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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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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St Regis Venice: a palatial private island hideaway

As the pale waters of the lagoon licked the sides of the speeding boat, it was easy to forget that only moments ago I was caught up in the pandemonium of St Mark’s Square. Squinting in the heat of the early afternoon sun, I searched out the right jetty through a rainbow of bobbing, bundled-up umbrellas, held aloft by patient tour guides. I passed underneath the Starwood-emblazoned arch and onto the boat, immediately entering into a more peaceful, more elegant world. Our path to the St Regis was not straightforward and as we zigzagged across the lagoon, I made several…

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