Category Archives: Animals

Australia Wild Islands – The Video

Well, it took a week to upload that video from India’s on & off Internet connection (thanks to the Monsoon), but hopefully you will appreciate watching it;-)

The video of our trip to Fraser island north of Brisbane, the largest sand island in the land and a beautiful piece of nature where the sand meets the forest and sea. Then Lady Elliot island, the most isolated island on the south of the Great Barrier Reef, with an incredible flight to get there, and mind blowing reef and marine life! Memories that the family will keep for a long time with lots of footage filmed from the sky!

 

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Wild Fraser & Lady Elliot Islands

Brisbane was supposed to be the last stop of the Australian journey, but to leave on a wilder impression (we were still on the impression of an overcrowded coast), we decided to go to Fraser island, and then a surprise destination…

Fraser island was a short but intense experience. The ferry crossing from Hervey Bay allows to reach the world’s largest sand island, a sanctuary for wildlife… a 4WD! Indeed, it’s a popular destination for people how want to get into the wild by accessing remote beaches with a vehicle, which is needed because of the huge size of the island, more than 100 km long. There are plenty animals to watch in the sea and on the land, including the potentially dangerous Dingos (wild dogs, closer to wolves) which is normally preventing to go alone for hikes (which Delphine did).

I was lucky to finally get some wind for a good kitesurfing session in shallow waters and a beautiful scenery of forest and sand dunes ending into the sea. Kids could enjoy a short stay in the resort, getting some good food and playing in the pool: I guess they needed that;-)

After Fraser island, we went for a little surprise for the whole family. In the morning, I brought them to the small Hervey Bay airport, and everybody quickly understood we were off to an island. After an hour of a scenic flight over Fraser island and the beautiful sand formations that look a little bit like the “Cap Ferret” in France, we landed in Lady Elliot island, the most isolated island on the Great Barrier reef that you can only access through a private plane landing on a small strip of grass…. The trip to the island is already amazing, but visiting it was even more impressive. Perfect coral beaches without any waste, pure water hundred miles away from the shore, amazing live corals and marine wildlife, and of course sunset like nowhere else… Lady Elliot a Unesco World Heritage site, and it is really deserved as this place is really nature’s heaven, protected from pollution, with wildlife also carefully protected. The island is famous for diving and snorkeling, so we did: several snorkeling safaris where the guides take you to the spots where the marine life is most active at a given time, which allowed us to see huge manta rays (some were certainly beyond 5m wide), big schools of fish, many turtles… We only missed the dolphins that came early in the morning and didn’t come back when we were there, but overall, the island hold it’s promise of showing nature in a spectacular form! We really hope this place will be preserved from the massive coral bleaching that is happening on the rest of the Great Barrier reef, largely due to the rapid increase of water temperature (of course linked to global warning), even if this phenomenon can not totally be explained at this stage.

The 2 days spent on the island where really out of time, and we felt almost alone as the accommodation of the island was far from being full, a benefit of travelling off season. One of the highlights of this world tour!

Immediately after landing back in Hervey Bay, we drove overnight to Brisbane to take a looong journey to our next destination: India! See you there!

A video should come soon if we get a normal Internet connection!

Australia Road Trip – The Video

4000 kms road trip from Melbourne to Noosa Bay, discovering beautiful nature, from cold Tasman sea climate to tropical bays north of Brisbane. Long roads, many hikes in natural parks, theme parks, surfing… and loooong moments stuck in the campervan practicing survival skills!

This is our Australian road-trip story.

Melbourne to Sydney road-trip

We left Melbourne with a pretty bad weather, and we were impatient to find some sun on the road to Sydney!

We stopped in the beautiful Wilson’s Promontory park where we could see plenty wildlife: Kangaroos, Wallibies, Ostriches, dozens of birds including the famous laughing Kookaburras (that do indeed laugh), and the cutest animal ever: Wombats! This place is truly amazing, and off-season, we could have it for ourselves. But the weather still being cold, we headed straight to Sydney!

The road was quite tiring, with Kangaroos jumping in front of the car, and unfortunately, dozens lying dead along the road, together with Wombats that also suffer from these roads cutting their habitat…

We arrived in Sydney where we had to deal with a number of issues, like a dead computer, and getting visas for India, which took 2 days, 3 attempts, and 8 hours total in the worst bureaucratic private company we had ever seen. We still hoping to get those visas on time!

Appart from those usual world traveler duties, we could enjoy what must be one of the coolest city in the world: young, dynamic, cosmopolitan, and surrounded by nature! We could attend the kickoff of the Vivid Festival, an amazing Light show across the city where the main buildings are transformed in art at night.

But the highlight was certainly our 2 days in the Blue Mountains. We initially were a bit scared by the proximity of the Highway that is getting people into this “World Heritage” natural park, but once you leave one of the numerous lookouts along the highway, you really quickly enter beautiful nature, and despite the crowds and dozens of tourists’ buses (mostly Chinese tourists) arriving there, we could do two hikes almost alone, as we were of course taking the “off the beaten track” trails, including the 3 sisters rock trail that is revealed only to those daring the 900+ steep stairs going down!

We could also meet our good friend Tom, the Marketing Director of South Pole Group, the company that we used to offset our Carbon footprint. We had passionate debates about Carbon compensation and how the world should move to go towards a more sustainable economy. The conclusions were not too enthusiastic, but we are still doing our best to travel with the lowest possible today.

We are now heading to the Gold coast and Sunshine coast, and we hope they are well named, because cold weather stuck in a camper-van is not fun (see Jade’s latest video telling all the truth;-) !

Here is the Melbourne To Sydney Photo Album with some highlights below!

NZ South Island Dream

ENGLISH: After a full week in Queenstown enjoying mountains and lakes, we took the road to the west towards Milford Sounds in the “Fjordland National Park“.

We crossed many landscapes that seemed to be scenes from the “Lord of the Rings” movie (it was indeed shot a lot in that region), with grandiose & wild mountains, endless rivers and lakes that compose pure nature poetry… We took a boat in the morning to with the Fjords, where mountain meet the ocean, and despite the bad weather, it was a memorable moment, sighting raw nature composition with countless waterfalls falling directly into the sea…

We then headed east to Dunedin , visiting the Otago Peninsula where we could observe Fur Seals in their natural habitat, enjoying the sun and fresh air of the early days of winter.

Further north to Chirstchurch, hiking the Banks Peninsula in deserted hills and secret coves where we could be alone with nature in untouched forests. Pure enjoyment.

Last, we stopped several days in Kaikoura know as one of the best surf spots on earth (Mangamanu bay famous rights over several kilometers), but also one of the unique place in the world where you are guaranteed to observe whales, as male Sperm Whales made their home in the Kaikoura underwater canyon where they can find food all year round. And we did see many of those rare whales, the largest toothed predator on the blue planet.

This long stay in the South Island exceeded our wildest expectations regarding encountering raw nature. NZ is magic!

Now heading back to the North Island to continue our NZ adventures…


FRENCH: Apres avoir passé quelques jours à Queenstown à profiter des montagnes et du lac…comme à Annecy mais en beaucoup plus sauvage, nous avons filé (autant que possible avec le camping car) vers Milford Sounds, dans le “Fiordland National Park“.

Les paysages pour y arriver étaient dignes du “Seigneur des Anneaux” des montagnes grandioses, sauvages, la nature à perte de vue, des rivières, des lacs et des moutons!
Nous avons pris un bateau le matin pour visiter les fiords… pays des montagnes et des cascades qui se déversent directement dans la mer. La végétation luxuriante et abondante habillait les parois rocheuses : magnifique spectacle de Dame Nature.

Nous sommes ensuite passés du côté Est de l’île sur la péninsule d’Otago à Dunedin. Nous avons eu la chance d’approcher des phoques sur une plage profitant du soleil pour faire la sieste… ils avaient l’air vraiment bien, lovés sur un nid d’algue ou carrément à l’ombre d’un arbre!

En remontant au Nord, nous nous sommes arrêtés sur la péninsule de Banks à proximité de Christchurch… Nous avons fait une ballade entre montagne et mer en traversant des forêts envoûtées pour notre plus grand bonheur!

Encore plus au Nord, à Kaikoura nous avons eu la chance de partir voir les cachalots géants. Il y a une communauté de cachalots mâles qui vivent dans les canyons sous marins au large de Kaikoura. Ces mammifères sont vraiment impressionnants, 15 à 20 mètres de long, se sont d’excellents nageurs, ils peuvent rester sous l’eau pendant 2 heures à une profondeur de 3000 mètres! Leurs queues sont comme nos empreintes digitales… uniques.

Nous avons vraiment tous adoré l’île du Sud, par sa nature sauvage et très variée…

Nous avons repris le bateau pour rejoindre l’île du Nord…

Kids in the Press!

ENGLISH: We are super proud to announce that the kids made it to the famous “Geo” for teenagers, the french equivalent of the National Geographic, where they could talk about their “Carbon Neutral World Tour” in their own words.

Their best memories, their worst, what they miss, and many more interesting thoughts on the Beautiful World Tour (but in french only;-)

Here is a copy of the 4 pages article with a PDF below to download it!

FRENCH: Nous sommes super fier d’annoncer la parution d’un article sur les enfants dans Geo Ado, 4 pages où ils racontent leur impression sur leur voyage “Eco-responsable”.

Leur meilleurs souvenirs, les pires, les amis et les choses qui leur manquent le plus…

A voir ci-dessus et avec le PDF en téléchargement: GEO_CarnetVoyage

GEON158P058_CarnetVoyage pour C2GEON158P058_CarnetVoyage pour C22

 

 

 

USA road trip completed!

We spent almost 2 weeks in the USA, going on a nice road-trip through California, Arizona and Nevada…

Needless to say that the kids loved it as this segment of the trip was specially designed for them with quite a few amusement parks and entertainment on the way… Disney World, Las Vegas, Universal Studios, Magic Mountain and more!

Quite different from everything we had done so far even if we also visited beautiful National Parks like the Everglades & amazing Grand Canyon!

It was great to see our family based here in Laguna Beach & Newport, and after this stop, we feel ready to go for our next destination: New-Zealand!

Here is the photo album that also includes our stop in Miami:

The full photo album is available here!

 

 

 

Wild Costa Rica – The Video

Our second stay in Costa Rica was definitely the best, probably because we escaped the surf beaches to focus on the natural reserves. From Arenal volcanoes in the north, to Platanillo’s forests in the center, and Corcovado Natural Reserve beautiful hikes and dives deep south, you will find the whole “Wild Costa Rica” experience in this video!

You can also find the full photo album here!

Now we are off to California! Stay tuned;-)

Diving Isla Cana – The Video

Dive with kids in the natural reserve of Isla Cana, the countries top dive site off Drake’s bay with tight usage restrictions to preserve the wildlife… and we did see plenty!

From sharks to turtles and huge schools of fishes, it was a good spot to get back to scuba-diving… Kids could give it a try: that’s the next challenge for them if we find countries that allow kids below 12 yo to dive (it seems you can only do it in France so far)….!

Into the Wild of Osa Peninsula

ENGLISH: After planting trees near Platanillo, we end up to Drake bay, an amazing spot for nature, wildlife and sea.

Most of the people arrive to this place by boat from Sierpe, but we did manage to arrive by car although we had to cross 3 rivers. Hopefully it was still the dry season, and the rivers had little water allowing to cross them easily: it is always fun to cross rivers by car!

We took a boat up to the Sierpe river among the mangrove and we saw slots, hurler monkeys, squirrels monkeys, a boa really big and impressive, iguanas and different kinds of birds. Amongst this variety we particularly loved to see the Scarlet macaw (Aras).
His huge and colorful plumes are amazing! Adults stay in couple their whole life, up to 70 years old!
Then we went diving on the Isla Cana natural reserve where we saw a lot of wildlife including some sharks that impressed the kids.
Finally, we hiked the Corcovado natural reserve that is an amazing place to observe wildlife. This national park protects varied tropical ecosystems, and this is really we saw the most animals, including rare ones.

Drake bay was a great place to stop by and enjoy preserved wildlife. We really enjoyed walking around desert beaches, swimming and hiking in the jungle. We hope it will stay untouched for the years to come.

FRANCAIS: Après avoir planté des arbres et retrouvé un peu de fraicheur dans les hauteurs de Platanillo, nous avons roulé jusqu’à la péninsule d’Osa.

Notre Guest House se trouvait à Drake bay, entre la mer et la réserve naturelle du Corcovado. Magnifique endroit très bien préservé où la grande majorité des personnes arrivent par bateau depuis Sierpe.

Nous avons pris la voiture et avons dû passer trois rivières qui à cette saison ont un niveau d’eau bas et que nous avons donc franchis facilement mais toujours avec plaisir!

Le parc naturel du Corcovado préserve un écosystème tropical. Les environs regorgent d’endroits pour observer la faune qui y est abondante, aussi bien terrestre que marine.

En bateau, nous avons remonté la rivière Sierpe, où nous avons pu observer les habitants des rives de la mangrove.
Nous avons pu observer : paresseux à trois doigts, singes hurleurs, singes capucins ou singes écureuils, un boa vraiment très bien caché mais impressionnant par sa taille, des iguanes, un basilic vert (ils courent sur l’eau grâce à sa rapidité) et même un crocodile de 3 mètres ça ne donne pas du tout envie de se baigner!!!

Nous ne nous sommes pas lassés d’observer les aras, magnifiques perroquets aux plumes longues et colorées de rouge, bleu, jaune et d’un peu de vert!

Nous avons profité de ce lieu aussi pour se promener le long des plages désertiques et découvrir la faune au cours de longues marches dans la jungle. Nous avons eu la chance d’observer le fourmilier et les enfants ont observé une sorte de loutre ou putois… nous n’avons pas réussi à trouver l’étrange animal!

Ballades, baignades, bateau, découverte de la faune…nous avons bien profité de ce lieu tranquille et magique!