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Sydney Travel / Australia Travel / National Park Travel / Sydney Harbour / Island Travel / National Parks / → All Tags
The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It’s in and amongst those large sites you’ll find the smaller secrets, and we’re sharing a few of our favorites all this week.
It’s pretty, as a garden island covered in palm trees, fresh-cut grass, wild tropical blooms would be, but it’s Shark Island’s location and serenity that truly makes this patch of only 3.7 acres something special in Sydney. By the way...there are no sharks; the island is so named due it's shape.
Shark Island has no buildings other than an open-air, Queen Anne-style picnic pavilion at its highest point and a few other scattered picnic alcoves. This betrays Shark Island’s chief activity; there’s nothing much else to do than lay on the beach or gaze out to the sailboat traffic of nearby Rose Bay.
You best review those freebie days for your national park visit once 2015 rolls around, as it looks like Uncle Sam and friends might be raising admission prices.
Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but the National Park Service is kicking around the idea of increasing admission costs. This would be the first time in eight years or so in which they have done something like this, so we can only assume it’s not something they decide quickly. The proposals for fee increases are due early next year, so it’ll be at least around spring before we hear anything official.
It’s never to early to start thinking about 2015, as there are trips to plan, tickets to book, and vacation days to take. That’s why we wanted to pass along the free offerings from the National Park Service, as once again they are offering up free entrance to plenty of parks across the country for several key dates.
Here’s what to expect for 2015:
· January 19—Martin Luther King Jr. Day
· February 14-16—Presidents Day Weekend
· April 18-19—Opening Weekend of National Park Week
· August 25—National Park Service Birthday (number 99 this year!)
· September 26—National Public Lands Day
· November 11—Veterans Day
Gone are your dreams of scenic instagram images during that awesome summer road trip, as it looks like there’s some new rules heading to the national parks across the nifty fifty.
Late last week the National Park Service announced that drones, unmanned aircraft, or whatever you want to call them will be banned in all areas controlled by the park service. That means no taking-off, flying, hovering, or another drone-y activities while in or around national park lands and waters. All in all the rules and regulations affect around 84 million acres of prime real estate across the country.
Adventure Travel / National Park Travel / National Parks / Great Sand Dunes National Park / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / → All Tags
Great Sand Dunes National Park at sunset
With the calendar now on June and nighttime temperatures becoming more consistent, camping season is upon us across most of the country. Things are moving a bit slower in Colorado, though, as the snow-filled winter has translated into a wet, spring runoff that has left campsites and surrounding trails soggy.
But that doesn't mean we can't have a good adventure while we wait for things to dry out. In this travel snapshot, we feature Great Sand Dunes National Park, located four hours south of Denver. When things have the potential to be wet and sloppy during the spring or late fall, seek refuge amongst the gigantic sand dunes, where it is sure to be warm and dry.
Canada Travel / National Parks / WiFi / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Nature Travel / Active Travel / → All Tags
Canada Parks is the group behind the new idea, as they’re responsible for keeping the signs looking good and taking out the tourist trash across almost 50 national parks and even more historic sites. Now they’re taking steps to improve the outdoor experience—at least in theory—as they’ll be installing WiFi hotspots across plenty of destinations.
National Parks / Adventure Travel / Alaska Travel / Philadelphia Travel / Landmarks / Presidential Travel / National Park Travel / → All Tags
National Park Week is upon us, which, on a grand scale, is a time to reflect on what an incredible job our country does at preserving its natural landscape. We are the world leader in this effort, especially when you consider the size of our country and how many cooks we have in the kitchen as compared to other nations.
Although vast open space is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of a National Park, the sites actually come in all shapes and sizes, and include monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and even the White House (President’s Park). And as you’ll see, some are even found in cities and take up less space than an apartment building. In total, the parks cover 84 million acres in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Movie Travel / National Parks / Bears / Earth Day / Animals / → All Tags
Disneynature is promising moviegoers will be on cute overload as Bears hit the big screen this last weekend.
The live action movie follows a year in the life of two young cubs as they are "are taught life’s most important lessons."
Disneynature's Bears was filmed in several national parks throughout the Alaska Peninsula. To honor the bears' habitat and celebrate Earth Day, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation for every ticket sold during the movie's opening week, April 18-24.
Adventure Travel / National Parks / Yosemite National Park / California Travel / Mariposa Grove / → All Tags
This year, Yosemite in California celebrates its 150th birthday, dedicating the entire year to its past, present, and future as a leader amongst national parks in the States.
It was the first time the Federal Government ever set aside a piece of land for preservation when Abraham Lincoln created the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Specifically, the grant protected Yosemite Valley, seen above from the classic "tunnel view" lookout, and Mariposa Grove, which harbors the huge sequoia trees found in southern part of the park (we'll take a closer look later this week).
It’s a new year and that means an entire set of new freebies when it comes to visiting national parks in and around the United States. Uncle Sam is once again throwing open the gates on certain days during 2014, so now’s the time to start planning on when to skip out of work.
The government usually just doesn’t give stuff away, so when they do it’s a good idea to take advantage of it. This year there are nine days in which you can leave the admission fee back at your house, and the very first of them is just about a week away. Things start on January 20, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the first free one of the year.
Here in the nifty fifty, we enter another week in which our government is out of order and services, departments, and centers continue to be closed. Last week we mentioned that one state was getting sick and tired of things, and now it looks like they’re not the only ones. Regardless of the bickering in the government , some states are taking the high road, as they’re working to open national parks, monuments, and other tourist hotspots.
Up first is the state of Utah, which plans to fund the opening of its five national parks. Utah has agreed to shell out around $165,000 per day to the National Park Service for the next ten days or so to open up Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion parks.
In New York City it’s the Statue of Liberty that’s reopening this week, as the state is coughing up roughly $60,000 per day to keep the torch lit. Arizona is opening up the Grand Canyon to visitors, and again, they’re doing it through private donations and state funding.
The state of Arizona is already sick and tired of this government shutdown bologna, and it's not going to sit around and watch its biggest assets lay dormant. The state isn't sending men in black suits to Washington, DC or anything like that, but it is trying to open up some of its natural attractions—and is prepared to foot the bill that comes along with it.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has offered up some cash and funding to the feds—state money, not her own—to keep the Grand Canyon up and running during the pesky government disagreement. Sounds like a reason for permit holders to celebrate, but unfortunately the federal government couldn’t care less. Apparently the National Park Service has rejected the state’s offer to help open the Canyon for business. Some local businesses also offered to pitch in, however, once again no means no.
Two Senators from the state are now getting involved, so stay tuned if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon anytime soon. We’re kind of thinking that the outside funding requests will eventually get their way, and that big hole in the ground will once again be up and running. Until then, you'll have to find something else to do in Flagstaff.