5 Outdoor activities for the adrenaline junkie in Auckland, New Zealand

Are you a bit of an outdoor enthusiast who loves nothing more than the sheer excitement of having adrenaline rush through your veins? New Zealand would be the place for you! Here are some incredible activities that you could send your heart pumping in Middle Earth:

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Bungee Jumping

Take in all of the view from the Auckland Harbour Bridge on this 40-metre bungee jump from a suspended pod built over the Waitatama Harbour! Not for the faint of heart but definitely for the adventure seeker!

Find out more here!

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Zip lining

Take a boat over to the famous Waiheke Island and zip line past treetops, above lush vineyards, valleys and stunning forests. Consisting of three 200-metre zip lines, this activity is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Find out more here!

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Skywalking

Want a bit of that adrenaline rush without jumping off anything? Sky walking might just be the thing for you! Take a heart pumping stroll 192-metres off the ground on the Sky Tower in Auckland. Hailed as one of the best urban adventures in the area, you’ll be awestruck by the amazing 360-degree view

Find out more here!

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Sky diving

Fancy experiencing the highest tandem skydive in New Zealand’s North Island at 16,500ft? Freefall for 75 seconds at a speed of 200km/hr over Parakai, not far from Auckland city. A must do once in your life, this activity is certain to leave you wanting more!

Find out more here!

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Caving

Want more out of an adventure? This caving activity in the Waitomo Caves just might be for you! Take part in black water rafting in an underground river followed by abseiling. Also, go on a cave glow worm tour that is bound to leave you in awe.

Find out more here!


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5 unique experiences for the traveller in Malaysia

A hub for the Southeast Asian traveller, Malaysia is a place brimming with culture and outdoor experiences waiting to be discovered, especially when one steps away from its city life. Here are some unique experiences for the traveller when in Malaysia:

1. Kuching, Sarawak

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Greet quaint towns, villages, paddy fields, and plantations as you make your way to getting acquainted with the Sarawakian Iban tribe and their culture in a traditional longhouse and explore the jungle in the vicinity. Find out more here.

2. Langkawi, Kedah

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Come up close with the Malaysian mangrove forest in Langkawi on a kayak, observing the unique flora and fauna that call this place home such as eagles, kingfishers, and bat. This would be ideal for the nature enthusiast. Find out more here.

3. Kuala Selangor, Selangor

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If you love monkeys and fireflies, this is for you! Encounter and feed the Silver-Leaf Monkeys at Bukit Melawati Hills, followed by a boat ride through the mangrove trees at night to witness the twinkling of fireflies. Find out more here.

4. Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor

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For the adventurous traveller, a full day of wild river tubing would be for you! Float through water rapids on 2.5 km stretch of jungle river, a completely different way to explore the greenery of Malaysian rainforests. Find out more here.

5. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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Get acquainted with the Orangutans and Proboscis Monkeys that are native to Borneo as you visit them in their sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres. This would be ideal for the animal-loving travelling family. Find out more here.


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6 Outdoor activities in Nepal that aren’t hiking or trekking

Whenever Nepal comes to mind, perhaps the first activity associated with it would be hiking. However, there is more to the Himalayas than just hiking or trekking in the mountains. Here are a few outdoor activities that the adventure enthusiast can look forward to:

Mountain Biking

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One of the best ways to explore Nepal’s terrain is by mountain biking. Adrenaline will be pumping through your veins as you cycle downhill mountainous landscapes.

White Water Rafting

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One of the most popular adventure sports in Nepal, white water rafting down the Trisuli River will give you spectacular views of the greenery, landscapes, and villages that are located along the river.

Paragliding

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One of the best ways to see Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal would be by paragliding. See mountains, lakes, and temples from such great heights as you glide through the air.

Bungee jumping

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For that ultimate adrenaline rush, how about bungee jumping? Take the leap off the Bhote Koshi Bridge, 160 metres off the ground, and right into the middle of a gorge!

Ultralight aircraft

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Experience Nepal from a bird’s eye view via a microlight/ultralight aircraft fit for two as you soar around the mountains and lakes that are scattered around Nepal.

Canyoning

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For an all-in-one adventure experience, canyoning might just be the thing! Rappel, swim, scale and climb around the rocks of Nepal and untouched places of nature. Not exactly for the faint of heart but if you feel the need to push yourself a little, this might be just the thing!


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Must visit places in Indonesia

Travellers, celebrate!

On the 18th of March 2016, Indonesia announced that it will be waiving visa fees for 79 new countries, bringing it to a total of 169 nationalities that can travel visa-free to the Asian archipelago.

Here are some places you must visit while travelling around this Southeast Asian country:

Komodo National Park

huffingtonpost.com
huffingtonpost.com

Located in the centre of the Indonesian archipelago, the Komodo National Park is a UNESCO Heritage Site between Sumbawa and Flores consisting of three major islands; Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as a number of small islands. Home to the popular komodo dragon, this national park also is rich in various types of marine environments.

Yogyakarta, Java

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macaronmagazine.com

Pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’ and fondly known as Jogja, Yogyakarta is dubbed the ‘beating heart of the Javanese culture’ by Lonely Planet. A must visit in this area are Borobodur Temple and Prambanan Temple grounds, two of Indonesia’s most historic sites, the perfect destination for the culture seeker!

Mt Agung, Bali

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wisatahotelbali.com

The highest peak in Bali at 3,033 metres above sea level, Mt Agung has a spiritual significance to the locals and is home to Besakih, the ‘Mother Temple’ on the island. According to legend, Mt Agung was created by the Hindu God Pasupati split the spiritual axis of the universe, Mt Meru. The best way to enjoy Mt Agung is by taking a sunrise hike.

Tri-Coloured Lakes of Kelimutu, Flores

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komodotour.com

Located in the same volcanic peak, the tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu on the Flores Island are crater lakes with a unique colour variation that does not happen anywhere else on Earth. According to legend, the lakes are resting places of ancestors and its colours change according to the mood of the spirits.

Mt Bromo, East Java

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bromoeastjava.com

An active volcano located in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Mt Bromo is named after the Javanese version of the name of the Hindu God, Brahma. A four-hour drive from Surabaya, Mt Bromo is an impressive collection of breathtaking views and dramatic landscapes. Visits to this volcano usually start from the Cemoro Lawang village, 2,217 metres above sea level.

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

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pholoroid.blogspot.com

Tana Toraja, Indonesian for ‘The Land of Toraja’ is known for its painted houses with boat-shaped roof village houses. Funeral ceremonies are a highlight as it is a major event for the Torajan locals with animal sacrifices, traditional dancing and plenty of eating and drinking. Don’t forget to check out the hanging cemeteries protected by life-sized wooden effigies called ‘tau tau’.

Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan

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orangutanstour.com

Initially a game reserve in the 1930’s, but designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and established as a national park in 1982, Tanjung Puting National Park is one of the best places to see free-roaming orangutans. This area is a well-known ecotourism destination as it is home to a variety of flora and fauna, perfect for the outdoor adventurer.

Raja Ampat, West Papua

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indonesia.travel

Raja Ampat or ‘Four Kings’ in English, this place is named after the four major islands in this small archipelago. The perfect destination for the scuba diving explorer, Raja Ampat is not easily accessible but well worth the hassle as its located in the Coral Triangle which has the richest marine biodiversity on earth.

 


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Exotic food found around Asia

Whether you are the excited host or the adventurous guest, fun ensues (for at least one party) when exotic food is put on the table, just like this video created by BuzzFeed. Sky is the limit when it comes to the variety of Asian food, whether you are a fan of spicy, sweet, sour or the downright weird.

Here is our list of the weird and wonderful food you have to try on Asian soil, and please, if you happen to shoot a video, please send it our way.

Cempedak Fruit

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Image from tribunnews.com

Found in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, the cempedak is the cousin of the Jackfruit. Though often compared to the durian, the cempedak is not as pungent-smelling as the former. As for texture, this fruit has a ‘stringy custard-like’ consistency and its taste, well, there is only one way to find out!

Shirako

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Image from deplatoaplato.es

Directly translated as ‘white children’ from Japanese, Shirako is the milt, or sperm sacs (yum!) of the cod fish or other varieties of fish. Often described as creamy, buttery, and then fishy, the shirako is a seasonal special during the cold winter. Try it with the citrusy ponzu sauce for an authentic feel.

Sago Worms

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Image from youtube.com

Hakuna Matata! These fat grubby worms are found in the sago palm trees in Borneo. A delicacy in Sarawak, these worms can be eaten either raw, boiled or fried. Apparently better tasting than it looks, the sago worm has been described as ‘creamy toffee‘ when raw or like bacon when fried with no bad aftertaste. Doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Scorpions

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Image from jeffereyalford.blogspot.com

Found deep-fried and on a stick like most things quintessentially Asian, these scorpions can be found in the markets of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Crunchy on the outside and squishy on the inside, be careful not to be squirted with scorpion juice when sinking your teeth into these bad boys.

Chou doufu (Stinky tofu)

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Image from lipstiq.com

Seemingly harmless, don’t let its appearance fool you as this snack packs a punch! Either boiled, steamed, stewed or deep fried, the stinky tofu is essentially fermented beancurd. Although its smell can be compared to rotten meat or garbage, it is said that the stronger the smell, the better the taste!

Tempoyak

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Image from aidahjune.blogspot.com

If you thought durian was ‘interesting,’ your tastebuds should try tempoyak. A condiment added to a variety of Malay and Indonesian fish dishes, tempoyak is durian fermented with salt and left for several days. Also eaten as a side dish mixed with coconut milk and chillies, it can be compared to a sour and nutty mayonnaise.

If you need a helping hand, you can always opt for a guided food tour of Tokyo nightlife food, Bangkok street food, Xi’An local fare, or a half-day affair with Hanoi food.


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Hiking trails in Hong Kong to bring you closer to nature

Contrary to popular belief, Hong Kong is not all concrete jungle and there is more wildlife on the island than the party animals found staggering down the street on a Friday night in Lan Kwai Fong.

Hong Kong is not restricted to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island like most tend to believe, but stretches out for 1,104² kilometres over 235 islands! If you have only visited their developed areas, that would leave you with another 75% of the country waiting to be explored.

So, pack your hiking boots and track bottoms (or tights) the next time you pay this archipelago a visit and check out these nature trails.

Ma On Shan Hiking Trail 

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Ma On Shan, characteristically known for its saddle-like appearance, is one of the highest mountains in Hong Kong at a towering 702 metres (2,303 ft).

As Ma On Shan is full of greenery and trees on one side whilst the other is covered with shrubs and grasses, you can expect to see an array of flora in this area and if lucky, you may come across a Chinese Pangolin or Chinese Porcupine.

This strenuous 11-kilometre ridge walk over mountain slopes and through twin peaks is one for the adventure seeker looking for a bit of a challenge.

Tai Mo Shan Hiking Trail

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The big daddy of peaks in Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan is the highest peak in Hong Kong with an elevation of 957m (3140ft), also making it the second tallest peak in China.

Composed of volcanic rocks from the Jurassic era, a small part of Tai Mo Shan vents warm air through cracks that lead all the way into the Earth’s mantle.

Also nestled in the dense jungle that surrounds Tai Mo Shan is the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls, a series of waterfalls that cascade from a 30 metre (98ft) height.

Lantau Island Gorge Walk

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Located South-West of Hong Kong is its largest island, Lantau Island, which is covered in a mountainous terrain. Covered in greenery, the island is known as the “lungs of Hong Kong” as it does not share the same skyscraper landscape Kowloon and Hong Kong Island own.

Perfect for hikes year-round, this trail is scattered with boulders, cliffs and waterfalls, a perfect escape from the concrete jungle with the scrambling needed to cover the rocky terrain.

Taking an approximate five hours to complete, Lantau Island Gorge Walk is just what the doctor ordered if you have a few hours to kill and a sense of adventure to satiate.

Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail

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Once voted as the ‘Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia,’ Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail is a must visit for both hiking enthusiasts and the novice looking for something other than food and shopping.

Expect to see bamboo groves and woodland, and of course, a stunning view of the South of Hong Kong Island as you scale the “dragon’s spine” before jumping into the cool waters of the Big Wave Bay located at the end of the trail.

This trail is perfect for families with kids as it is relatively easy. Who knows, they may ditch the idea of perpetually being glued to their iPads after visiting nature’s playground.


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Best Destinations in Asia for the Travelling Culture Vulture

Culture Vulture in Asia

Asia is the largest and one of the oldest continents in the world. It is seeping with history and culture from every corner of the continent. It is no wonder culture vultures from all over the world flock to this side of the globe in search of wonder and adventure. Walking through ancient catacombs, discovering remnants of ancient civilizations, snapping a selfie on a century old alley, here are some of the best places in Asia for the travelling culture vulture:


#1. Laos

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Laos

This is one of the less commercialized travel-destination in Asia. You don’t have to fight your way through large groups of tourist when exploring the beautiful landscape of this quaint little mountainous country. Laos is wedge between Vietnam and Thailand and offers a more ‘authentic’ Southeast Asian experience for travelers. The country is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Luang Prabang and Wat Phu. Backpacking through Laos is one of the best ways to get to know this bountiful country. The locals here adopt a more laid-back and relaxed lifestyle, you can’t help but to follow-suit and soak in all that Laos has to offer.

#2. Oman, Arabian Peninsula

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Oman

Oman is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Bahla Fort, a 13th century historic fortress located at the highlands of the country. The fort includes many towers, wells and mosque. The mud-bricks stone foundation and its intricately sculpted prayer niche showcase the remnants of ancient Omani Imamates who once reside here. This Arabian gem is so exclusive that it was only open to the public in 2012 and with very limited visiting hours.

3#. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Siem Reap

This is THE place to get your Indiana Jones on! Home to one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is a bustling hub of culture and wonder. Siem Reap offers a mixture of colonial and Chinese-style architecture which is highlighted in the Old French Quarter and Old Market. Culture vultures will have a hoot exploring the nearby fishing villages, Cambodian Culture Village, picturesque rice –paddy fields and local cuisine.

#4. Beijing, China

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Great Wall of China

Home to one of the seventh wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China and the majestic Forbidden City, Beijing is without a doubt a must on a culture-vulture’s travel bucket list. The city of Beijing is also home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, now that’s impressive. You can find some of the world’s most modern and ancient architecture in Beijing, a perfect blend of the old and the new.

#5. Malacca, Malaysia

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Malacca

Founded by a Sumatran Prince, Malacca was one of the greatest ports in Southeast Asia back in the 1500’s. Malacca is laced with remnants of when the Portuguese and Dutch during their colonisation of this Malaysian state. Besides the countless historical buildings and beautifully history infrastructure Malacca is also well-known for its Peranakan Cuisine. A feast for the eyes and your appetite Malacca does not disappoint.

#6. New Delhi, India

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - New Delhi

The city of New Delhi is a place of mystic and wonder, an education for all of the sense. The city is filled with relics from lost empires from way back when. A must-see for culture-vultures is the Red Fort, a magnificent sandstone carcass of a former British barracks. But sometimes in New Delhi, the lesser known streets and are the most rewarding, so don’t be afraid to go exploring around the city.

#7. Bali, Indonesia

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Bali

Besides being one of best island-destination in Asia, Bali has also build up a reputation for its breath-taking landscape made up of volcanic mountains, glistening rice paddies and ancient temples. Culture vultures can expect rugged coastlines and white sandy beaches, a chance to explore and relax at the same time. There’s nothing more exciting than an island getaway!

#8. Rajasthan, India

Best Places for Culture Vultures in Asia - Rajasthan

Some say that Rajasthan holds more history of India than any other place in the country. It is the land of kings, and rightfully so. The city was once home to the Rajputs a warrior clan who had controlled over India for over a thousand years. They are said to have originated from the sun, moon and fire. That’s quite an interesting story for any culture vulture to pursue.


So there you have culture vultures, some of the best places in Asia to explore and discover. What do you think? Leave a comment below and share your travel experiences with or check out some of the personalized travel itineraries to Asian destinations here:

Travel Inspiration 2

  Happy Travelling Guys!

Touristly is now live! Check out four amazing trips our members have created.

Touristly

Planning a holiday can be an exciting experience if you have the right tools and information. We have great news for all aspiring travelers because Touristly is now live in Beta. Check out our trip planner that is designed to make travel planning a whole lot easier. Now travelers can discover the best experiences in destinations all over world on one convenient platform. Travelers can then add these experiences into their travel itinerary in minutes.

It’s as simple as that!

You won’t have to browse through dozens of review sites and spend hours jotting down the best activities. Our goal is to make the travel planning process easy and fun so you can have an unforgettable holiday. We’ve already rolled out a list of amazing experiences in 28 different destinations across the region and we’ll be adding more in the coming months.


Need some travel inspiration? Check out some of the trips already planned on Touristly below. Pssst … You can even copy these trips for your own holiday!

6D5N Hong Kong 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a unique travel destination with a versatile blend of cultures, tantalizing culinary delights and a mixture of modern and traditional architecture. This itinerary is a little unconventional but if you think about it, it is a pretty nice way to enjoy Hong Kong. The first half of the trip is spent visiting all of the must-see places in Hong Kong, the second half is left for some leisure sight-seeing.

Day 1: Visit to the Peak followed by a Dim Sum Tour
Day 2: Let your inner child run free at Hong Kong Disneyland
Day 3: Get up close and personal with exciting marine like at Ocean World
Day 4: Visit famous landmarks such as Big Buddha Statue, Star Ferry Pier and Lantau Island
Day 5-6: Leisure sight-seeing

Check out the full itinerary here: https://touristly.com/trips/210

3D2N Singapore 

Singapore

This travel itinerary to the Singapore a.k.a The Lion City. Magnificent skyscrapers, modern infrastructure and countless shopping opportunities it is no wonder why Singapore is a favorite amongst travelers from all over the world. This traveler decided to start off the trip with some local delicacies which is never a bad idea.

Day 1: Chinatown Adventure Food Tour
Day 2: A visit to the world class Singapore Zoo followed by a tour of the city
Day 3: Visit to Gardens by the Bay

Check out the full itinerary here: https://touristly.com/trips/473

Muddy Confluence 

kuala lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is one of the most beautiful cities in Southeast Asia. The mixture of cultures and traditions is fascinating, and not to mention the food. This itinerary starts off with a delicious food tour and a tour of one of Kuala Lumpur’s pristine countryside. Here’s more:

Day 1: Eat your way through the streets of Kuala Lumpur on the ‘Off the Eaten Track’ Food Tour
Day 2: Embark on a private tour of Cameron Highlands and enjoy the cool-fresh air
Day 3: Take a Night Tour of Putrajaya, The World’s First Intelligent Garden City followed by a relaxing foot massage courtesy of Footloose At Home Spa
Day 4: Get wet and wild at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

Check out the full itinerary here: https://touristly.com/trips/219

Sawadeekap!

bangkok

Bangkok is a vibrant city; a melting pot of culture, cuisine, traditions and religion. This itinerary kicks off with an authentic Thai cookery course a tantalizing way to get to know the Thai culture – through its cuisine. Here’s more:

Day 1: A day of cooking – Thai Cookery Course
Day 2: Embark on a tour of River Kwai and Kanchanaburi
Day 3: Discover Bangkok’s Chinatown under the evening sky on a Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery Tour
Day 4: Spend the morning at Damnernsaduak Floating Market

Check out the full itinerary here: https://touristly.com/trips/271

So there you have it, some of the trips already created on Touristly. Want to see more or even create your own trips visit Touristly.com today. Happy travelling 😉 

Take a look on the other side …

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Serene, calming and peaceful isn’t it (photo above), so where do you think this is? Somewhere in the Swiss Alps, New Zealand? Maybe Scotland? Nahhhh … This is Zanskar Valley located in India, that’s right India, it’s not all crowded and Bollywood-like. This country has so much more to offer than just spicy curries and colorful sarees. Click here to see more of the other side of excotic India 😉

I’m broke in the land down under …

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Who says you can’t have fun in Sydney on a budget. Here are 50 things you can do in Sydney under $50!