TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

MUMBAI AFTER DARK: GET LOST MAGAZINE

MUMBAI AFTER DARK: GET LOST MAGAZINE

  Home to the glittering Bollywood film industry, Mumbai, aka India’s City of Dreams, is a place where everything – the crowds, the noise, the traffic, the smells – is dialed up to 110… then bumped up another notch, just for the hell of it. It’s a chaotic, intoxicating and often confronting corner of the […]

HOKKAIDO, JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE: SMH TRAVELLER

HOKKAIDO, JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE: SMH TRAVELLER

The first thing I notice about Hokkaido’s celebrated red-crowned cranes is what wonderful bowers they are. Holding wings the colour of snow open to the sky, they bow their slender necks, flashing their crimson caps in all their inflamed glory. With an elegant sweep, the wings splice back down through the air and the cranes […]

PARIS 2017 CULTURAL CALENDAR: SMH TRAVELLER

PARIS 2017 CULTURAL CALENDAR: SMH TRAVELLER

Paris has long served as a muse for the rest of the world, with an arts and culture scene that’s more vibrant than almost anywhere else on earth. But while it’s true that this diversity of cultural offerings has drawn travellers to Paris throughout history, it’s also true that the past two years have not […]

Nepal: YEN magazine

Nepal: YEN magazine

There are certain corners of the globe that, just by travelling to them, make you a better person. Places that still your mind, open your heart, and help you feel a bit more at peace with yo’ bad self. Nepal is one of these places. Hell, it’s the queen of these places. And not just […]

HIKING TRAILS AROUND THE WORLD: SMH TRAVELLER

HIKING TRAILS AROUND THE WORLD: SMH TRAVELLER

LAUGAVEGURINN, ICELAND This four-day, 80-kilometre trek starts at Skógar in the south and heads north to Landmannalaugar, passing waterfalls, volcanoes and glaciers en route. Within the first two hours, in fact, you’ll pass 20 waterfalls, as well as the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, whose ash clouds closed airports throughout Europe for six days in 2010. Laugavegurrin translates […]

PERU: YEN MAGAZINE

PERU: YEN MAGAZINE

  Want to believe that magic is real again? Buy a beaded pom-pom hat and poncho, alpaca your bags (sorry), and book a trip to Peru. A country where the locals believe gods called apus live in the mountains, where you can create lightning with your bare hands (instructions later), and where you’ll find mountains […]

MEKONG CRUISE: SMH TRAVELLER

MEKONG CRUISE: SMH TRAVELLER

  There is a time in every traveller’s life when they will be asked to perform for a foreign culture. Be asked to sing their national song, tell a traditional story, dance the dance of their country. Here, on the banks of the clay-coloured Mekong river in Cambodia, I have just been asked to do […]

MONGOLIA: TRAVEL BULLETIN

MONGOLIA: TRAVEL BULLETIN

Mongolia is not for the faint of heart, our group leader warns us as we depart for the central Asian nation. Squeezed between China and Russia, it’s one of the harshest and most remote landscapes on earth. It’s a land that created warriors so fierce they conquered the largest empire the world has ever known. […]

INDONESIA: TRAVEL BULLETIN

INDONESIA: TRAVEL BULLETIN

If you could take a peek at the average holidaymaker’s mental world-map, Indonesia would most likely consist of Bali and not much else. The island has so captured our hearts with its wild surf beaches, floral temple offerings, chilled-out vibes and gentle, welcoming locals, that we often forget all about the rest of the country. […]

World’s Best Feel-Good Destinations: SHM Traveller

World’s Best Feel-Good Destinations: SHM Traveller

Travelling to renew our minds, bodies and spirits is nothing new. There’s the mention of the Dead Sea’s therapeutic waters in the Bible, 18th century elites were always soaking in one mineral spa or another, and people have been making spiritual pilgrimages all over the world for thousands of years. With our increasingly fast-paced modern […]

KAKADU: FLIGHT CENTRE

KAKADU: FLIGHT CENTRE

A word from the wise: if you’re planning a visit to Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory any time soon, you’ll need to be prepared. Prepared for the intense heat, with your Akubra hat, supersized bottles of water and 30+ sunscreen. Prepared for the huge amounts of wildlife you’ll encounter, […]

WORLD’S BEST TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: SMH TRAVELLER

WORLD’S BEST TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: SMH TRAVELLER

Travel photography plays an important role in our world. At its best, it can present our planet in a new light, helping us to understand it and encouraging us to make it a better place. It can encapsulate the feeling of a particular time and place, standing out in our minds like a bright spark […]

How travel professionals travel: SMH TRAVELLER

How travel professionals travel: SMH TRAVELLER

  THE TOUR OPERATOR Dennis Bunnik is the Adelaide-based managing director at Bunnik Tours, his family’s travel company where he has worked for 21 years. FOR MY JOB I TRAVEL TO PLACES SUCH AS Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas, destinations to which our company runs small group tours. I’m very lucky. In a […]

HEADPHONES: PARADISE MAG

HEADPHONES: PARADISE MAG

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 The updated Momentum 2.0 headphones are among the hottest available. They come with a more comfortable fit, thanks to more spacious and softer ear cups, a new folding design that makes them easier to store, and better sound than the original. The sleek leather headband means they look great, too. About PGK […]

GADGETS + TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

GADGETS + TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

Duffel bag As comfortable on a fashion runway as it is on an airport runway, Filson’s 48-Hour duffel is perfect for a weekend away or a short business trip. Use the outside zipper pockets to stash travel documents, mobile phone and wallet. Made from a scuff-resistant, rugged twill and saddle- grade leather, with two carrying options. About […]

EUROPE GUIDE: SMH TRAVELLER

EUROPE GUIDE: SMH TRAVELLER

Travel to Europe and you’re guaranteed to be captivated by its well-documented artistic and culinary diversity, its breathtaking landscapes and its compelling history. Sure, but how do you get behind the postcard beauty, the guidebook generalisations and the brochure hype? How do you find the amazing gelato in Rome? That secluded beach in Mykonos? The […]

SAN FRAN VINTAGE SHOPPING: SMH TRAVELLER

SAN FRAN VINTAGE SHOPPING: SMH TRAVELLER

As I jump out of my Uber on the corner of San Francisco’s Haight and Ashbury streets, I feel that all-too-familiar rush as I spy psychedelically painted shops and windows filled with old fringed leather jackets and tie-dyed T-shirts. A vintage shopping tragic, I’d dreamt about combing to this strip – the famed home of the […]

MOSCOW ARCHITECTURE GUIDE: ESCAPE, DAILY TELEGRAPH

MOSCOW ARCHITECTURE GUIDE: ESCAPE, DAILY TELEGRAPH

But St Basil’s is just one of many architectural masterpieces scattered throughout the city that are much more than just a feast for the eyes. From forts constructed to keep the Mongols at bay during medieval times, to opulent cathedrals built by mad Russian tsars during the imperial era, to the razing of these cathedrals […]

AMSTERDAM GUIDE: SHEIKE

AMSTERDAM GUIDE: SHEIKE

WHAT TO DO Hire a bike and do as the locals do, cycling down Amsterdam’s cobbled streets with the wind in your hair as you pass 200-year-old canals lined with bobbing houseboats, and picturesque townhouses where window boxes overflow with vibrant flowers. If the sun is shining, ride through the city’s green heart, the Vondelpark, […]

MARRAKESH GUIDE: SHEIKE

MARRAKESH GUIDE: SHEIKE

WHAT TO DO Journeys to Marrakech should always begin in the famous Jemaa el-Fna square, which teems day and night with storytellers, jugglers, snake charmers, musicians, monkey tamers, medicine men and more. Head to the upstairs terrace of Cafe Glacier for the best view. After a cool drink, you’ll be ready to explore the chaotic […]

TEN REASONS TO VISIT FLORES: YAHOO7 TRAVEL

TEN REASONS TO VISIT FLORES: YAHOO7 TRAVEL

If you’re not a die-hard diver, chances are the name Flores won’t ring any bells for you. But it should – especially if you’re on the hunt for the next undiscovered destination. This mini archipelago in eastern Indonesia, that’s just an 80-minute flight from Bali, offers everything anyone wanting an escape from reality might crave: […]

World’s best places to shop: SMH TRAVELLER

World’s best places to shop: SMH TRAVELLER

Let’s get one thing straight: shopping, when indulged in overseas, is not a fickle pastime. More often than not, and particularly when you ignore mega-malls and delve into markets and specialty stores, it’s a key to a city that unlocks doors to its history, craftspeople and secrets. It’s a hall pass to buying unnecessary items […]

Sydney’s Best Hiking Trails: MASTERCARD

Sydney’s Best Hiking Trails: MASTERCARD

Spit Bridge to Manly Beach Start this three hour trail by traversing the Spit Bridge, checking out the sleek yachts glistening on the water. You’ll weave through bush tracks past idyllic bays and coves, with views over the sparkling ocean to Middle Harbour, moving into subtropical sections of bush dotted with palm trees near Clontarf. […]

SHOPPING IN MARRAKECH: SMH TRAVELLER

SHOPPING IN MARRAKECH: SMH TRAVELLER

“You know the other name for Marrakesh, don’t you? ‘More cash’, because you always need more money for shopping here!” It’s a fitting line delivered bang on time by my guide, Abdellah Amghar, from Australia-based Moroccan tour company By Prior Arrangement, as we enter the narrow, chaotic streets of the Marrakesh souk district inside the […]

BEYOND THE MALLS: SMH TRAVELLER

BEYOND THE MALLS: SMH TRAVELLER

WHY HERE A restored 350-year-old mansion in the centre of India’s most romantic city, housing 16 cavernous galleries crammed with Rajasthani treasures.   NEED TO KNOW The family-owned Ganesh Emporium experience begins with finding the place. You’ll be browsing the small shops lining City Palace Road (Udaipur’s main drag which leads to the magnificent granite and marble […]

HOT SUNGLASSES: PARADISE MAG

HOT SUNGLASSES: PARADISE MAG

Revo Raconteur When the first pair of Revo sunglasses was created in 1985, they used lens technology developed by NASA as solar protection for satellites. Today, the company continues to create some of the clearest and most advanced high-contrast polarised sunglasses available. The Raconteurs, which come with a choice of chic gold, gunmetal or chrome aviator-style frames, also come with the option of green water lenses, which boost […]

GADGETS AND TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

GADGETS AND TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

Roll-up backgammon set Travel means waiting, and lots of it. Best to keep yourself entertained with Pickett’s beautiful, handmade roll-up backgammon set, made with fine British leather and available in eight different colour combinations. Includes a zipped compartment that holds nickel and leather counters and dice, leather fastening ties, and a weighted metal bar at the end so it lies flat when open. About […]

HONG KONG: SMH TRAVELLER

HONG KONG: SMH TRAVELLER

Hong Kong is a city in constant transition. A financial juggernaut and one of the most densely packed cities on earth, it’s a future-metropolis with a desperate desire to move forward. Constantly sprouting up between the stark metal and glass buildings and furious traffic jams are fresh things to see, do and experience. Whether it’s new […]

GADGETS AND TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

GADGETS AND TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

Pendleton straw hat A travel hat that’s practical and stylish? Yes, they do exist. Case in point, Pendleton’s packable straw outback hat that has a classic look (note the brim and chic leather band) and is crafted from linen and seagrass with vents on the side crown to keep your head cool whether you’re in […]

TOP TRAVEL CAMERAS: PARADISE MAG

TOP TRAVEL CAMERAS: PARADISE MAG

Nikon D5300 If you feel as though it’s time to graduate from a compact camera to a DSLR, the Nikon D5300 will help make the transition smooth. The entry-level DSLR has a 24-megapixel resolution and omits an optical low-pass filter, which basically means sharper images, which you can check out on the go on the […]

AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE GIFTS: VIRGIN VOYEUR

AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE GIFTS: VIRGIN VOYEUR

MELBOURNE WHO: ANDREW WALSH GIFT: MELBOURNE TOY TRAM Shake the gift boxes under Andrew Walsh’s Christmas tree this year, and you will likely hear the rattlings of a small wooden toy tram from the Melbourne Museum. “For something that says Melbourne, you can’t get much better than a tram,” says the artistic director of Melbourne’s White […]

10 MUST-HAVE TRAVEL APPS: PARADISE MAG

10 MUST-HAVE TRAVEL APPS: PARADISE MAG

Trip Rider With a stylish vintage design and ability to work offline, Trip Rider is a just that little bit better than most other travel notebook apps. It has a great array of trip-planning functions including packing, expense, itinerary and map sections, and lets you add travel companions so you can all access the trip details. […]

GADGETS & TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

GADGETS & TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG

Grid-It organiser Eliminate dreaded bag clutter with the cleverly designed Grid-It accessory organiser. The rubberised web of elastics inside the pouch holds chargers, cords, headphones, stationary and gadgets in place, ensuring they won’t end up in a befuddling tangle. There’s also a zipped pocket at the back to hold paperwork or, depending on the size, an […]

SYDNEY GLAMPING + TREKKING: SMH TRAVELLER

SYDNEY GLAMPING + TREKKING: SMH TRAVELLER

When we live somewhere for too long, we grow dull. We stop noticing our surroundings with that childlike awe we reserve for exotic, foreign cities. Having lived within walking distance of Balmoral Beach, Taronga Zoo and some of Sydney’s most stunning coastal walks for most of my life, I should know. No matter how vibrantly […]

SINGAPORE’S ART SCENE: SMH TRAVELLER

SINGAPORE’S ART SCENE: SMH TRAVELLER

Think of Singapore and behemoth shopping malls, the Merlion, Singapore Slings and a distinct lack of chewing gum will probably all come to mind. But art galleries? Maybe not so much. That’s all changing, however, thanks to a state-led effort to promote the “Lion City” as one of Asia’s largest cultural and artistic hubs, with […]

INDIA FOR BEGINNERS: SMH TRAVELLER

INDIA FOR BEGINNERS: SMH TRAVELLER

India is everything, and more, all at once. It’s a visual explosion of bright saris, lumbering cows, marigolds and bursts of sunlight. A constant cacophony of beeping horns, high-speed Hindi and the cawing of thousands of crows. A melange of smells – of incense, spices and, ahem, more human smells. And while Mother India, with […]

KANGAROO VALLEY ESCAPE: SMH TRAVELLER

KANGAROO VALLEY ESCAPE: SMH TRAVELLER

The spotlight pans the inky wilderness, scanning the scrub for signs of life. Our guide for tonight’s nocturnal safari swears she saw something skittering through the dusk, but what it was and where it’s gone, she can’t be sure. What we can be sure of is what it wasn’t: a lion, an impala, a jackal. […]

MELBOURNE’S THEATRE SCENE: SMH TRAVELLER

MELBOURNE’S THEATRE SCENE: SMH TRAVELLER

It’s a truth universally acknowledged – except by many a proud Sydneysider – that Melbourne’s theatre scene is better than Sydney’s. As the unofficial culture capital of Australia, Melbourne is our nearest equivalent to London’s West End. Many of the major shows, from Wicked to Mary Poppins, Jersey Boys to King Kong, open in Melbourne, […]

20 REASONS TO VISIT AUCKLAND: SMH TRAVELLER

20 REASONS TO VISIT AUCKLAND: SMH TRAVELLER

1. Waiheke Island Spend a day on Waiheke Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, and you’ll probably end up planning a permanent move there. Fringed by 100 gorgeous white-sand beaches, it has a warm and breezy microclimate, making it the perfect home for 30 wineries and fledgling olive groves. For vinophiles eager […]