TRAVELS WITH NINA

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

SOLO TRAVEL PODCAST

SOLO TRAVEL PODCAST

  I love setting out to see the world on my own. I know I’ve said it dozens of times before and you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it, but I love it so much that I want to encourage more of you to do it, too. Admittedly, I’m often forced into solo […]

NEPAL’S KATHMANDU VALLEY

NEPAL’S KATHMANDU VALLEY

I’m so damn grateful that the medium of video exists. There are just certain things that, when you’re travelling, are impossible to share via the written word.  Without video, I don’t think I could have conveyed to you guys the scope of how Kathmandu has been affected by last year’s earthquake. How the nightly aarti, where […]

24 HOURS IN JAKARTA

24 HOURS IN JAKARTA

Jakarta wasn’t at all how I expected it to be. I mean sure, the Indonesian megalopolis (try saying that three times fast) was crowded, traffic-choked and frantic. But in amongst the madness (which I’m always rather fond of anyway) I discovered a beating cultural heart that really surprised me. Here’s how I spent 24 fabulous hours in the Indonesian […]

THE ART OF SOLO TRAVEL

THE ART OF SOLO TRAVEL

I love to travel alone. I’ve journeyed everywhere from Russia to India, Zambia to Morocco, without anyone standing by my side. And I’ve relished every minute of it. People often ask how I fare all on my lonesome out in the big bad world. When I tell them how much I love it, I get some strange looks. But […]

LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA VIDEO

LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA VIDEO

I only got back from Malaysia a few days ago but I just couldn’t wait to share this little video I made about Langkawi, the jewel of the 104-island archipelago off Malaysia’s northwestern coast, with you guys. I was absolutely blown away by its jungle-clad mountains, mangrove forests and pristine beaches, that have earnt Langkawi Southeast […]

KAKADU VIDEO

KAKADU VIDEO

Welcome to Kakadu, a land of delirious extremes. Extreme heat, dry creeks and bushfires in the dry season. Extreme storms and miles of flooded country in the wet season. Extreme amounts of wildlife, including nearly one-fifth of Australia’s mammals, 120 species of reptiles and 300 kinds of birds. Extreme pink-hued sunsets across the wild escarpments, […]

PUSHKAR VIDEO: INDIA’S HOLY CITY

PUSHKAR VIDEO: INDIA’S HOLY CITY

Oh Pushkar, you had me at namaste. I mean, where else in the world will you meet people with names like Bird and Fern, who when asked where they’re from respond with, “originally the UK, but I’m a nomad now,” or more simply, “Planet Love”? Where else will you find 400 temples squished into a […]

MISSION TO MUMBAI: VIDEO

MISSION TO MUMBAI: VIDEO

Oh Mumbai, how I’d missed you. It had been two years since I’d seen you, and my heart was aching for you. I’d missed your chaotic overcrowded streets, your beaten up black and yellow taxis, your holy cows. I’d missed your Bollywood fever, your vibrant markets, your grimy gothic buildings. I’d even missed your smell: a mix of […]

ROAD TRIP: SAN FRAN TO LA

ROAD TRIP: SAN FRAN TO LA

Three days in gritty San Francisco, one in glitzy LA. A whirlwind trip filled with fantastic food and wine, epic vintage shopping and exploring – with the two dreamy destinations connected by one of the most stunning coastal drives in the world, Highway One. Here, a little taste of the adventure.   I travelled courtesy of Qantas […]

LOCAL’S GUIDE TO VANCOUVER

LOCAL’S GUIDE TO VANCOUVER

WHEN JULIA KHAN ANSELMO WAS LAID OFF FROM HER JOB, SHE — USED THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE THE LIFE SHE HAD ALWAYS DREAMED OF.  ENTER FEISTY FEAST, HER CULINARY GATHERING DEDICATED TO UNITING AND EMPOWERING WOMEN.  THROUGH FEISTY FEAST, JULIA BRINGS WOMEN TOGETHER OVER MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION, A BEAUTIFULLY STYLED ATMOSPHERE, DELICIOUS CUISINE AND INSPIRING SPEAKERS.  HERE, I CHAT TO HER […]

MISSION TO MOSCOW

MISSION TO MOSCOW

With a week on my hands between Mongolia and Turkey, I decided that rather than spend 50 hours jetting back to and fro Australia, I’d go to Russia. I’d been wanting to go for years. My grandma on my dad’s side was Russian so I’d always wanted to explore that part of my heritage. And besides, […]

AROUND THE WORLD IN SEVEN SONGS

AROUND THE WORLD IN SEVEN SONGS

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when it comes to travel, planning a journey can be almost as much fun as the journey itself. This is the time when your imagination runs wild, when the possibilities seem limitless, and when you spend every spare second getting into the zone of your next wanderings. For me, sinking into the vibe […]

TAO OF TRAVEL

TAO OF TRAVEL

This week I released the hand-crafted TAO OF TRAVEL bangles, created in collaboration with my legendary friend Brock Fitzgerald. But you might not really know what I mean by TAO OF TRAVEL. Essentially, it means travelling mindfully, as a way to discover more about yourself and the world. It means engaging in slow travel, having no set agenda […]

24 Hours in Bingin

24 Hours in Bingin

First, a disclaimer. 24 hours is not – I repeat NOT – enough time to spend in Bingin, a cliffside beach town on Bali’s south coast and one of the best surf breaks on the island. 24 days would be more appropriate. But if, like me, you only have one measly day to spare in this tropical idyll, here’s how […]

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT LOMBOK

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT LOMBOK

It’s official: Bali’s got nothing on Lombok. The beaches in Lombok, the jewel in the crown of the 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia’s Nusa Tenggara archipelago, are cleaner and less crowded. The roads are better and have barely any traffic on them – in fact the main traffic you’ll have to contend with is the […]

GILI MENO, JUST FOR ONE DAY

GILI MENO, JUST FOR ONE DAY

We only spent half a day on Gili Meno. Just a flash, really. A squiggle between the lines of our Indonesian adventure. But while it was one hell of a tease, it was definitely better than nothing. Especially when that one day involved snorkelling through crystal-clear waters, feasting at seaside restaurants, lounging at shell-encrusted beach bars and being pulled around in horse-drawn […]

SERAYA ISLAND, FLORES: HOTEL REVIEW

SERAYA ISLAND, FLORES: HOTEL REVIEW

Flying into Flores, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands off the east coast of Java, Indonesia, I did something I never do. I took one of those cheesy photos out the plane window. I couldn’t help it. The islands dotted off the coast of Flores are breathtaking. One in particular I couldn’t stop staring at; a perfect […]

PHUKET: IN THE LAP OF LUXURY

PHUKET: IN THE LAP OF LUXURY

Phuket, you have blown my mind. I arrived fearing badly behaved bogans and trashy nightclubs, but all I experienced in my (admittedly short) five days on your shores was luxury beyond my wildest imagination, lush wildlife and hidden bays, rich culture and food so good my tastebuds are still vibrating. It may have helped that I stayed at possibly […]

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: TRAVELOSOPHY

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: TRAVELOSOPHY

“On the road again Just can’t wait to get on the road again…“ Sorry, getting a bit carried away with Willie Nelson there. It was the great man’s birthday yesterday so I guess I’m allowed. But yes I’m heading off again next week, first to Thailand to review the stunning Sri Panwa resort in Phuket, then to […]

TREKKING IN NEPAL

TREKKING IN NEPAL

Trekking through the Himalayas is one of those bucket list trips, right? Up there with seeing the Northern Lights, visiting the Galapagos Islands and walking the Great Wall of China? Well it can be. If you’re prepared, that is. And if you’re not? Hmm. As I discovered on a recent four-day trek in Nepal to […]

2015 TRAVEL WISH LIST

2015 TRAVEL WISH LIST

It’s been a deliciously quiet couple of months spent celebrating the festive season with family and friends, camping at magical Little Beach, moving into our new house in the country, and getting as much salt water healing as possible. After a year spent buzzing around the globe, some nourishing home time has been exactly what the […]

HOW AN ‘AWAY MARRIAGE’ WORKS

HOW AN ‘AWAY MARRIAGE’ WORKS

So this travel writing thing. How does it work when you’re in a relationship? How does it work when you’re married? This is something I get asked about. A lot. Many other travel writers I meet are single – in fact a good chunk don’t have permanent homes – in order to free themselves up to […]

2014 TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

2014 TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

Its been a big year. After relocating from India, I went back to my full-time job as staff travel writer at the Sydney Morning Herald. I slogged it out on four titles at once, left said job, turned 30, and starting pimping my arse out as a freelancer. All the while, I battled an army […]

LOST LUGGAGE LESSONS: TRAVELOSOPHY

LOST LUGGAGE LESSONS: TRAVELOSOPHY

So a couple of weeks ago I went to Zambia on safari with luxury safari company Bench International. I was excited about the wildlife I’d see, the luxe glamps I’d stay in, the people I’d meet. But most of all, I was excited about packing my bags. Animal print and khaki are two of my favourite things […]

ANTIBES ON A BUDGET

ANTIBES ON A BUDGET

ANTIBES, COTE d’AZUR: 5 WAYS TO PIMP IT ON A BUDGET Ahh, the Cote d’Azur. The land of chic seaside towns, fine food and even finer wine, and more millionaires than you can throw a yacht at. The playground of the rich, famous and tanned, that’s just the place to private jet to when you’ve […]

SAFARI STATE OF MIND

SAFARI STATE OF MIND

Our six-week honeymoon to the east coast of Africa was over three years ago now. But, like any epic journey, this one is imprinted in my soul and I’ve never quite managed to shake the desire to get back to those wild plains. I was leafing through my journal from the trip yesterday and found a time-logged safari […]

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

I’m often being asked what my travel must-haves are, the essentials I don’t leave home without. Ok, that’s a lie. People never ask me. But people do often ask me why, when I travel so often, I haven’t mastered the art of the light pack. Why don’t I simply throw an LBD, a pashmina and a pair of kitten heels in […]

PNG VOLCANO HIKE

PNG VOLCANO HIKE

So here I am, frozen halfway up Tavurvur Volcano in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. The Beast had looked so small from the shore. So easy to climb. I’d be up the top in fifteen minutes, I’d told myself. No need to take water, no need to wear sunscreen, pfft! Alas, half an hour after I’d started trudging through […]

TRAVEL APPS ON SKY NEWS

TRAVEL APPS ON SKY NEWS

Once every couple of months this year I’ve been appearing on SKY Business News for a segment about travel apps. SKY got in contact with me because they’d been reading the app column I write in Traveller’s upfront Check-In section about which apps are hot and how they work. I’ve done a fair bit of […]

ADELAIDE’S MCLAREN VALE WINE REGION

ADELAIDE’S MCLAREN VALE WINE REGION

We’re surrounded. By vines, that is. Being in the heart of South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, it’s probably to be expected, but The Vineyard Retreat has us truly ensconced. In a region where stalwarts reign and new offerings rarely emerge, the reopening of the retreat following extensive refurbishment in January has been causing a […]

SLUMCAT MILLIONAIRE: INDIA

SLUMCAT MILLIONAIRE: INDIA

It was a dark and stormy night. The city was Mumbai, the time 1am. My husband and I had been out with friends, and as they dropped us back to our seaside apartment in Colaba (where we lived for nine months) we’d invited them to step out of the idling taxi to catch a glimpse of […]