Adventure & Exploration

Hook Line and Sinker

From deep blue to babbling brook, the popular Australian fishing series ‘Hook Line and Sinker’ returns for a tenth season.

Over the past decade Tassie-based hosts Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart have captured the hearts of fishing and outdoor enthusiasts with their wacky sense of humour, and this season sees the guys travelling across Australia and around the globe in search of the best fishing spots, exotic catches, plenty of fishing and cooking tips, and always having a good laugh.

Highlights coming up this season include:

* Fish the UK – the guys travel around in a Rolls Royce in search of fishing spots
* NZ hot spots – the best fish on offer and Andrew & Nick learn traditional fishing values!
* Follow the footsteps of Bass & Flinders, and can they drive a tinnie around Tassie?
* Outback fishing – in search of fish in Mt Isa
* Can an old project boat be turned into something a bit more beautiful?

I asked the duo to share some of their insights from the upcoming series.

Here are their thoughts on…

The best of old and modern techniques in fishing.

There’s a saying that if you want to catch a fish use bait, if you want to go fishing use a lure… In recent times there’s been an explosion in the popularity of sport fishing and you can easily spend a fortune on lures of all different shapes and sizes – and in the right circumstances they are very effective and fun to use, but if you really want to catch a fish, use a hook and some bait.

Keeping it sustainable, respecting the environment.

Fishing done well is the ultimate model of sustainability, both recreationally and commercially. Austraila has world’s best practice is setting quotes or bag limits, they are based on science and if followed will actually benefit the long term health of the fishery. It’s just a matter of not overfishing.

Favourite seafood, and most unpalatable (or strangest catch you’ve tried).

We are from Tasmania and we think the seafood in the cold Southern Ocean is the best eating anywhere! On a good day we catch a stripy trumpeter which is our favourite eating fish. Then go for a dive and catch a crayfish (Southern Rock Lobster) and an abalone. They are all super tasty and our favourites. Strangest thing we’ve ever eaten is a Mantus Shrimp in the Solomon Islands. Scary looking thing, but very tasty.

Surprising locations with exceptional fishing spots.

Big capital cities in Australia are really surprising locations. For example Sydney Harbour has a great fishery – its best to get up early before the rush of ferries, but we have caught kingfish, Mulloway and tuna all in sight of the Harbour Bridge!

Lessons from the locals (top three insights, could be recipes, traditions or techniques).

Local knowledge is key to succeeding and actually catching a fish. We have learnt this lesson many times of the years! Ask any locals, or local tackle shop – fisherman will generally like to talk about where they catch them all. They might not tell you exact spots, but they will give you some hints. Find out about most productive tide, time of day and bait.

And the minimum equipment one needs to land the perfect catch!

A line and a hook. That is all, and in fact just one little hook on the end of a line with bait is probably the best way to undo that fish of lifetime – the big fish which won’t bit anything else! You can increase your chances with some burley, then just drift down the bait with a hook in it and hold on!

The new series will air in Australia on 7Mate, Saturday’s at 2pm (starting on July 26th).

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Leading travel publisher, Lonely Planet, has created a new campaign incorporating items representing the breadth of amazing experiences that people can have while travelling.

“Lonely Planet’s Travel Month 2014 is all about celebrating the guidebook, from inspiring travellers to plan their next trip, to having amazing experiences and making smart choices while on the road,” says Lonely Planet’s Asia-Pacific Sales & Marketing Director Chris Zeiher. “With Australians travelling overseas in record numbers, we want to remind people how the simple guidebook can shape, inform and enhance your travel experience.”

As part of the campaign, consumers in Australia and New Zealand who purchase a specially-stickered Lonely Planet book from a participating retailer during the month of June have the chance to win more than $20,000 in travel prizes.

The promotional artwork for Travel Month 2014 showcases souvenirs and mementos collected by Lonely Planet staff members during holidays in Italy, Japan and the USA.

Visit: www.lonelyplanet.com/amazing-experiences for further details.

Savor the View Mushroom Foraging

Culinary programs increasingly draw attention to the origins of food—from wild source to harvesters hand, we are taken on a journey to meet the growers and explore the place of harvest.

This all serves to elevate our knowledge of produce and inspire new combinations of ingredients. But for some, it also unites a love for exploration with delights of the palate, food imbued with flavours of the land.

Here I present a selection of locations unique in produce and vista, encouraging you to ‘Savor the View’.

Botanical Bounty of Switzerland.

A paper* published earlier this year, surveyed ancestral traditions in the swiss alps. Exploring historical and present day uses throughout Lower and Central Valias, in Switzerland, researchers interviewed locals and identified a total of 98 edible wild plants, distributed into 38 botanical families. For the first time, providing a comprehensive account of the regions edible diversity, ethnopharmalogical relevance, and opportunity for diversification of mountain agriculture.

From this study we observe the cultural and culinary wisdoms of Switzerland, a destination of exceptional natural beauty. Perhaps a day on the hillside spent collecting Taraxacum official the common dandelion, to add to a salad or enjoyed as a medicinal (diuretic) and soothing (improves digestion) tea.

* J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Jan 10;151(1):624-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.022. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Natural Resources of New Zealand.

Foodie’s delight in the lush wilderness of New Zealand, where edible bounty and magical scenery are found in abundance. Johanna Knox, author of ‘A Forager’s Treasury’ (Allen & Unwin, 2013), offers one of the best resources for identifying plants and other wild foods in NZ, via her blog at: http://foragerstreasury.blogspot.co.nz.

Inspired by ‘A Forger’s Treasury’, we embrace the rich natural resources of this epic land. Perhaps a coastline stroll, gathering Rimurapa or Bull kelp (common to the cool waters south of Cook Strait) to blanche in boiling water and enjoy with fresh fish.

Edible Greens of Greece.

Mediterranean cuisine is synonymous with fresh, local produce and the countryside of Greece, is filled with flavoursome plants perfect for the picking. TV Chef Diane Kochilas, offers a glossary of edible wild greens on her website at: www.dianekochilas.com.

Peppery plants, savoury herbs, flavoursome flowers, leaves and bulbs, have been harvested from the hills by locals for centuries. Perhaps, an afternoon exploring the countryside foraging for wild fennel, which adds a lovely crunch to fresh salads. Or for a challenge, scour the rocky coasts in search of the elusive White upright mignonette (Reseda alba) a rare green, which makes a good filling for savoury pies.

Wild Mushrooms of Monterey Bay.

The oak-studded fields and damp forests of Monterey Bay boast fertile soils rich with wild mushrooms. A fungi feast for foragers hunting hidden gems in the depths of the forest—discovery being half the fun.

Devotees of this nutrient-dense, plant-food, culminate at the Big Sur Lodge in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park every February for the Big Sur Chanterelle Festival and Cook-Off. When colorful characters and their chanterelles gather with gusto to swop recipes and share their passion and knowledge of mushrooms.

Grab a wicker basket and warm jacket, and with your field guide head-out into the forest for some fungi hunting fun! Be bold with your bounty adding mushrooms to more than just soups and salads.

Try some of the recipes at: http://ediblemontereybay.com/online-magazine/winter-2011/winter-foraging/

Be careful what you cook, checkout this foraging guide: http://www.foragingguide.com

Desert Foods of Downunder.

Australia’s native bushfoods are enjoying a revival through modern cuisine, offering nutty and astringent qualities to savoury and sweet dishes alike. Growing under the arid skies of the outback, spiny, spiky, and peculiar plants, wild nuts and strange fruits, indigenous to the ancient landscape. The deep reds of this rocky outpost attract numerous tourists mesmerised by the dreamtime setting, but for intrepid foodies it is our wild foods which allure.

Go walkabout with the locals looking for Tanami Apple, a robust and spectacular member of the Bush Tomato family, native to the central and western deserts of Australia. Favoured by the indigenous people, who halve the fruit and dry it on a stick as a convenient travel food. It is said to taste similar to a melon or zucchini.

Expand your culinary repertoire and explore the ‘Native Tastes of Australia’ at: http://tasteaustralia.biz

Caroline Mytinger © Mytinger Project, LLC

In the brush strokes of the artist, a painted effigy of timeless culture.

Explorers share a sincere desire to understand and preserve through account or art the vanishing traditions of a people. Thus the expressions of an explorer convey a history of uncommon culture with abiding reverence.

Today, photographer Michele Westmorland relates the story of one such explorer, who’s visions enlightened and engaged a legacy of art and historical capture.

“Artist, Caroline Mytinger, realised the enormous impact that western influence was having on indigenous peoples and wanted to capture changing cultural traditions before they vanished forever. This led Caroline to Melanesia, where there are over 800 unique cultures. Caroline wanted to paint portraits of her subjects depicting the pride and dignity they deserved. As a photographer, I wanted to take photos showing that same sense of pride—to tell the story of change in Melanesia—to open eyes and minds to a place only a small population of the world even knows about.” — M. Westmorland

Michele’s Passion Project

‘Headhunt Revisited’ is a documentary film about the power of Caroline Mytinger’s art to span oceans and decades. The film retraces Caroline’s improbable journey to Melanesia in the 1920′s, then known as the land of headhunters, to paint portraits of the native islanders. 80 years later her paintings have inspired two contemporary artists. Motivated by Caroline’s art, Michele and Papua New Guinean painter Jeffry Feeger, have created their own modern interpretations of Melanesians. ‘Headhunt Revisited’ illustrates with paintings, photography and filmmaking, that all forms of art are instrumental in communicating stories of culture and tradition.

Learn more about the production, read highlights from the experience, and discover the art and history of Melanesia through the expressions of an explorer at: www.headhuntrevisited.org

Help Bring the Production to the People

The elements of this documentary are all but completed, but our support is needed to bring the production to the people. Launched this month on Kickstarter, a campaign to fund public broadcast of ‘Headhunt Revisited’.

2014 Trends in Travel - Whale Shark

As our world becomes more accessible the scope to explore and experience new cultures expands—but with so many destinations, where to begin?

I interviewed Lonely Planet’s Asia-Pacific spokesperson, Chris Zeiher to find out.

Where does your research suggest Australians will be travelling in 2014?

One of the consistently bestselling guidebooks in Australia recently has been Lonely Planet’s Japan, which indicates that many Australians will be travelling there in 2014. A combination of affordable airfares on low-cost carriers, a favourable exchange rate and a resurgence in popularity due to the destination’s post-disaster recovery are all significant contributing factors to Japan’s current popularity with Australians.

Traditionally popular destinations such as New Zealand, Indonesia (specifically Bali) and Europe remain high on Australians “must visit” list for 2014 and we’ll see significant volumes of Aussies travelling to these destinations. However, within Europe some of the itineraries are changing where some of the best value destinations can now be found in Mediterranean Europe. Therefore we’ll be seeing significant Australian traveller numbers visiting the likes of Greece, Spain and Portugal in 2014.

Additionally, South America – particularly Brazil – should receive significant volumes of Australian arrivals, who’ll be attending events such as the FIFA World Cup.

New York City, the world’s most-visited city, continues to be on top of many Australians lists and the demand for information and content to the Big Apple is at record levels. Additionally Lonely Planet has experienced unprecedented demand for content to Hawaii which has emerged as a great beach and family holiday alternative to Southeast Asia.

What travel trends are emerging in 2014?

With the recent political changes in Myanmar (Burma) and the relaxation of traveller restrictions to this destination, the more intrepid Australian travellers have this country on top of their “must visit” list. Tour companies such as Intrepid Travel have also recently introduced small group tours of Myanmar (Burma) assisting those who may not want to go it alone.

Demand on content to Cambodia and Laos has also spiked as those travelling to Vietnam are now wanting to venture further afield and border-hop to these nations. The rise of “voluntourism” (where a traveller participates in some form of volunteering whilst in destination) amongst Australian travellers is another contributing factor in the rise of popularity of these countries.

Domestically, Tasmania is now the best-selling of our Australian guidebook suite, surprisingly outselling our product to Sydney and Melbourne. Tasmania offers travellers a fascinating and diverse self-contained travel experience which is easily accessed by road, and where some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery and culinary experiences can be had.

Which destinations present the most unique photo opportunities?

For grandeur and scale we’d suggest the 1000km stretch of The Great Australian Bight where cliff upon cliff snaps Australia off like a broken cracker. For those off to New Zealand, the titanic kauri forests of Waipoua Forest in Far North of the North Island will inspire. And in Europe, the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean,” Stromboli, Italy – one of the active volcanic islands of the Aeolian Islands – offers some great action shots as it belches regular explosions of dust and steam.

For a unique wildlife photo opportunity we’d suggest swimming with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, which can reach up to 12m in length in The Maldives. As the whale shark’s diet consists purely of plankton, snorkelling and photographing these beasts the size of a bus can be done in safety.

What are the Top 5 mistakes people make when booking travel?

1. Not researching your destination

To avoid getting ripped off whilst you’re away, or falling for a fake photo of a hotel on a website, or putting yourself in unnecessarily risky situations, it’s essential for travellers to research where they’re thinking of travelling, and finding out what to avoid. We’d also advise that travellers need to be abreast of current travel warnings as posted on Smart Traveller (smarttraveller.com.au) to ensure they’re across any risks in their arrival destinations. Lonely Planet’s travellers’ forum Thorntree (lonelyplanet.com/thorntree) is another great resource for those wanting to liaise directly with other travellers about a destination.

2. Check your baggage allowance

Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline. Be sure that, especially if you’re transferring between carriers, to familiarise yourself with the baggage weight allowance on your ticket to ensure you’re not stung by an exorbitant excess baggage bill. Many airlines are now strictly enforcing cabin baggage allowances and weighing all hand luggage on check in. Checking this information and packing to these allowances will avoid unnecessary expense and embarrassment.

3. Check visa requirements

Some countries do require a visa to enter the country, which needs to be approved and paid for prior to departure. Often this involves sending your passport to a consulate and can take weeks to organise. Ensure all your visas are applied for in ample time prior to your departure date.

4. Check validity on your passport

Some countries require a minimum time prior to the expiry date on your passport (eg six months). Again, ensure that you’ve researched the entry requirements for the country you’re visiting and check your passport validity prior to applying for any visa or international travel.

5. Allow time between connecting flights

If you’re booking your own connecting flights on separate tickets, ensure that you’re allowing a minimum of two hours between connecting flights. Often the process of collecting bags, clearing customs, changing terminals and checking in with the new airline will be a part of the transfer process and this needs time. Also check the actual physical location of your connecting airline, as you may find that your connection is at a city’s alternative airport and a transfer between these terminals is required.

What culture and nature events top the list for 2014?

India’s cleanest state Sikkim tops the list of our Best Regions to visit in 2014. Sikkim’s emphasis on sustainable community based tourism and ecofriendly policies ensures this gorgeous pocket of the planet will remain unspoiled and able to be enjoyed by all. Organic farming is the new mantra in Sikkim with the region aiming to become a fully organic state – this results in travellers being able to sample gunk-free produce throughout the marketplaces and food halls in the region.

In a year dominated by big sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Winter Olympic Games in Russia and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, it’s destinations such as Sweden that are emerging as the cultural hotspots to visit in 2014. Sweden’s largest northern city, Umea, is the European Capital of Culture for 2014 and a good reason to head north from Stockholm or Goteborg. The pop-culture appeal of this destination, spearheaded by the popularity of chilly Swedish crime novels, is now drawing a very different kind of traveller to its shores.

Recommended Reading

Perhaps Chris has inspired the explorer in you, or a vacation is long over due—either way you won’t find a more unique or useful guide than Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’ (2014 edition). It is rich with ideas for adventure, and exciting destinations. With their wealth of knowledge and global network of guides, Lonely Planet captures the pulse of intrepid passion!

Grab your copy of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 at: http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/world/lonely-planets-best-in-travel-2014/