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Video: Western Australia highlights

My trip to Western Australia in December covered many miles of the country’s coastline from Hamelin Bay in the south to Exmouth in the north. It’s a vast area, taking in beaches, reefs, vineyards and the fabulous city of Perth. I’ve already written at length about it, but I’ve also condensed it into a minute-long video, complete with appearances from a kanga, a quokka and my extended family on bikes. Enjoy!  

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How to make the most of a 23-hour Hong Kong stopover

The primary reason I booked my flights to Australia in December with Cathay Pacific was that I had unfinished business in Hong Kong, the airline’s hub. I flew to Hong Kong when I travelled to Shenzhen and Shanghai last year for work, but the moment I landed I was scooped up by a people carrier and escorted across the border into mainland China. With my nose pressed against the window I watched as the towers and bridges and unfamiliar geography passed me by. I’ve always been fascinated by Hong Kong because at one point my parents were going to move there — it…

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Swimming with wild dolphins

The year was 1996 and Wannabe was overtaking the Macarena as the school disco hit du jour. I had recently mastered long division and was obsessed with the film Flipper starring a young Elijah Wood. All I wanted to do in life was swim with dolphins, and sure, that film might be responsible for planting the idea in my eight-year-old head, but it’s something I’ve dreamed about ever since. Well, I have some news. It’s taken me almost twenty years, but I finally made that dream come true. I was pretty open minded about how I would spend my time…

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Adventures with barn owls

England is many things — it is green, it is pleasant, it is disarmingly pretty in places and breathtakingly grand in others. One thing it is not, though, is exotic. This is a fact best supported by the obvious lack of venomous, virulent and predatory fauna we have to fear. But even if British wildlife is on the mellow side, there are still plenty of reasons to appreciate the creatures that make their homes in England’s hedgerows, waterways and woodlands. There is the feeling of victory when you spot a harvest mouse the size of your thumb in the undergrowth.…

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Life well travelled: family Christmas in Australia

  I can still remember the feeling of being a child and opening the first door on my advent calendar, popping the chocolate in my mouth and sighing at the deeply frustrating test of my patience that lay ahead. With 23 doors to go it felt like Christmas would never come. But of course come it did, nice and predictably right on schedule, just as it did every year. The wait I endured leading up to this last Christmas however has been far longer, more flecked with uncertainty and with more logistical roadblocks to overcome than any of those childhood…

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