Every year at its annual meeting, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee unveils new additions to its epic list of significant cultural and natural sites. This year, the committee added 29 sites to its powerful list… which has got us totally inspired to revisit our bucket list. Pretty awesome, right? Here are some of the new UNESCO World Heritage Sites we’re chomping at the bit to see for ourselves!
India: Jaipur City, Rajasthan
India’s northern fortified city was designed years ago to be a commercial capital, and its grid-like city planning is proof. Jaipur’s organization creates uniformity throughout its public squares, residences, temples, markets and stalls. But its grid plan with different districts actually pre-dates the Western idea of city layout!
Australia: Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
Located in the country of the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is one of the planet’s most expansive aquaculture systems. Through oral tradition, historians have been able to understand that the creation of this complex system goes back centuries. The system allowed the Gunditjmara people to call this location home for over six thousand years… but it’s believed to have been thirty two thousand years old/
The sacred site of thousands of temples, stupas, monasteries, frescoes, sculptures, and archeological gems – Bagan is a wonder. It’s incredible architecture and collection of ancient Buddhist art illustrate the power of the Bagan empire.
Babylon is home to the Hanging Gardens (one of the seven wonders of the world). But, the surround villages and the ancient city also once housed the world’s most influential ancient empires. Rulers like Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar sat within the city walls as emperors, forever changing the world’s history.
Italy: Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano a Valdobbiadene
Prosecco anyone? The “ciglioni” checker board designed rows of vines dates all the way back to the 17th century. You’ll find lots of small plots of land with the design atop the area’s rugged terrain. (P.S. if you love a good glass of vino – check out this round up of destinations for wine-lovers).
United States: The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
You know a Frank Lloyd Wright design when you see it. Frank’s iconic Fallingwater in Pennsylvania or the modernist Guggenheim Museum in the heart of NYC spotlight his “organic architecture” style. Each of his eight buildings scattered across the USA blurs the boundaries of indoors and outdoors, making a strong impact on the many architectural designers that followed his legacy.
Iran: Hyrcanian Forests
Iran’s Hyrcanian Forests date back to 50 million years ago. Yep, you read that correctly! This ancient forest area covered most of the Northern Temperate region of the planet many moons ago. The biodiversity within the forests now is staggering. 180 species of birds and 58 mammal species have been recorded within its dense woods.
Iceland: Vatnajökull National Park
This volcanic region of Iceland covers 14% of the island! Within the national park, visitors can find ten volcanoes (eight of which are subglacial and two of which are the most active on the island). The amazing volcanic action creates incredible landscapes, including river systems, growing canyons, massive waterfalls and more.
Japan: Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan
The burial mounds of all shapes and sizes found above the Osaka Plain are tombs for the elite. Archeologists have found weapons, armor, ornaments, clay figures in the shape of homes, humans and more within the funerary system.
What do you think? Find some new destinations to add to your bucket list? Every traveler should get familiar with UNESCO’s listed destinations and sites. It’s beyond inspiring to learn about their mission. (P.S. you can check out the whole list of the new UNESCO World Heritage Sites, if you’re interested in learning more!)
Have you visited any of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites? What was your favorite?
Today at Dame Traveler, we’re sharing a surreal story! With our new series #DTBehindTheLens, we’re empowering the women behind the lens of the camera. We’re honored and thrilled to introduce Ling McGregor of Cereal for Lunch in our second spotlight of this series!
Ling’s work is truly eye-catching and her story leaves us feeling inspired — with a bowl of cereal in hand. Today, we’re discussing Ling’s unique story and why she’d like the travel industry to start celebrating female travel photographers.
Hi Ling! Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what you do?
Hi! I’m from Sydney, Australia. I’m so excited for the chance to share my travel photography with you as part of Dame Traveler’s series. First up, I’m not a fulltime photographer or blogger so I feel incredibly humbled to be featured here.
During the week I work as a lawyer in an environmental and climate change practice. Alongside this though, I think it’s important to give time to the things that you love. I try to create as much as possible and have a huge passion for art and photography; I studied writing, draw portraits, and photograph at every chance I get.
While on a trip around the world with my boyfriend, Jason, I recently started sharing my travel photography in particular. On this trip we also decided to create a blog called Cereal for Lunch for creative travellers—lovers of art, history, culture and dreamy destinations.
What are the favourite destinations you’ve photographed so far?
Wherever we go, I love to find and photograph surreal scenes. On this theme, some of my favourite photographs have come from the desert across the Chilean and Bolivian Altiplano—flamingos crowd red lagoons, there’s a desert stretch named after Salvador Dali, and if you wait long enough, you can catch a sly fox between volcanic rocks.
Having said that, these destinations are always spectacular, and you can kind of just show up with a camera. On the other hand, I also love street photography because there are so many small scenes to construct from the chaos. Some of the best street scenes have come from Cusco, as well as cities in Cuba, Morocco and Japan.
What is it that you aim to photograph during your travel experiences?
I think that photography can really compliment travel—it brings a creative aspect to the trip and allows you to document and remember everything along the way. When travelling, the main priority is to see and experience as much of a place as possible; I’m most motivated to explore its art scene, the unique landscapes or architecture, as well as its history, markets and street life.
Hopefully the pictures that I take mirror this travel style, as I want to capture small parts of each destination and the experiences that I’ve had there. I try to post a mix of things and keep a balance between places and portraits. I also tend to photograph scenes that I would like to draw, and usually this means highlighting people, small details and vibrant colours.
Why do you think it’s important for women photographers to be celebrated in the travel industry?
It’s important for women to be upheld and celebrated in every industry! In the early 1900s, women actually made up quite a large percentage of the photography profession—at a time when it was still quite unusual for women (in the West) to even have a profession. Unfortunately, this declined with the advent of photojournalism, and it remained a male-dominated industry for decades.
It’s easier than ever for everyone to publish their work though, and over time photography has become such an important way to subvert the traditional gaze in the arts, and to share women’s perspectives and experiences, as well. There are so many talented female photographers, and I really support Dame Traveler in making a space to specifically promote their work through this series.
Are there any changes you would like to see happen in the travel industry?
I support making changes which leave a more positive effect on places, and think I have a personal responsibility to find ways to travel as sustainably as possible. On my last long trip, this has meant:
visiting fewer places and spending more time in each one;
traveling through each country in a linear way, rather than continuously flying from place to place;
supporting local creators, for example by buying directly from individual artists or makers;
avoiding travelling in peak times, especially to destinations that are severely impacted by over-tourism;
prioritising fair wages over scoring cheap deals; and
trying to reduce waste.
Most of these changes have complimented the way that I like to travel. For example, I prefer to explore many different parts of just one country, rather than visiting a few places in many different countries; the ideal situation would be to hire an apartment, cook from local food, and explore one area over as many days as possible. I also really love to meet artists along the way and know that I’m leaving with authentic and ethically produced textiles, jewellery or ceramics.
I’m definitely not trying to say that anyone needs to change the way that they travel specifically—do whatever you want, and most importantly enjoy your trip! But I do think that businesses and consumers need to consider ways to enhance sustainability, particularly if we want certain places to remain viable tourist destinations.
Through your experiences, what has travel taught you?
Travel has always been quite central as I have a mixed Chinese and Scottish heritage. I think some of the most important things that it can highlight are history, diversity, and continuing traditions. Overall, it weirdly makes the world seem big and small simultaneously.
Have you ever faced any hard circumstances or issues as a female traveler or female travel photographer?
What piece of advice would you give to new female travel photographers?
I’ve been so hesitant to answer this because I’m definitely still learning, too. With travel photography in particular, I don’t think there’s any need to travel to a specific destination just because it might seem photogenic. Once you have your eye out, it’s easier to find something to shoot wherever you are—just try to look for interesting scenes and different views of the place that you’re in.
In terms of getting started, the best thing is to experiment until you develop a personal style that you’re happy with. At first this will probably involve spending just as much time on the editing process as actually taking the shots—it can take a while to get familiar with the adjustments that you need to suit different conditions, and to figure out how you like different types of photographs to be framed. Once you have a range of good shots, make your photos more unique by experimenting with different shades and tones.
I now edit and colour my photos in a very specific way, usually by increasing the luminance, bringing down the highlights, and emphasising the red and green tones (all of these changes can be made in pretty much any editing application). I’ll include a before and after comparison so that you can see the difference that the editing process makes.
I don’t think it’s necessary to invest in the most expensive or professional gear straight away either. I’ve been really lucky recently to be able to use an older DSLR to get started, but the lens eventually became quite limiting. It’ll be clear when you need to upgrade from a phone or first camera to better gear once you know what you want out of your shots, and then it’s a probably good idea to connect with other photographers to learn about the best gear to suit the type of photography that you’re interested in.
A lot of my time as a travel photographer is “en route.” In between cities, bouncing between terminals, juggling public transportation – it’s those not so glamorous, in-between moments that actually comprises a lot of what I do! When I was given the opportunity to capture Australia’s Western Wilds in Tasmania, I was beyond excited of the journey that awaited me. Although I’ve traveled many places (64 countries so far!), this would be my first time in Australia!
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that looking at the travel time between Los Angeles to Sydney (15 hours!) wasn’t something I was looking forward to. Who would ever really love a flight time like that? But, to my luck, my long haul transport to Australia ended up being a breeze thanks to United! Their Polaris business class seats made what could have been a complete nightmare of a ride into a soothing and relaxing time for me to sit, recollect and refresh for the adventure that awaited me in Tasmania.
When sitting down to plan my itinerary, I loved to learn that United has a couple of options. When it was time for me to do my booking they offered bookings to Sydney from Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. But, United recently started offering transcontinental and transatlantic destinations from New York too. So, east coast travelers – rejoice!
As a New Yorker, the flight to LAX is, admittedly, one of my least favorite legs of travel. But, thankfully after checking in, I was able to slip into the Polaris Lounge’s relaxation areas where they have rest pods and shower facilities to get rejuvenated. Let me tell you, these were a life saver.
Once on board, I was feeling a little more soothed and the notion that the next time I would have my feet on solid ground would be in Australia started to really get me excited. As a female traveler, I’m constantly seeking out destinations that give me that little jolt of thrill and wonder. Australia was certainly that for me!
As the flight began, I was able to see exactly how close we were to the continent with their handy entertainment system’s split screen. Anxious travelers will love this! Even though I’ve definitely become a flight pro, it’s fun to see the slow progression towards Australia in between my long naps on their flat lay seats (hello Saks bedding and thoughtful amenity kit!).
P.S. If you’re debating whether or not to splurge on business class seats, I will tell you… it’s worth it on long-haul flights like this. I didn’t feel like I lost a day’s worth of sleep, thanks to the comfy beds in Polaris business class. Certainly business class isn’t something needed for all flights, but I’d highly, highly recommend it for a long one across oceans like this!
It’s the little things like this that elevate the whole “en-route” experience to something that can actually be rejuvenating, calming and give travelers the time to really soak in the experiences they’re about to have. As the fifteen hour journey unfolded, I woke up about an hour before landing. During those minutes, I was able to journal my hopes, aspirations and dreams for all that Dame Traveler is (big things are coming – I promise). My life has been, lately, a long series of projects and bouncing between destinations. But having the quiet time in this relaxing setting, with just me and a pen and paper was so special.
Oh, yeah… and I should mention, I was able to have this sweet moment of reflection over a lovely wine tasting. What’s not to love about that? (Thanks Polaris!)
I’m thankful for United’s mission to connect women within the Dame Traveler community to cities and places around the world that empower them and help them celebrate discovery.
Australia, awaited me. And I was ready for it.
This blog was written in partnership and sponsored by United Airlines. As always, opinions are my own.
Wild and waiting, Tasmania’s west welcomed us with so much more than an adventure. It’s been about a week since we landed in the wild land of Tasmania’s western landscape, and I’m still reeling from the epic, fleeting memories we’ve collected from our time there.
Often regarded as an isolated, wild destination at the edge of the world, the trip to Tasmania is certainly a worthy one. Easily accessible by air from either Melbourne or Sydney airports, we landed in Hobart (Tasmania’s major airport) to begin our journey to the Western Wilds and within minutes were sipping Tasmanian Sauvignon Blanc with a view of Hobart’s gorgeous harbor.
Today, I’m excited to share some of the most incredible experiences we had while exploring Tasmania’s western shores!
MACq 01 Hotel
Our home away from home was nestled right in the historic, waterfront area of Hobart’s Hunter Island, one of the earliest sites of European settlement in the island! We loved its authenticity and pride in its history… and the five minute walk to the downtown area could not be beat!
Faro at MONA
Inside MONA’s impressive campus in a museum wing named after a Greek lighthouse is this gem of a restaurant! We were delighted by its European-inspired menu and shared plates in a seriously impressive setting.
Old Wharf Restaurant at MACq 01 Hotel
We loved dining here for an easy, yet delicious meal right in our hotel.
Get Cultured At The MONA Museum
We took the 30-minute ferry to the impressive MONA Museum and opted for the Posh Pit upgrade with a full bar and snacks to accompany the scenic cruise. It was so worth it, in my opinion for the relaxation alone!
Started by Tasmania local, David Walsh who came from humble beginnings and amassed a large amount of wealth through online gambling, the Museum Of Old And New Art is a playground of unique, eccentric and interactive exhibits. I could have happily spent an entire day here, taking it all in!
Admission is free for Tasmanian residents or if you’re under eighteen! And some of the exhibits do require an additional entry ticket to experience, but trust me… it was so incredible and worth it.
Soak in the glory of Tasmania’s hues and epic landscapes in a scenic flight from above. We took the flight with Par Avion from the Cambridge Airport and I wish the flight would have never ended!
Watch The Sunset From kunanyi / Mount Wellington
Finish off an eventful, adventurous day by taking in the sunset from kunanyi / Mount Wellington’s overlook. Truly there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing the sun set after a day well spent exploring… and this was the perfect vantage point!
Take The Scenic Gordon River ‘Spirit Of The Wild’ Cruise
Take in the views and learn about this incredible UNESCO World Heritage site that is one of the few in the world that checks off all seven of the criteria. The Gordon River Cruise we boarded is brand new and offers a full bar and a delicious lunch made with Tasmanian local ingredients. Not to mention, you can take in the views from the very comfortable seats in the premium upper deck! Perfect for taking in the wildlife of the Gordon River area.
Catch The Play The Ship That Never Was
This play is not only entertaining but it helps you learn more about the river you just sailed down as well as the history of Sarah Island. It’s a perfect summarizer for the whole journey!
Our first stop in Tasmania’s Western Wilds was New Norfolk. A unique experience just 45 minutes west of Hobart and set on five acres, the restaurant is an absolute gem with delicious farm-to-table, seasonal dishes and a light and airy interior in the town’s beautiful Bronte building, which was converted from the town’s old mental asylum. Talk about turning abandonment into beauty!
The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery
Lake St. Clair
Incredibly unique, relaxing and remote, Pumphouse Point offers three different accommodation types: The Retreat, The Shorehouse and The Pumphouse. We stayed in The Shorehouse that offered beautiful views of the famed and picturesque Pumphouse. Each building offers a a lounge equipped with fireplaces and an honesty bar. This property is definitely for those seeking the ultimate relaxation experience that is out of the norm. We loved the attention to detail including fresh baked bread upon check-in (and anytime you request it) and a fully stocked fridge and backpack to equip you for the perfect picnic with a view.
Queenstown is one of the quaintest little stops along the Western Wilds journey. What used to be a mining town in Tasmania’s past, became one of our favorite stops along our journey for its history and quirkiness! It’s also home to one of the most interesting landscapes – or moonscapes as the locals call it – that literally looks like you’ve just landed on the moon.
We stayed at the charming Penghana Bed & Breakfast, located on a mountain top with stunning views of Queenstown. Our hosts Steve and Karen were absolutely lovely and truly know how to make their guests feel right at home. (Bonus: their wifi was one of the fastest we had during our time in Tasmania – perfect for digital nomads – and their home cooked breakfast was one of the best meals we had!).
Adventurous souls should not miss this experience! We went on a 4×4 adventure that took us up to the best view points in Queenstown that can only be reached with our guide Anthony from RoamWild Tasmania. He was an incredible host and was super informative and accommodating during our tour. His passion for his home was inspiring and truly shined through in what he does. We began our journey up to Mount Owen for sunset and started the next day catching sunrise at Mount Jukes. Throughout the evening, we spotted local wildlife and thanks to Anthony (and the really awesome bright lights on the side of his 4×4), we were able to see animals like pademelons. We ended the evening climbing into a real mine to experience what a working day was like for gold miners in the past! Thank you Anthony, for an incredible experience.
An incredibly fun experience to have in Western Tassie is, hands down, the West Coast Wilderness Railway. We boarded the train in the morning and got off at the various scenic stops along the way. The experience gave me such a sense of nostalgia because the train is a true reflection of what it was like to live in Tasmania in the past. We also got to witness the conductors manually turn the train around, which was so fascinating to see first hand!
A home-cooked meal at the Paragon Cinema Restaurant was such a fun spin on dinner at a restaurant. The vintage theatre-turned-restaurant still functions and you can watch films during your meal and grab a drink at the concession stand / bar!
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
Super cozy with a stunning bar, tavern and plenty of fireplaces for everyone to stay warm by, Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is located at the base of famed Cradle Mountain and offers tons of activities to keep you busy during your stay.
Highland Restaurant At Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
This restaurant blew us away with its impeccable service and intriguing dishes. Would you believe me if I told you I tried wallaby here?
Just a five minute drive from the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is the Devils @ Cradle wildlife conservation facility, right at the entrance to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. This conservation sanctuary focuses on the mysterious Tasmanian devil, but you’ll also find all sorts of wildlife within its facility. No stop to Tasmania is complete without seeing the secretive devil it’s famous for, if you ask me!
Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is a magnificent World Heritage site you must see for yourself! Within its borders, we found ourselves in awe of the incredible nature that surrounded us. Waterfalls, lakes, quiet forests, alpine mountains, wombats, currawongs, quolls, trees as old and as ancient as you could imagine. This national park is really an outdoor-lovers paradise.
We took a road trip from Cradle Mountain to Launceston to catch our flight to Melbourne, and along the way we were treated to the most stunning countryside views.
We made a pit stop at the Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory for lunch and it was like something out of a dream. Natural light spilling into the light and airy interior and surrounded by the most beautiful bottles of wine and plants dripping from every corner of the place… it was an absolute highlight of the trip.
Another world awaits in Tasmania’s Western Coast. From first hand experience, I will tell you, answer its call.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. All opinions are my own.
Tasmania’s Western Wilds will leave you dreaming of the expansive, seemingly never-ending, ever-changing landscape for years to come. It’s just part of the experience of seeing Australia’s hidden gem with your very own eyes. Today, I’m sharing seven of the most picturesque spots I discovered along my adventure in the lone, jaw-dropping area of Tasmania.
Cradle Mountain From Dove Lake
Cradle Mountain steals the show when it comes to the most picturesque spots in the Western Wilds… but ensure to build enough time in your schedule to stick around the area in case the mountain is covered in clouds! The Cradle Mountain area gets on average, 242 rainy days a year. February has the least rainy days and August has the most so plan accordingly!
Experience The Gordon River Via Cruise
Take in the equally serene and epic views of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Gordon River. We loved experiencing the natural beauty from our cruise! Seeing the mountains and landscapes smoothly appear in front of us while on the upper deck was the perfect vantage point for taking in the wildlife of the Gordon River area.
Learn a little bit about the Western Wilds past by visiting its quaint and quirkiest town – Queenstown. This former mining town has become a must-see stop along your journey, if you ask me! It’s also home to what the locals call – moonscapes – that are truly one of a kind!
When we began preparing for our trip to Western Tasmania, one of the first beautiful spots we came across and instantly added to our wishlist was the Pumphouse Point Retreat. We’re always seeking out unique experiences for hotel stays… and this place exceeded our expectations. The property offers many photo opportunities, especially the Pumphouse itself which you can also stay in.
During our drive from the Pumphouse in Lake St. Clair to Queenstown, we made a pit stop at Nelson Falls which was absolutely breathtaking and a nice way to take a break from the 2 hour drive. I couldn’t recommend adding this to your adventures around Tasmania’s Western Wilds more!
Mount Owen In Queenstown
Mount Owen’s landscape is one that we could have spent hours and hours taking in. Set on the blue waters of Lake Burbury and conveniently located directly east of Queenstown, Mount Owen is a photographers delight and the perfect destination to add while when road tripping around the Western Wilds.
Tip: To capture this view, book a tour with Roam Wild Tasmania since you can only access the summit of Mount Owen on a guided tour with this local Queenstown tour company.
From The Seat Of A Scenic Flight Over The Western Wilds
We took a scenic flight from the Par Avion Cambridge Airport and I truly wish this experience for every traveler visiting Tasmania’s Western Wilds! There’s nothing like seeing the landscape unfolding in front of you from above.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. All opinions are my own.