic-list"> <p>The pandemic has exacerbated the downwards slide of high streets. Thousands of the shops closed in March 2020 have not reopened.</p> <p>But there are markedly different patterns from town to town. Local high streets with more convenience shopping, hot food takeaways and other essential businesses have generally performed much better than city centres dominated by department stores and shops selling higher-value items.</p> <p>Take Greater Manchester, for example. Google’s Community Mobility data shows that visitor numbers to retail and recreation spaces in smaller town centres like Bury and Rochdale have recovered faster. In contrast, Manchester city centre has continued to perform much more poorly as commuters continue to work at home and avoid public transport.</p> <p>It may actually be that COVID-19 has encouraged more people to shop locally, and that they have begun to see more value in their local town centres. This raises a fundamental question about the future of city centre retailing.</p> <p>London provides a good example. Now that the first COVID vaccine has been approved by the UK government, central London will undoubtedly eventually return to some of its former vitality, attracting tourists and other visitors to enjoy its eclectic night-time economy, theatres, galleries and museums.</p> <p>But, if more people prefer to work at home and not head into central London from the suburbs, the retail retraction we have witnessed in 2020 will only worsen.</p> <p><strong>Hollow cities</strong></p> <p>Retail and recreation visitor numbers in central London – the City of Westminster and the City of London – have been particularly affected by COVID-19 when compared to the wider city.</p> <p>Overall average daily visitor numbers to retail and recreation spaces within Westminster and the City of London fell by 70.6% and 76.7% respectively between February 15 and November 24 2020. The most recent lockdown, which commenced on November 5, saw retail and recreation visitor numbers fall to 90%-92% below pre-COVID levels.</p> <p>In comparison, overall average retail and recreation visitor numbers in inner London and outer London councils were down by 54.9% and 38.4% respectively. Our mapping of the impact of COVID-19 on visitor journeys to retail and recreation places across London effectively reveals a “doughnut city”: shoppers have abandoned the centre, while suburbs have remained rather more resilient.</p> <p>The future of city centre high streets after COVID-19 is uncertain. One answer would be to suggest the cities will bounce back as vaccinated workers and shoppers return, and that their shopping streets will live on.</p> <p>However, this does not take into account the scars left by COVID-19. Take London’s iconic Oxford Street as an example. Since late March, department store John Lewis has halved the size of its Oxford Street store. House of Fraser, another department store, is to be part-repurposed as offices and a gym. Topshop’s flagship store on the street is at risk of closure.</p> <p>With online retail behemoth Amazon emerging as one of the only winners of COVID-19, we have to be realistic about the future of central London as a shopping hub.</p> <p>Retail rents are declining fast in the West End, and it is likely that prime retail sites will be converted to offices or even homes. The UK government has already loosened planning regulations that permits the conversion of shops to residential uses without planning permission – all part of the drive to solve the housing crisis.</p> <p>We are witnessing a switch in the use of urban space, as people working from home increasingly spend time, and money, outside city centres. The hope is that smaller high streets and those local centres most valued as hubs of community life, not just places of consumption, will witness a renaissance in 2021. The viability of larger centres – Birmingham, Manchester, and especially London – looks to have fundamentally unravelled.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Paul J. Maginn and Philip Hubbard. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-could-turn-cities-into-doughnuts-empty-centres-but-vibrant-suburbs-151406">The Conversation</a>.</em></p> </div>

International Travel

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First the dance floors and now the Kiwis

<p><span>Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday that the state will open its borders to New Zealand from 1 am Saturday December 12.</span><br /><br /><span>Palaszczuk told the </span><em>Today<span> </span></em><span>show that the “great success story of Queensland” and of New Zealand that had led to the chief health officer’s surprise decision.</span><br /><br /><span>“(Chief health officer) Dr Jeannette Young advised me late last night that New Zealand is good to go,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“So, visitors coming in from New Zealand from 1 am tomorrow are welcome into Queensland.</span><br /><br /><span>“We are hoping that eventually New Zealand will not have to hotel quarantine upon return, and then there would be free flowing movement between the two.”</span><br /><br /><span>Those returning from Australia will still have to quarantine for two weeks upon arriving into New Zealand.</span><br /><br /><span>New Zealand has reached 28 days of no community transmission, and as a result, Dr Young told Ms Palaszczuk she was “more than happy” to allow Kiwis into Queensland.</span><br /><br /><span>“It’s a wonderful time of year to allow that to happen as well. All the stars are aligned at the moment, and fingers crossed that everybody is keeping a really tight reign on their hotel quarantine … That’s the biggest risk,” Ms Palaszczuk said.</span><br /><br /><span>New Zealand workers will also be able to work on Queensland fruit farms, which are desperately in need of help.</span><br /><br /><span>Ms Palasczuk says she remains concerned by hotel quarantine, due to the rising number of infections in the northern hemisphere, which has resulted in more cases being detected in hotel quarantine.</span><br /><br /><span>“We have more Australians returning home, and that’s a good thing,” Ms Palaszczuk said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I think it is great to see returning Australians are getting home to their loved ones.”</span><br /><br /><span>Ms Palaszczuk will attend the first in-person National Cabinet meeting in nine months on Friday.</span><br /><br /><span>She will discuss returning traveller caps and whether international students should be allowed in with other leaders.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’m very concerned about international students returning. The priority has to be on Australians coming home,” Ms Palaszczuk said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I have always raised concerns about students not doing hotel quarantine … It’s a big protective measure.</span><br /><br /><span>“I would not like to see students allowed in to stay at dormitories on campuses. I think that’s a huge risk, not just to students, but a huge risk to the Australian population.”</span><br /><br /><span>It comes just one day after Queensland announced indoor dancing would be allowed again from Monday.</span><br /><br /><span>The Premier said the announcement would be a big boost to the state’s young people.</span><br /><br /><span>“Young people will be celebrating next week when the dance floors open,” she said.</span></p>

International Travel

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New date for general overseas travel revealed

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>In a move that has angered Aussies eager to travel overseas, the Australian government has increased international travel bans until at least March 17th.</p> <p>This is due to the government extending its biosecurity emergency period by another three months.</p> <p>The extension followed after advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) that said that COVID-19 was an ongoing threat and still was a significant public health risk despite the introduction of the Pfizer vaccination.</p> <p>Health Minister Greg Hunt said that despite security in Australia, the coronavirus pandemic was still escalating in many other countries.</p> <p>“The disease is spreading as quickly as ever,” he said.</p> <p>“The international world remains a challenging and dangerous environment and Australia won‘t be fully safe until the international community is safe.”</p> <p>The extension of the biosecurity emergency period means that Australians are only able to leave the country with specific exemptions, with 95,325 given since the start of the emergency period on March 18th.</p> <p>Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said it was a difficult, but necessary decision.</p> <p>“We weighed up all of the issues, as the Minister has pointed out, but particularly the ongoing situation internationally and the sort of risks that could come to Australia if we relaxed at this point,” he said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

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Freewheeling with Justine Tyerman

<p><em>Arrowtown’s historic Police Camp Cottage in autumn. Picture by Mike Langford</em></p> <p>With visions of sipping a Peregrine rosé at the end of the 20km trail from Arrowtown to the Gibbston Valley, we set off early on our Wisper Wayfarer ebikes while a skiff of frost was still on the ground. We never seemed to tire of ebiking, regardless of the weather.</p> <p>The cycle and walking track runs alongside the tranquil, willow-lined Arrow River made famous by the gold rushes of the 1860s. It crosses the river several times using a variety of clever methods including an ingenious underbridge below the road bridge at Whitechapel to keep riders safe from the busy highway.</p> <p>A highlight was riding over the graceful 80-metre Edgar Suspension Bridge, high above the Arrow River where it plunges into a deep gorge before joining the mighty turquoise Kawarau River. An impressive engineering feat, the structure is so light on the landscape, it’s almost invisible. It’s named after a distant relative of mine so I felt proud to be riding over it.</p> <p><img style="width: 300.78125px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839145/1-justine-and-chris-on-the-frankton-to-kelvin-heights-track-around-lake-wakatipu-copy.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/031588eabbc440799fb7430082d85f75" /><br /><em>A highlight was riding over the beautiful 80-metre Edgar Bridge named after a distant relative of mine.</em></p> <p>Another thrill was crossing the historic 1880 Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, a landmark which used to herald the much-anticipated announcement from our parents that we were nearing Arrowtown after a four-five hour car trip from Dunedin. After its replacement in 1963 with a new bridge, the old one became the exclusive domain of bikers, hikers and A.J. Hackett’s Kawarau River bungy, the world’s first ever bungy jump.</p> <p>We stopped, as we always do, to watch a steady stream of thrill seekers plunge off the bridge head first, feet first, in pairs or alone, screaming their heads off. We shook our heads in disbelief, and continued on our way along the breath-taking Gibbston Valley on a track right on the edge of the canyon. That was thrilling enough for us.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839142/3-the-bungy-jump-platform-at-the-historic-kawarau-bridge-on-the-arrowtown-to-gibbston-valley-track.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/addf7eb38aec425aabfc6c72d531491b" /><br /><em>The bungy jump platform at the historic Kawarau Bridge on the Arrowtown to Gibbston Valley track.</em></p> <p>As luck would have it, Peregrine Winery was closed for a wedding but with a plethora of other wineries in the valley to choose from, we found a delectable rosé at Chard Farm instead.</p> <p>After a night at the excellent Arrowtown Camping ground where we were again surrounded by Maui look-alikes (Kiwis were out in force supporting the tourism industry!), we cycled up the gorge towards the old gold mining ghost town of Macetown, as we often do whenever we visit my childhood holiday place. In the summer tart gooseberries, sweet raspberries and pastel-coloured lupins grow wild and dusty on the side of the track but in the winter, hoar frost transforms the skeletal plants to silvery works of filigree. Whatever the season the play of light on the tussocked hills and the dark shadows cast by the high mountain ranges and deep gorges is spell-binding.</p> <p>On the way back, we visited the Police Camp Cottage in the Arrow River, possibly the most photographed structure in Arrowtown. Inside the cottage, there’s excellent information about the history of the building. It was built in 1863 and is Arrowtown's oldest surviving timber building. It was constructed from pit-sawn red beech and had hand-cut shakes on the roof. Originally in Cardigan Street, it was moved to its present site in 1991.</p> <p>When gold was discovered in 1862 in the Arrow and Shotover Rivers by Jack Tewa, miners descended on Arrowtown in their droves. They were an unruly lot so law enforcement and the building of a jail and the cottage quickly followed. Its exact purpose is not known but bars on the windows suggest it might have been used as a gold deposit office that held the gold securely before it was transported by armed escort to Dunedin.</p> <p>Also inside the cottage, there’s a wealth of information about rare plants and protected wildlife such as the kea and cryptic skink, efforts to control wilding pines and protect native birds, lizards and insects against predators like stoats, ferrets, cats and rats.</p> <p>The entire Wakatipu Basin is a network of immaculately-maintained hiking and biking trails so next day, we were spoilt for choice. </p> <p>After queueing up with the locals for hearty filled rolls from the Arrowtown Bakery, we rode along the Kawarau River, sparkling like phosphorus at the foot of the Remarkables, terrain that was new to us despite holidaying in the area for decades. We crossed the Shotover River on another iconic landmark, the Lower Shotover Bridge, now open only to foot and pedal traffic . . . and probably horses. Tall poplars, magnificent in autumn but gaunt in winter, stood sentinel at the entrance to the bridge.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839143/4-justine-taking-a-break-in-the-gibbston-valley-overlooking-the-kawarau-river.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/49f6ca95ed0b4665b89055bc3e4cece9" /><img style="width: 300.78125px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839143/4-justine-taking-a-break-in-the-gibbston-valley-overlooking-the-kawarau-river.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/49f6ca95ed0b4665b89055bc3e4cece9" /><br /><em>Justine taking a break in the Gibbston Valley overlooking the Kawarau River.</em></p> <p>We whizzed along the shingle riverbed and over the historic Kawarau Falls Bridge which has been superseded by a smart new two-lane structure.</p> <p><img style="width: 300.78125px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839146/1-justine-and-chris-on-the-frankton-to-kelvin-heights-track-around-lake-wakatipu.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bf3c91f0bc0f4169ab93fe038d24dd51" /><br /><em>Justine and Chris on the Frankton to Kelvin Heights track around Lake Wakatipu.</em></p> <p>The track skirts the edge of Lake Wakatipu in front of the Hilton Hotel at Frankton and passes below million-dollar mansions interspersed with quaint Kiwi cribs. We lunched by the lake at Kelvin Heights. Angry storm clouds amassing down the lake looked ominous, so we high-tailed it back to Arrowtown on our zippy e-bikes arriving at our cosy Maui motorhome just before the heavens opened.</p> <p>To be continued...</p> <p>Read <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=0GMIbnN87DsjMFAs_RntUvaijjyLSXDBhcbZZtsBrYAAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fheading-for-paradise">part 1</a>, <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=bjiUdwydiTZ4jgDPbudNlZIFwb4Pg9C4-0piecnz1T4AKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fturning-greener-with-the-years">part 2</a>, <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=G_WyeMHKC2MrVIogTpUti2dfBXXWyFZwiBNTkl3u3wwAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fin-the-company-of-giants">part 3</a>, and <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=1Yof2WyTpVF-KYh4zlyCMGD1WNVR44HEcHeU60koW2gAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fside-tracked-with-justine-tyerman">part 4</a> of Justine’s Central Otago road trip here.</p> <p><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=AxB4ieU8dbDlo-KSg6mfo2TS0ohvK_yu3Y_Ms9OprbgAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2f0NZvC71RRPFAjrRi8EI5K%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com">thl</a> in a <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=rH__qBmu8aq4Meyz4q2EX23I1hOnFnekHAcKFtIGKPgAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fSZ3uC81VVQF68mku1wRMn%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a> and rode a <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=RJ-XB2tGxAqzF0-xb_RAw9i5dZyJtxQEWsOaB25D_hQAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fhPV0C91WW0FkVJOf3kUTe%3fdomain%3dwisperbikes.co.nz%2f">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a> courtesy of <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=2Hxqx-1UtuJkw8bO_hX6hH94XbuW1HR20NwwJgKtuXsAKJWdDZvYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fy0IvC0YKKGCG0nyUWUHfG%3fdomain%3delectricbikes.co.nz%2f">Electric Bikes NZ</a></em></p>

International Travel

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A vaccine will be a game-changer for international travel. But it’s not everything

<p>The United Kingdom yesterday became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use. Following a review by the country’s drug regulator, the UK government announced it will begin rolling out the vaccine next week.</p> <p>Other countries are likely to follow soon, authorising the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and possibly other leading candidates too. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration says it’s continuing to assess the Pfizer/BioNTech data.</p> <p>The world has been eagerly awaiting a COVID vaccine, touted since early in the pandemic as our best hope of returning to “normal”. A big part of this is the resumption of international travel.</p> <p>Certainly, an effective vaccine brings this prospect much closer. But a vaccine alone won’t ensure a safe return to international travel. There are several other things Australia and other countries will need to consider.</p> <p>Give $30 a month and help improve Australian media.<br />International travel in the age of a COVID vaccine<br />When people are vaccinated before boarding a flight, we can have confidence there will be significantly less COVID risk associated with international travel. However, the data we have at the moment doesn’t tell us everything we need to know.</p> <p>Let’s take the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as an example. They have reported the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine to be 95% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, having tested it on around half of the 43,000 participants in their phase 3 trial (the other half received a placebo).</p> <p>The vaccine appears to be safe with only mild side-effects in some participants. And notably, the study included people aged 65 and over and those with health conditions that put them at higher risk of more severe disease.</p> <p>However, the study hasn’t officially reported the efficacy of the vaccine against becoming infected, as opposed to displaying symptoms. While it’s encouraging to know a vaccine stops people getting sick, this point is important because if people can still become infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), they may still be able to spread it.</p> <p>Ugur Şahin, BioNTech’s cofounder and chief executive, believes the vaccine could reduce transmission by 50%. This puts something of a dampener on vaccination being the key to the safe resumption of international travel.</p> <p>At this stage, we also don’t know how long immunity will last for those vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. But as the trial will continue for several more months, some of this data should become available in 2021.</p> <p>A doctor or scientists fills a syringe from a vaccine vial.<br />Over time, vaccine trials will reveal more data. </p> <p>It’s going to take months — or, more realistically, years — to vaccinate everybody who wants to be vaccinated. It won’t be feasible to expect every single person travelling internationally to be vaccinated.</p> <p>There are several countries that appear never to have had community transmission. As of November, these included many Pacific island nations such as Tonga, Kiribati, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa and Tuvalu.</p> <p>Then there are countries that have COVID-19 under control with little, if any, community transmission. Examples include Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Singapore.</p> <p>People arriving in Australia from these countries pose very little risk and should not need to quarantine, whether vaccinated or not. For other countries, it would very much depend on their epidemic situation at the time.</p> <p>Some organisations have already developed COVID risk ratings for different countries or jurisdictions. For example, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) rates the COVID situation in each European country as “stable”, “of concern” or “of serious concern”.</p> <p>These risk assessments are based on factors including each country’s 14-day COVID case notification rate, the proportion of tests coming back positive, and the rate of deaths.</p> <p>Clearly, people from high-risk areas or countries will still need to quarantine on arrival, unless they have been vaccinated. It’s likely Australia will develop a similar rating system to the ECDC to streamline these decisions.</p> <p><strong>Testing</strong><br />Many countries now require a negative COVID test certificate before entry. For example, Spain requires a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before travelling.</p> <p>Similarly, some airlines, such as Emirates and Etihad, are mandating COVID testing before travel.</p> <p>It would also make sense to have rapid antigen testing available at airport arrivals or border crossings. Although not as accurate as PCR tests, these tests would provide a second check that a traveller hasn’t incubated COVID-19 on the way to their destination.</p> <p>Even with vaccination, testing will still be important, as vaccination doesn’t guarantee a passenger is not infected, or infectious.</p> <p><strong>Certificates and passports</strong><br />Once COVID-19 vaccines become accessible, countries and airlines may well require visitors to produce a certificate of vaccination.</p> <p>Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has suggested all Qantas international passengers from next year would be required to have a COVID vaccination certificate.</p> <p>There are also many groups around the world working on immunity passports and technologies to track travellers’ virus status.</p> <p>For example, the International Air Transport Association is developing a digital health pass which will carry testing and vaccination status.</p> <p>It’s likely international travel will be allowed globally in the second half of next year, once vaccination is well underway.</p> <p>It will be wonderful to be able to travel internationally again, but wherever we go — even with a vaccine — it will be some time before travel looks like it did before the pandemic.</p>

International Travel

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Side-tracked with Justine Tyerman

<p>The handful of Kiwis on the road from Glenorchy to Queenstown got a bonus the day we left Paradise – there were two of everything: mountains upright in their usual position and upside down in the Lake Wakatipu looking-glass. Reality and reflection were hard to tell apart.</p> <p>The historic TSS Earnslaw was steaming towards Queenstown against a stunning backdrop of the Remarkables after a fresh fall of snow.</p> <p>Arrowtown, my childhood holiday home, was our next destination for... but we got side-tracked along the way as often happens when you have the freedom and flexibility of travelling by motorhome.</p> <p>About 5km from Arrowtown, I shrieked ‘Pull over here!’ which my obliging husband was able to do safely at short notice, only because this usually busy tourist road was deserted.</p> <p>We simply could not by-pass Lake Hayes, the world-famous mirror lake where we used to swim and picnic as kids in the summer. We drove down to the water’s edge and debated whether we had time to cycle around the lake on the superb new trail before the weather was forecast to crack up late in the afternoon.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839073/wyus57w0.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/58cc0af220ca436e903204b86c8412cd" /><br /><em>Lake Hayes in autumn regalia. Photo by Destination Queenstown</em></p> <p>With our powerful Wisper Wayfarer ebikes aboard, we were confident that if the weather misbehaved or we miscalculated the distance, we’d be able to get back home fast.         </p> <p>We set off in full winter ski gear with a hint of snow in the air. The 8km grade 2 uppy-downy loop track was a bit like a roller coaster ride climbing high above the lake on the far side and then descending steeply so I made great use of the power-assist and throttle on my Wayfarer. The hills were no trouble at all, such a novelty for a cyclist like me for whom the word ‘pushbike’ has, in the past, had a literal meaning - whenever I encountered anything other than flat terrain, I became a pusher.</p> <p>The trail around the lake was breathtakingly scenic even though the mirror effect was more like crumpled taffeta rather than satin. Coronet Peak, resplendent in pure white, stood regally on one side of the lake and the iconic Double Cone of the Remarkables Range on the other.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839044/justine2-edit.png" alt="Our Maui Cascade motorhome on the shores of Lake Hayes. Photo by Justine Tyerman" data-udi="umb://media/8ea30167c7194d98a16555fe32547a27" /><br /><em>Our Maui Cascade motorhome on the shores of Lake Hayes. Photo by Justine Tyerman</em></p> <p>There were many information boards along the way explaining the preciousness of the wetlands, the many native water birds who nest there such as the endangered crested grebe, Project Gold that aims to re-establish kowhai trees which once flourished in Central Otago, and the sculpting of the landscape by massive glaciers in the last Ice Age. </p> <p>We stopped for lunch at the highest point of the trail and looked across the lake at the multi-million-dollar houses that have sprung up along shore in recent years. Discovering a lovely freedom camping spot on the edge of the lake, we decided to park there for the night instead of continuing on to the Arrowtown Holiday Park.</p> <p>Ah, the joys of travelling in a fully self-contained Maui motorhome with the convenience of having a kitchen, fridge, freezer, bathroom, bedroom, lounge and dining room at our disposal. The ability to stop wherever and whenever the spirit willed gave us a delicious sense of freedom.</p> <p>By early evening, snowflakes began to drift down from a slate grey sky and the temperatures plummeted. We pulled the thermal blinds, turned on the heating and enjoyed hot showers followed by tummy-warming gluhwein as we prepared dinner.</p> <p>Showering in a confined space is quite an art and requires a high degree of organisation, ensuring one has everything needed before enclosing oneself in a cubicle about a quarter the size of a regular shower. The gas-heated hot water cylinder allows for two 3-minute hot showers, or longer when you are plugged into mains power at a camping ground.</p> <p>Overnight, we were so snug we had to open a skylight... even in the snow.</p> <p>To be continued...</p> <p>Read <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/heading-for-paradise" target="_blank">part 1</a>, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/turning-greener-with-the-years" target="_blank">part 2</a> and <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/in-the-company-of-giants" target="_blank">part 3</a> of Justine’s Central Otago road trip here.</p> <p><em>*Māori originally named the lake Te Whaka-ata a Haki-te-kura after an ancestress called Haki-te-kura whose image is said to be reflected in the lake.</em></p> <p><em>*Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <a rel="noopener" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=7BtkdCC0m6zkzxkMbzBp_u-wDIiN0dqP5C4--uPeeORQEIbDN5PYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fJhhmC1WLLJHWzgHLuGio%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">thl</a> in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=Qkj6NLpKp2tlANmS7flVVwRI3QQ1--ikfep03D2Q2yJQEIbDN5PYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fxoYeC2xMMKiylrC1Psne%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a> and rode a <a rel="noopener" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=EREOstBETVaXmFP1mVnBaKL_EfzEYOF92sK3gvj8QSNQEIbDN5PYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2f7HYRC3QNNLSNA3T2mkmn%3fdomain%3dwisperbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a> courtesy of <a rel="noopener" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=el2BMJzFCzOsVE0F-1QDqIDJkkAkbT1z4nc0mxuNGHZQEIbDN5PYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fGgjoC4QOOMSk0PCWQMn4%3fdomain%3delectricbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Electric Bikes NZ.</a></em></p>

International Travel

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The rise of the brown nomads and tips on how to do it

<p>Grey Nomads are a stalwart of the outback campsite, but COVID has seen a surge in younger families hitting the road: the Brown Nomads. These are people whose interstate or overseas jaunts have been thwarted by closed borders, or who have been freed from the 9-to-5 grind and want to take the “work from anywhere” concept literally. However, while adventuring sounds fun, it doesn't always generate a secure income. Consider some good financial planning so you can enjoy the nomadic life <em>and</em> still maintain financial security.</p> <p><strong>Before the trip</strong></p> <p>The options for how to stretch finances depends on your specific circumstances. It's important to see a financial planner early on in this process, but there are a few general tips I can offer.</p> <p><u>Reduce debt.</u> Pay it down as much as you can and see if consolidation makes sense. Do not carry credit card debt into this adventure.</p> <p><u>Plan your income and expenses.</u> Income sources include savings, investment dividends, long service leave, redundancies, ongoing business, or profits from asset sales. Plan expenses, including buying your start-up gear. Many nomads budget for $1000 per week, but it varies. Once you know how much you'll need you can start planning where to take the funds from.</p> <p><u>Interrogate your tax and maximising options</u>. If you’ve received a lump sum and want to use it to kick start your nomadic life, there may be some tax-efficient ways to stretch this amount. Consider various strategies, including a variety of superannuation strategies, consider paying down debt and investing in the name of the partner who didn’t earn an income, or earned less.</p> <p><u>Time your trip to suit your finances</u>. Are there are any benefits to going this or next financial year based on your circumstances?</p> <p><u>Get your financial foundations in place</u>. There are a few things you’ll need to get right as a basis for any secure financial future. These include having an emergency fund, creating a spending plan, getting the right insurances, optimising all aspects of superannuation including fees and investments inside, and having an up to date estate plan.</p> <p><strong>On the trip</strong></p> <p>Now you’ve hit the road and money is flying out the door and not so much is flying back in.</p> <p><u>Review your tax</u>. With the income changes there may be tax incentives you are now eligible for. You could make a spousal superannuation contribution, which will reduce your tax bill. You may also be eligible for the Family Tax Benefit.</p> <p><u>Manage your income streams.</u> Are you relying on income from dividends, term deposits that pay interest or rental income? Should you be? Any income linked to investments can change. Make sure you have enough money parked somewhere to see you through.</p> <p><u>Spend less money. </u>It sounds obvious, but in my experience, people spend what they have. I’ve had clients go from spending $200,000 per year to $40,000 after switching to a nomadic life for a year. When you aren’t in the ‘rat race’ you’ll be surprised how much joy life gives you for free and all the expenses you no longer have.</p> <p><u>Use the nomad community</u>. Experienced nomads will tell you their biggest expense is usually fuel. Find the cheapest with apps like Fuel Map Australia. Second to fuel is accommodation. WikiCamps Australia is one of many apps that has information about sites, including where the free ones are.</p> <p>Packing up and hitting the road does not have to cripple you financially. If you set yourself up right and plan well, you could have the adventure of a lifetime while you’re young, fit and healthy and return to a solid financial foundation.</p> <p>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of two books:  <em style="font-weight: bold;">On Your Own Two Feet – Steady Steps to Women’s Financial Independence</em> and On<em style="font-weight: bold;"> Your Own Two Feet Divorce – Your Survive and Thrive Financial Guide</em>.  <em style="font-weight: bold;">Proceeds from the books’ sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women.  </em>Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who holds a master’s degree in the field. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au"><strong>www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</strong></a></p> <p><strong><em>Note this is general advice only and you should seek advice specific to your circumstances.</em></strong></p>

International Travel

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World Health Organisation "unlikely" to list COVID-19 as disease that needs proof

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>The World Health Organisation (WHO) is "unlikely" to list coronavirus as a disease that requires vaccination proof, a spokesperson has said.</p> <p>The comment comes after the Morrison government said that international travellers entering Australia will likely need proof they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or face 14 days in hotel quarantine on their own.</p> <p>Dr Margaret Harris from WHO told<span> </span><em>Today</em><span> </span>it would be difficult to make the vaccine mandatory.</p> <p>"That would be unlikely. I think it would be a long way off from us listing that," Dr Harris said.</p> <p>"If that happened, that would be an external review group that would do that as part of the international health regulations.</p> <p>"That would take basically the countries involved in setting up that treaty to make that decision. In other words, that's a very theoretical and quite sort of distant concept."</p> <p>Dr Harris said that Prime Minister Scott Morrison can enforce the "no jab, no flight rule" without the approval of the World Health Organisation.</p> <p>"He can do that," she said.</p> <p>"Those decisions are all national decisions. We make overall recommendations. Generally most countries do follow them. But it is up to the national authorities to decide what regimes, what vaccines they want people to have had and where."</p> <p>They've said if it goes ahead, WHO can't enforce the matter.</p> <p>"It is not that we wouldn't necessarily support it," she said.</p> <p>"What I am saying is we would not necessarily make it (a vaccine) mandatory. That would be a decision for all the countries of the world to make. We as WHO, we are the advisers. We are not the police."</p> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

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Qantas boss Alan Joyce slammed over COVID vaccination rule

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Furious customers have vowed never to fly with Qantas again after boss Alan Joyce said that vaccinations against COVID-19 would be mandatory for all passengers on international flights.</p> <p>He made global headlines after he revealed that once a vaccine became available, it would be a condition of travel with Qantas.</p> <p>“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft,’’ he said on<span> </span><em>A Current Affair<span> </span></em>last night<em>.</em></p> <p>“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BREAKING</a>: QANTAS CEO confirms that proof that you've been vaccinated for COVID-19 will be compulsory for international air travel onboard his aircraft. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9ACA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9ACA</a> <a href="https://t.co/dhk3Hsnxn9">pic.twitter.com/dhk3Hsnxn9</a></p> — A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) <a href="https://twitter.com/ACurrentAffair9/status/1330788260856131584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 23, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Joyce also suggested that if people weren't happy with that rule, they might struggle to find an alternative airline to fly with.</p> <p>“I think that’s going to be a common thing, talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,” he said.</p> <p>People immediately rejected the policy, with comments on Twitter flying.</p> <p>“What right does Alan Joyce have to demand that we will only be allowed to travel with Qantas if we first prove we have been vaccinated against COVID-19?” someone asked on Twitter.</p> <p>“My health and vaccination status is none of his concern.”</p> <p>"I will never use Qantas ever again and I hope the world boycotts any company that uses this behaviour," another wrote.</p> <p>“I’m no anti-vaxxer, but forced vaccination, especially of such a new drug, is NOT okay,” one person tweeted.</p> <p>“If Qantas really go ahead, we may have to seek judges’ ruling.”</p> <p>The Federal Government has said that a COVID-19 vaccine would not be mandatory in Australia, but could become a condition of entry or re-entry into the country.</p> <p>“While the Australian Government strongly supports immunisation and will run a strong campaign to encourage vaccination, it is not mandatory and individuals may choose not to vaccinate,” the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy says.</p> <p>“There may however, be circumstances where the Australian Government and other governments may introduce border entry or re-entry requirements that are conditional on proof of vaccination.”</p> <p>The International Air Transport Association has also said it is in the final stages of developing a digital health pass that would co-ordinate information about COVID testing and vaccinations to support the reopening of international borders.</p> <p>The IATA Travel Pass would “manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers”, the industry body said.</p> <p>“Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements,” the IATA’s director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said.</p> <p>IATA’s senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, Nick Careen, said the main priority was to “get people travelling again safely”.</p> <p>“In the immediate term that means giving governments confidence that systematic COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine program,” he said.</p> <p>“The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

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COVID-19 vaccination to become compulsory for international travel

<p>The CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, has warned international travellers that compulsory vaccinations will be required in the future.</p> <p>Mr Joyce noted that as soon as a vaccine becomes available, while domestic travel may be exempt, the terms and conditions will change for international journeys.</p> <p>"For international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft."</p> <p>"Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that's a necessity."</p> <p>The Qantas CEO told A Current Affair that this will be something required all around the world.</p> <p>"I think that's going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe."</p> <p>Alan Joyce also mentioned that by Christmas, 60 percent of the flights from Sydney to Melbourne should be running. </p> <p>"Aussies love to travel, the two cities are unbelievably well connected, and we went from 45 flights a day before COVID, to one flight a day," Mr Joyce said.</p> <p>The route has just re-opened again.</p> <p>"Today we're back to 70 flights on the first day of opening up."</p> <p>And post-Christmas he hopes they'll be able re-activate 1000 jobs for the people who were stood down in the height of the pandemic in March. </p> <p>"If we can get Melbourne and Sydney back to where it was pre-COVID that will be 3000 people that didn't have a role, were stood down, were working at Woolworths, somewhere else that are working for the airline again."</p> <p>The CEO said domestic flights between Sydney and Melbourne have already proven popular, with 25,000 seats sold within 48 hours</p> <p><a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/coronavirus-exclusive-the-compulsory-conditions-for-australians-to-travel-internationally-as-lockdowns-ease/e4bf2f6c-faab-46dd-8528-b7f8120ede2f">Check out the full story here.</a></p>

International Travel

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Sky-high memories: Vintage Ansett Airlines menu causes a stir

<p>A person on social media site Reddit has shocked users by sharing a picture of a 1970s-era drinks menu from former airline carrier Ansett Australia.</p> <p>The menu shows cans of beer for 30 cents, a can of Coke for 10 cents and packets of cigarettes sold for a low price of 45 cents.</p> <p>For whisky fans, miniature bottles of imported whisky were sold for 45 cents, and specially selected red and white wines were sold at 40 cents a glass.</p> <p>These prices are incredibly low, especially by today's standards.</p> <p>People made jokes about the menu.</p> <p><img id="__mcenew" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838857/plane.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d80895744fd44933beac0e89320e48a0" /></p> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>“No wonder they went bust with these prices,” one person commented.</p> <p>“I was born too f**king late,” another said.</p> <p>“Cigarettes on a flight. Yikes,” someone said.</p> <p>One person reminisced about smoking on planes.</p> <p>“I’ll never forget flying Qantas as a kid up the back of the plane with the smokers for 12 hours to LAX and back,” one person commented.</p> <p>“I’m just old enough to remember being in a plane when smoking was allowed,” another said.</p> <p>“Only a curtain separated the smoking and non-smoking sections. It was absolutely foul.”</p> <p>Ansett suddenly collapsed in 2001, leaving thousands of passengers stranded and around 16,500 people out of work.</p> <p>The collapse followed years of financial trouble, tough competition, cash flow problems and an ageing fleet.</p> <p>By the time the company went bust, it was said to be bleeding money to the tune of $1.3 million a day.</p> <p>It remains one of the most infamous airlines collapses in Australia's history.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: Reddit</em></p> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

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In the company of giants

<p>The remote, beautiful land at the head of Lake Wakatipu richly deserves to be called Paradise but I discovered, with some disappointment, that it is so-named not for the heavenly scenery but for the eponymous duck!</p> <p>Despite its remoteness, the magnetism of Paradise has been a magnet for adventurous travellers since the 1880s when hundreds used to sail up Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown by steamer. Disembarking at Glenorchy, they would travel by dray and coach to Paradise Homestead where owner Granny Aitken used to feed 120 for lunch and host as many as 28 overnight guests.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838796/2-justine-and-her-brand-new-wisper-wayfarer-ebike-en-route-to-the-greenstone-valley.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a814bbc3eee141b49bd22148347db7ed" /><br /><em>Justine and her brand new Wisper Wayfarer ebike en route to the Greenstone Valley. Picture by Justine Tyerman</em></p> <p>The spectacular landscape has also attracted the attention of film-makers from all over the world. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, Mission Impossible, X-men and Vertical Limit were all filmed amid the region’s breath-taking mountains, rivers, lakes and forests.</p> <p>The dramatic terrain was sculpted by glaciers in the last Ice Age. The deeply-weathered silver schist face of Mt Earnslaw, the tallest mountain in the area at 2,830m, dominates the landscape, while wedge-shaped Mt Alfred, 1,365m sits right in the centre of the valley, dividing the Dart and Rees rivers. Surrounding the valley are the magnificent Richardson and Humboldt ranges... and many mountains named after Greek gods.</p> <p>Over the next few days, Chris and I spent much time in the company of these mighty snow-capped giants and became familiar with their many faces – sparkling silver after a frost, rosy pink with the sunrise, glowing gold at sunset or veiled in diaphanous mist just before dawn.</p> <p>We explored the region on our brand new Wisper Wayfarer ebikes courtesy of Electric Bikes NZ. It was such a novelty for me to be able to cycle effortlessly uphill and keep up with my super-fit husband.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838797/4.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/593e68b9701e45968c792c651b059aae" /><br /><em>Let me in - it's cold out here! Justine is keen to warm up at the end of a long day's cycling. Picture by Chris Tyerman</em></p> <p>We headed for Kinloch and rode along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the Greenstone Valley. Lake Wakatipu is seldom like a mirror but that day, the whole lake was glassy calm.</p> <p>The only traffic we encountered on the back country road was a 4WD vehicle and a young mum out for a walk with her baby and dog.</p> <p>The undulating gravel road took us through beech forests and across clear mountain streams. I was busy congratulating myself for managing to stay dry while fording the streams but the last one was deeper than the rest and I panicked and stopped half way across. Hubby heroically came to the rescue so we both ended up getting wet. Fortunately, it was a mild day and we dried out fast in the sunshine.</p> <p>We also paid a visit to Paradise Trust Lodge to see the rebuild of the property after fire destroyed the historic homestead in 2013, a few months after we had stayed there on our first-ever cycle trip with Matt and Kate Belcher’s Revolution Tours.</p> <p>The lodge has been painstakingly rebuilt retaining three stone chimneys as a memorial to the original homestead.</p> <p>We cycled a loop track through the forest, past rustic cottages with outside baths and saunas to a vantage point high above the Dart River as it carves its way from deep within the Main Divide. Here in Paradise, we were literally in the presence of the gods, surrounded by mountains named Chaos, Poseidon, Nox, Cosmos, Minos, Pluto and Cosmos.</p> <p>Thanks to our zippy Wispers, we covered a huge distance in no time.</p> <p>While in Glenorchy, we were delighted to hear that Ngai Tahu Tourism-operated Dart River Adventures are due to reopen in December so their powerful Hamilton jetboats will once again be thundering up the river and deep into the heart of the Mount Aspiring National Park and the southern reaches of the Main Divide. Encircled by the magnificent mountain peaks of the Southern Alps, gleaming glaciers, frozen waterfalls and hanging valleys, the park’s outstanding natural beauty has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s an outstanding experience - I’ve done it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat.</p> <p>There’s a lake-edge DoC (Department of Conservation) camping site at Kinloch so we parked our Maui motorhome there for the night, keen to linger in this exquisite, remote and tranquil part of Aotearoa. Nearby Kinloch Lodge serves superb cuisine if you feel like dining out. The historic lodge, a mecca for travellers since 1868, retains its authentic, old-world charm... and it has an outside hot tub. Bliss at the end of a long day cycling.</p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/heading-for-paradise">Read story #1 here.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/turning-greener-with-the-years">And story #2 here.</a></p> <p><em>To be continued.</em></p> <p><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=-xHEHhRYAVw9CNAFNuTivSsD7VqzBFs6UUwpjSJ6L0sHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fCf4DCWLVV3CwNTK6ntP%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">thl</a></span> in a <span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=Rr0taEuzZcVbO2f5WlI1D_SoDcA4oIeWlgg1HMTh9NQHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2f99a6CXLWW8C7kIkVRdv%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a></span> and rode a <span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=ZLTL3hhOHzowCF2AeJcWywwC2Zc9WNGVxDK1KMtqClkHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fezm9CYW883HojIMAGFW%3fdomain%3dwisperbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a></span> courtesy of </em><span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=2qwV6bEr40LVS92yaaSA_-v9XJCxHJEEtlrbuC_DYGQHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fWNUBCZY117CnXfPtHR2%3fdomain%3delectricbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank"><em>Electric Bikes NZ</em></a></span></span></p>

International Travel

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Turning greener with the years

<div>A few years ago, when we stayed at Mrs Woolly’s Camping Ground at Glenorchy, we were fascinated by the construction of the multi-million-dollar Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat under way next door. Turning greener with the years, I’ve been keen to check it out ever since. We finally got to stay there on our recent South Island ebiking and motorhome road-trip.</div> <div></div> <div>Opened in March 2018, the story behind the camp is visionary and inspirational. It’s the brainchild of US philanthropists Debbi and Paul Brainerd who fell in love with the Glenorchy region 20 years earlier after tramping the Routeburn and Hollyford Tracks. Designed according to the Living Building Challenge (LBC), the most rigorous sustainability standards in the world, the camp is committed to “offering a unique opportunity to experience living in harmony with nature”. The seven categories of the LBC are represented as the petals of a flower – Place, Health and Happiness, Energy, Water, Materials, Beauty and Equity – and involve such factors as supplying their own water and energy, having a healthy interrelationship with nature, supporting a just and equitable world, celebrating design that uplifts the human spirit, using materials that are safe for all species, creating spaces that optimise health and wellbeing . . . all concepts close to my heart, especially the energy and water efficiency aspects.</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838654/2-early-morning-surrounded-by-snow-capped-mountains-at-camp-glenorchy-eco-retreat.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/525df7e39e2f49f78556dedbc7becc20" /></div> <div><em>Early morning, surrounded by snow-capped mountains at Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat. Picture by Justine Tyerman</em></div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>New Zealand's only net positive energy accommodation, clever technology allows the camp to generate more energy than it uses – in fact it generates 105 percent of the energy it uses each year.</div> <div><br />Facilities include smart bunkhouses and eco cabins, powered RV/motorhome sites, and shared spaces for guests in the Homestead with a fabulously well-equipped open kitchen, dining room, sunroom, lounge, conference rooms and an outside campfire.</div> <div><br />Eye-catching artworks are a feature of the camp. An entire wall in the Humboldt Room, named after the magnificent mountain range it looks onto, is made of driftwood by international landscape artist Jeffrey Bale.</div> <div><br />I loved the use of recycled materials from the demolition of local woolsheds, stockyards, a grain warehouse and buildings damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes.</div> <div><br />There are state-of-the-art bathroom facilities with fabulous fully-tiled showers and 100 percent odourless composting toilets that save a whopping 300,000 litres of water per year. Purified rainwater supplies the showers and solar power is the energy source.</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838657/3.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c65f986fae3c4c4395da1e7a560c2e01" /></div> <div><em>The Homestead building at Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat. Picture by Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat</em></div> <div><br />Photos in the Homestead tell the story of the camp’s construction. There’s also historical information about the Head of the Lake for guests to read. Maori began arriving in Aotearoa about 750 years ago and named the South Island Te Wai Pounamu, the ‘Waters of Greenstone’. The region is rich in pounamu, a stone highly treasured by Maori who carved it into adzes, chisels, knives, hooks, clubs and ornaments.<br /><br />European settlement in the area began in 1861 when William Rees established a sheep station there. Then came the gold rush of 1862, sawmilling of beech and totara, scheelite mining and tourism. Travellers in the 1880s came up the lake by steamship had a choice of three hotels. A road link from Queenstown was opened in 1962 and finally sealed in 1997.<br /><br />All profits from Camp Glenorchy go to the Glenorchy Community Trust, directed by leaders of the local community “to support initiatives that enhance the liveability and vibrancy of Glenorchy”.<br /><br />The retreat has recently been named in TIME magazine's list of the World's 100 Greatest Places. It’s seriously impressive, especially for those, like me, into sustainability.<br /><br />In the evening, we had our first night ride on our Wisper Wayfarer ebikes – just a couple of minutes to the Glenorchy Hotel where we enjoyed a hearty dinner by a roaring open fire. The place was packed with locals and visitors watching a rugby match. Such a warm, friendly environment.</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838658/4-the-communal-kitchen-at-camp-glenorchy-eco-retreat.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8085163b3f9d4c23aa5d289ca10d1f36" /></div> <div><em>The communal kitchen at Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat. Picture by Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat</em></div> <div><br />As we cycled back to the camp, the dark night sky was studded with stars. Glenorchy’s isolation makes it one of New Zealand’s best star-gazing locations, especially on clear winter nights.</div> <div><br />Our motorhome was surrounded by Maui look-a-likes when we arrived home. New Zealanders had certainly heeded the call to explore their own backyard and were out in force. It was a frosty evening but we were cosy in no time, thanks to the efficient heating system.<br /><br />We lit the gas, boiled water for hot water bottles, left the heating on low and piled on an extra duvet, thinking we would freeze . . . but after five minutes the hotties and the extra duvet got the biff, we turned the heating off, opened a skylight and slept soundly.<br /><br />Talking of sleep, the bedding arrangement in the 4-berth Cascade was ingenious. At the push of a button, a queen-size bed appeared from the ceiling while another below was able to be made up from the squabs in the rear lounge. The upper bed recessed into the ceiling when not in use. Such clever use of space.<br /><br />We awoke to a perfect day. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the view from our bedroom window was breath-taking. We couldn’t wait to jump on our ebikes and explore more of this place called Paradise . . .<br /><br /><em>To be continued.</em><br /><span> </span></div> <div><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=tWPA3DSjp88h92_m_yOej0Tyw3e6LI4rEYpaeNNn58pcBoKUAILYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.maui-rentals.com%2fnz%2fen%3futm_medium%3dreferral%26utm_source%3djustine-tyerman" target="_blank">thl</a> in a <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=T67CO7HaB4Hy8m49Jc0LTYu_fAqurQYwHDvzQwTYtjhcBoKUAILYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.maui-rentals.com%2fnz%2fen%2fmotorhome-hire%2f4-berth-campervan-cascade%3futm_medium%3dreferral%26utm_source%3djustine-tyerman" target="_blank">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a> and rode a <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=D4fFGghFbcshDq0SojkHUYYtEIErEO2QmPI-NhfBaw9cBoKUAILYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwisperbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a> courtesy of <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=SoAD83WgCmviEe9KsPsHJwa1cyBdBdVIeFrgwi6WIeBcBoKUAILYCA..&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.electricbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Electric Bikes NZ</a></em></div>

International Travel

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China takes aim at Australian government for racist policies

<p>China has taken a swipe at Scott Morrison, accusing Australia of enacting racist policies during the coronavirus shutdown.</p> <p>In an interview in the Chinese government mouthpiece, the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1205288.shtml" target="_blank">Global Times</a>, China Market Research Group founder Shaun Rein said COVID-19 spread globally because of the “failed policies stemming from Europe, the US and Australia”.</p> <p>“(Scott Morrison) banned immediately Chinese mainland people from visiting Australia,” Mr Rein said in the report.</p> <p>“But for months, he didn’t ban Italians from visiting Australia even when Italy was plagued with the virus.</p> <p>“Other countries were sinophobic when it came to containment of COVID-19.</p> <p>“(The) virus doesn’t care about your race or your rationality. It just goes after humans. That’s their first mistake.”</p> <p>Morrison praised the Chinese-Australian community in September for following home quarantine requirements at the beginning of the pandemic.</p> <p>“The risk was greatest where people were returning from mainland China and even Wuhan at one point,” Mr Morrison said.</p> <p>“That home quarantine was followed incredibly assiduously by our Chinese-Australian community and that, as I’ve said on many occasions, proved absolutely vital in Australia’s success in managing the impact of that first wave.” Meanwhile, Australian rock lobster exports were revealed on Monday as the latest product to come under the microscope of Chinese authorities as trade tensions grow between the two partners.</p> <p>Tariffs on barley, bans on some beef, restrictions on coal and investigation on wine have just been some of the impacts Australian produce has faced during the dispute.</p> <p>But Mr Rein accused some Australian politicians of “fearmongering” and becoming “more sinophobic”.</p> <p>“They are listening as lapdogs of the Trump regime,” Mr Rein told the Global Times.</p> <p>“There is no reason for China and Australia to have tensions.</p> <p>“Before COVID-19, China bought 38 per cent of Australia’s exports.”</p>

International Travel

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Heading for Paradise

<p>Justine and Chris Tyerman set off on a road trip to Central Otago... with no idea where they will end up each day. </p> <p>‘Fancy a South Island motorhome road trip this winter... since we can’t travel overseas?’ I asked my husband while he was enjoying a beer by the fire one chilly evening in May.</p> <p>Knowing his hyperactive tendencies, I quickly added biking, hiking and skiing to the mix.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838559/3-on-a-calm-day-the-mountains-are-perfectly-reflected-in-the-mirror-waters-of-the-lagoon-at-glenorchy.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/250001b025aa47f7909fef91f3310fef" /><br /><em>On a calm day, the mountains are perfectly reflected in the mirror waters of the lagoon at Glenorchy. ©Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat</em></p> <p>There was a flicker of interest, especially when I flashed a photo of a luxurious late- model Maui Cascade motorhome in front of him, hinted at the possibility of trialling a couple of brand new Wisper Wayfarer ebikes and reminded him that now we were both ‘seniors’, skiing had just got a lot cheaper.</p> <p>‘What about the weather?’ Chris asked. ‘We’ll freeze to death in a motorhome down south in the winter.’</p> <p>‘Nope. The Cascade has a super-efficient heating system... but we’ll take hot water bottles... just in case.’</p> <p>Fast forward to late August — we duly arrived at Queenstown Airport, collected our smart four-berth motorhome from the nearby Maui depot and set about finding storage for our all bulky ski gear, ebikes, suitcases and enough provisions to last a month. My husband has a fear of running out of food.</p> <p>‘If only you could learn to travel lightly,’ came the predictable comment from Chris, to which I replied, predictably, ‘If only you could learn to buy just what we need.’</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838560/3-on-a-calm-day-the-mountains-are-perfectly-reflected-in-the-mirror-waters-of-the-lagoon-at-glenorchy-copy-2.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/defe5a53d85f43f583d7a86e0e3d013b" /><br /><em>Our four-berth Maui Cascade motorhome at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Picture by Justine Tyerman</em></p> <p>Investigating the motorhome, we discovered to our surprise and delight that the skis, boots and poles fitted perfectly in the spacious under-floor compartment, the clothes in the wardrobe and drawers, the empty cases in the over-cab storage, the food in the fridge and kitchen cupboards, one ebike on the rear rack, (sans battery because of weight restrictions), and one inside, wrapped in an old duvet with gloves on the peddles and handlebars.</p> <p>Mission accomplished, we were away laughing... literally. We had no idea where would end up that day. We had been advised to plug into a mains-powered site on our first night in order to fully charge the batteries but thereafter, being fully self-contained, we could freedom camp for up to three days using battery and gas power.</p> <p>After stopping briefly to cushion the cutlery, crockery and pots and pans with tea towels to stop the clattering, the big rig trundled along smoothly and quietly. Chris found the driving effortless with great vision from such an elevated position.</p> <p>The heady sense of freedom took a while to sink in. We had to reprogramme ourselves to the fact we had no fixed itinerary, no bookings or check-in/check-out times and no commitments. The sole focus of every day was to meander along at a leisurely pace driving no more than a few hours, and find stunning spots to stop for lunch, dinner, hiking, ebiking and overnighting.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 301.5625px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838557/gettyimages-1076492536-640x640.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/311c3553b6054a5cb22831244d4ff8dd" /><em>Justine on her Wisper Wayfarer ebike. Picture by Chris Tyerman</em></p> <p>At the Frankton intersection, we had the choice of left to Glenorchy or right to Arrowtown. Chris pointed left, I nodded, and we set off for the idyllic little settlement at the head of Lake Wakatipu, just 50 minutes from Queenstown on one the world’s most scenic lakeside drives. In the pre-Covid era, finding parking space to pull over at the popular observation point at Bennett’s Bluff to photograph the breath-taking view of the lake and mountains would have been well-nigh impossible but we had the road to ourselves that day. We’ve driven that route dozens of times but we’re always spellbound by the vast expanse of the teal-blue lake enclosed on all sides by jagged peaks and gleaming glaciers.</p> <p>We reached Glenorchy by mid-afternoon, leapt on our Wisper Wayfarers and explored the Heritage Trail, an excellent track and boardwalk that begins at the famous Glenorchy boatshed on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and weaves its way through wetlands and lagoons inhabited by native birds, across paddocks and the local golf course. On a calm day, the mountains are perfectly reflected in the mirror waters of the lagoon. The views of Mt Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi and the surrounding ranges are spectacular.</p> <p>No wonder they call this place Paradise... but ironically, it’s not named for the heavenly scenery. To be continued...</p> <p><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of </em><a href="https://www.maui-rentals.com/nz/en?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=justine-tyerman"><em>thl</em></a><em> in a </em><a href="https://www.maui-rentals.com/nz/en/motorhome-hire/4-berth-campervan-cascade?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=justine-tyerman"><em>Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</em></a><em> and rode a </em><a href="https://wisperbikes.co.nz/"><em>Wisper Wayfarer ebike</em></a><em> courtesy of </em><a href="http://www.electricbikes.co.nz/"><em>Electric Bikes NZ.</em></a></p>

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"All boarded up": Natalie Barr describes scenes in Washington

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>The US election is days away and <em>Sunrise</em> journalist Natalie Barr is on the ground in Washington D.C, describing the mood as "eerie and scary".</p> <p>Many businesses in the area are concerned about the possibility of violence and unrest after the announcement of the new U.S President and have boarded up their windows with plywood as a result.</p> <p>“I just didn’t expect it to be this bad,” Barr said</p> <p>“Shops, restaurants, cafes and government buildings right through the centre of D.C are all are being boarded up.”</p> <p>“It feels like they’re boarding up for a hurricane.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CHD_36oJjUI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CHD_36oJjUI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sunrise (@sunriseon7)</a> on Nov 1, 2020 at 1:03pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Barr was in the US in 2016 to report on the election between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton and said the mood difference was "just scary".</p> <p>“It doesn’t feel like an election, like the sort of celebration mood that we saw four years ago,” she explained.</p> <p>“Last time they were baking biscuits, there were chocolates with little Trump and Hillary faces, they were doing BBQs with the ‘Trump Burger’ and ‘Hillary Burger, it was kind of like a carnival”</p> <p>“But this is just scary.”</p> <p>“The concern is that no matter who wins, there will be unrest”</p> <p>“It feels like a bit of a battleground.”</p> <p>“It’s pretty awful.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Day of the Dead festival explained

<p>A celebration of life and death<br />If you’ve heard of Day of the Dead – known in Spanish as Día de Muertos or Día de los Muertos­ – but never celebrated it, you may wonder: How can death possibly be a cause for celebration? You have to go back 3,000 years for the answer. That’s when indigenous groups in Mexico and Central America – including Aztec, Maya, and Toltec – began celebrating their deceased relatives. They believed mourning them would be an insult to their memory. After the Spanish arrived, the ritual was intertwined with two Spanish holidays: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 1 and Nov. 2).</p> <p>Day of the Dead is not Halloween<br />Although Halloween is celebrated right before Day of the Dead, it’s nowhere near the same. For one thing, Halloween focuses on the scary aspects of death – namely, our fear of mortality. Day of the Dead, on the other hand, is a happy, joyous occasion.</p> <p>Originally called All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain, people created bonfires and dressed up in costumes to ward off ghosts.</p> <p>“All Hallows’ Eve was believed to be a time when the veil between the earth and other worlds was thin,” says grief and death expert Dr Kriss Kevorkian. “Ghosts returned to earth and there were celebrations mostly among the Celts. Halloween, today, doesn’t include much honouring of the dead.”</p> <p>Honouring the dead with food, drinks, and dancing<br />During Day of the Dead, families invite the souls of deceased relatives to come back for a reunion. Traditionally, that includes temporary altars with offerings commemorating their loved ones (altares de muertos or ofrendas). It also includes lots of food and drink, dressing up, and dancing.</p> <p>The Day of the Dead is not a single day but actually a celebration from October 31st to November 2. The first day (November 1st), is to honour infants and children who have died, and the second day (November 2nd), is to honour adults who have passed on.</p> <p>Day of the Dead is celebrated mostly in Mexico and parts of Central and South America. But it’s become increasingly popular in Latino communities around the world. “There are benefits to mourning and celebrating the life of a loved one who has died,” says Kevorkian. “We want to mourn the loss, but also celebrate the fact that we had such a relationship.”</p> <p>“That helps us remain connected, grateful, and appreciative of the love that was shared,” she adds. “Celebrating also helps us to understand that we shouldn’t take our loved ones for granted.”</p> <p>Grieving has no time frame<br />According to a review of studies published in 2019 in Psychosomatic Medicine, the death of a loved one is the greatest life stressor we can face. Forcing a sense of closure only adds to the stress.</p> <p>“Sadly, we are limited in our grieving due to work schedules, bereavement leave, family obligations, and our own desire not to hurt,” says Kevorkian. “But grief manifests in its own time. Give yourself time to listen to your grief rather than trying to make it fit into a particular construct. It can be painful. But it can be reframed a bit. Acknowledge how fortunate you were to have had a love so great that to lose it caused so much pain.”</p> <p>A funeral can be fun (yes, really)<br />Most people tend to think of funerals as sad, somber occasions. But it’s possible to honour the memory of your loved one by celebrating their life.</p> <p>Day of the Dead traditions involve dressing up, dancing, singing, and preparing foods that the celebrated person loved.</p> <p>“Celebrations remind us of all that your loved one accomplished in life,” says Kevorkian. “That tends to help you move forward in your grief.”</p> <p>But don’t force it, she adds. “Create your own traditions. If celebrating your loved one helps you grieve, by all means, celebrate. But do so when and how it feels right for you.”</p> <p>Death is a normal part of life<br />“Cultural practices like Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, the Qingming holiday in China, or the Obon festival in Japan all emphasise, normalise, and ritualise the continuing bonds that link the living with the dead across generations,” says Robert Neimeyer, a grief specialist. That helps “people retain – rather than relinquish – life-defining attachments even across the boundaries of life and death.”</p> <p>One way cultures that celebrate Day of the Dead normalise death: They create temporary altars (ofrendas) and adorn them with things meant to provide the deceased what they need on their journey.</p> <p>Traditionally, according to the Smithsonian Latino Center, that includes paper banners, food like Mexican bread, a pitcher filled with water so the spirits can quench their thirst, and candles to help light their way.</p> <p>You can create your own ofrenda of sorts—any time of the year. Display a collection of snapshots, mementos, and other objects that were meaningful to your loved one.</p> <p>“You can accept that your loved one is no longer here,” says Kevorkian. “But that doesn’t mean you have to forget them.”</p> <p>Your relationship continues<br />Day of the Dead traditions support the idea that your relationship with the deceased isn’t over; it’s simply changing. Grief experts say that having a continued relationship can be healing. Look for ways to continue the relationship with your loved ones that are comfortable for you. Storytelling, for example, is a good strategy for coping with loss; so is journaling.</p> <p>“My grandparents died when I was younger,” says Kevorkian. “But I still celebrate their birthdays out of gratitude for having such loving people in my life. Some might want to celebrate once or twice a year. Others might not want to celebrate at all. Grief is unique to each of us.”</p> <p>You can learn from the loss<br />Loss is never easy. But grief can teach you how to value life and those you love. “We can all seek a broader sense of self, whether trans-situational, trans-generational, or transcendental,” says Neimeyer.</p> <p>“By living well, we prepare ourselves for dying well one day. Be friendly to the whole range of human experiences – joy and grief, security and fear, knowing and not knowing – without clinging to or resisting any of them. That can allow you to embrace life in all its pain, pleasure, and paradox, and accept what is both durable and impermanent in your life.”</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Kimberly Goad. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/day-of-the-dead-festival-explained"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

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