Land Rover Off-Road Driving: How to Safely Navigate Difficult Terrain

travel roadDespite the power and size of a land rover, many owners never take it off-road. Why waste a vehicle that can endure extremely harsh terrain in this manner? But if you’re looking to get your land rover off the pavement and drive on wild, untamed trails, make sure you know how to do it safely first. Remember, knowledge and preparation make the difference between a fun trip and a disaster.

1. General preparation tips – Things won’t always go smoothly. Before you leave for the countryside, make sure that you follow these preparation tips.

  • Bring your land rover in for maintenance no more than a week before taking it for an off road drive. The last thing you want is to get stuck due to an entirely preventable problem.
  • Gear your rover out for the harsh environment. Most land rover parts UK stores have a wide selection of off-roading equipment, such as bush kits, lighting, and heavy duty bumpers.
  • Bare essentials to bring: a full fuel tank, an emergency kit, a spare tire, a high lift jack, spare containers of water, shovel, tow ropes, maps, and two way radios if you’re not alone.

2. Know your vehicle – You will have to go through and around many different obstacles, such as tree branches, rocks, ditches, and shallow streams. To navigate past these without damaging your vehicle or getting stuck, you need to know its height, width, and ground clearance measurements. Make sure that your vehicle will not snag at any point from your approach to departure.

3. Pay attention to fragile parts – Most instances of damage during off-roading don’t come from frontal collisions, but from something hitting a fragile section of the vehicle. Pay close attention to the position of the fuel tank, engine sump, and the entire underside of your vehicle.

4. Get out and walk – For especially difficult terrain, see if you can get out of the vehicle and test the surface first by walking over it. Only do this if it appears safe to do so, and be sure not to leave your land rover in a dangerous position before getting out.

5. Maintain alertness and discipline – Keep an eye out and look as far ahead as you can. Drive as slowly as possible, but fast enough to clear obstacles. Don’t force anything; if it’s impossible to get past, reverse and look for another route.

Off-roading is a fun and exhilarating hobby for any land rover owner, but you should take every necessary precaution to ensure your safety.

The Trip of a Lifetime: Top 3 Activities for a Thrill Seeker’s Bucket List

bungee jumpingYou love to breathe fresh air, experience the wilderness, and scare yourself half to death.

Most people take a weekend getaway or a month-long vacation to get some rest and relaxation. For thrill seekers, however, the ideal escape involves pushing their limits and doing death-defying activities. The more they do it, the easier it becomes.

Do you still remember the last time you did something adventurous for the first time? Whether you’re an outdoor lover or an adrenaline junkie, the following activities will make your heart pound.

Rafting

Paddle your way through challenging twists and turns of a narrow river. The Grand Canyon, for instance, is one of the best places to try river rafting. Whitewater rafting can transform a quiet nature retreat into an exhilarating activity. One thing you’ll love about rafting is the chance to spend more time outdoors. No matter how difficult the trip might be, it will be comforting to know that there’s something amazing waiting for you in the end. It can be a stunning panoramic view or as simple as lovely wild flowers.

Bungee Jumping

Want to feel safe, but still have a thrill? Bungee jumping can be the perfect weekend activity for you to try. It will surely let you see the beauty of nature in an entirely new way. Bungee jumping is a great excuse to visit unspoiled areas and soak in some breathtaking scenery. It’s fun and can make you feel confident and empowered.

Hiking

If you don’t want your weekend to become boring, why not take it to the next level and try hiking? Taking the hard and long routes over a mountain is a one-of-a-kind adventure and yet it’s affordable. Sure, the thought of it may scare you, but the benefits of the activity will outweigh your fears. Hiking gives you an opportunity to get in touch with nature while having fun and seeking thrill with your friends.

For some adventurers, zip lining, biking, and surfing, may top their must-do lists. There are, however, many great reasons to avoid the common and try new things.

The Legend of Giant’s Hollow

Lake WakatipuThe Maori people are a fascinating indigenous Polynesian people prominent in New Zealand. They developed a unique culture with their own language, arts, and mythology. Even though the arrival of Europeans influenced significant changes in the culture, their traditions still hold strong in many regions of the island.

The mythology in particular is an interesting subject that has yet to break into mainstream consciousness. The Maori has all sorts of legends of how New Zealand came to be, most of them involving fishing and the seas.

One of the most prominent legends of the Maori people is about the origin of Lake Wakatipu. The lake is an S-shaped water body of water in the Southern Island, flanked by a mountain range appropriately named The Remarkables.

Wakatipu is now the location of the famous resort town Queenstown, where places like St. Luke’s Private Villas can be a person’s temporary home. The place makes for a perfect vacation spot, or a postcard photo. According to geologists, glaciers cutting through the land formed the lake 15,000 years ago, but the legends have a different take on the matter.

The story begins when Manata, the daughter of the local chief, was forbidden by her father to marry the love of her life – Matakauri. One night, a giant named Matau kidnapped Manata and spirited her away to the mountains. The chief was so upset that he promised Manata’s hand in marriage to the man that could rescue her. Obviously, Matakauri took up the challenge.

Using stealth and darkness, Matakauri rescued Manata and they were married. But, the brave hero wanted to make sure that the giant wouldn’t be able to come back and take his wife away again. So, he went to the mountains again and found the giant sleeping.

Matakauri lit a torch and burned the giant where he slept. The fire was so intense, it gouged a deep hole in the earth and melted the ice and snow from the surrounding mountaintops. The ensuing cataclysm formed Lake Wakatipu, which translates as “Hollow of the Giant.”

If the stories were true, the town of Glenorchy sits on the giant’s head, Queenstown on his knee, and Kingston at his feet. The lake’s water levels rise and fall five inches every few minutes due to changes in atmospheric pressure, but the legend explains it’s because of Matau’s indestructible still-beating heart.

Is LEGOLAND Malaysia Worth It?

legolandLEGOLAND Malaysia opened two years ago to the surprise of many in the theme park circuits. It’s been rumoured that the American brand would have an offshore resort, but Malaysia wasn’t on most people’s radars before they made the announcement. But, why Malaysia?

Theme parks in unexpected places are not a new phenomenon; Tokyo Disneyland, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando are prime examples. The brand – like every other brand – needed a physical presence in Asia where they did not have much competition. Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore are out, so, why not Malaysia?

To get to the theme park, people need either a car or a bus ticket. Anyone who has ever been to Malaysia will say it is easier to get on the bus. Malaysia’s booking portal BusOnlineTicket.com says bus ticket promos make it more convenient for travellers. Some of them even have tour packages for LEGOLAND, making the planning much simpler. But, even with these conveniences, there is still a lingering question. Is LEGOLAND Malaysia worth it?

The short answer is yes. The park’s market is kids so most of the rides are designed with them in mind. This means even the big roller coasters aren’t over the top scary and even people normally scared of coasters can ride them.

There are three roller coasters: The Dragon, The Dragon’s Apprentice, and Project X. These are the perfect rides for families with tweens and teenagers to scream their lungs out.

What about families with small kids? LEGOLAND would not be complete if small kids were left out of the fun. The Pharaoh’s Revenge is a ball area that kids can goof in for hours at a time, if they don’t in anything more interesting for the entire visit. But, the best part of the park for many who have already visited was Mini Asia.

Mini Asia is an area in the middle of the park where every country in represented in Lego form. The sites include landmarks that grace bucket lists the world over. Maybe, Mini Asia can give those people the satisfaction of visiting these places without actually having to travel overseas.

Queenstown’s Most Adrenaline-Pumping Adventures

QueenstownQueenstown is the go-to destination when on a trip to the South Island of New Zealand. Built around an inlet on Lake Wakatipu in the region of Otago, Queenstown is a small resort town home to many huge adventures. It features breath-taking sceneries, spectacular views of nearby mountains, such as Cecil Peak, The Remarkables, and Walter Peak, and more than 200 adventure tourism activities—the reason it is widely regarded as “The Adventure Capital of the World”.

From ziplining through the forest, to bungy jumping from a 134m cable car, to throwing yourself out of a plane, to jet boating through the famous Shotover Canyons, Queenstown has activities for every thrill seeker.

Pack your bags, book a luxury accommodation in Queenstown, and get ready for these fast-paced, mind-blowing, and adrenaline-pumping adventures:

Parasailing

Fly up to 200 metres above Lake Wakatipu on a parasailing adventure. Whether you go solo, with a friend, or on a triple flight, parasailing in Queenstown is an experience you’ll never forget. Flights normally last 10 minutes, but will surely be remembered for life. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the majestic views of the Remarkables and the stunning landscapes surrounding Queenstown.

Bungy Jumping

Strap on the harness and go on an enthralling trip down the Nevis Bungy—one of the highest bungy jumps in the world. The Nevis Bungy is situated 134 meters (440 feet) above the Nevis River and is located about an hour’s drive from Queenstown. Here, jumpers fall to the earth at speeds of more than 120 kilometres per hour. Feel the rush!

Jet Boating

Stay in a luxury accommodation near the Shotover River and experience the world’s most exciting jet boat ride. Hold your breath as the boat careens down the Shotover River, enters the Shotover Canyon, swerves around rocky ridges, and makes a terrifying 360 degree spin. Along the 25-minute ride, the jet boat driver will bring your attention to fascinating sites, but will resume the thrill before you can even speak.

Book an accommodation in vacation houses like St. Luke’s Private Villas and discover the unique adventures Queenstown offers. To learn more about the resort town, read magazines like Let’s Travel, and visit the website of Queenstown-Lakes District Council.

A Billow of Beach: Perth’s Most Famous Beaches

beachLaid-back and liveable are ways to describe what Perth is. Though popular for its active nightlife, pristine parklands, science museums, and the King’s Park and Botanic Gardens—one of the world’s largest inner-city parks, the city is also widely known for its stunning beaches. Situated on the banks of the wide Swan River, Perth boasts some of the most beautiful shores in Western Australia. Pack your bags, book a stay in an accommodation apartment in Perth, and get ready to plunge into Perth’s waters.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the city’s most stunning beaches:

Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach is perhaps the most seaside expanse in the city. With spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and a long stretch of restaurants, bars, and cafes, it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The beach’s central location between Perth and the neighbouring city Fremantle make it easily accessible to people from all around Perth’s metro area. It’s also easy to get by using public transport, with the railway station just a short walk away and bus stops all around.

Scarborough Beach

Located 20 kilometres away from the city centre, Scarborough Beach is another destination you shouldn’t miss. Impressive surf breaks—this is the reason the beach is a favourite among teens and surfing enthusiasts. Stroll along the bay or bask under the sun during the day, and enjoy the vibrant clubs and pubs, or simply lay a blanket on the sand and watch the stars in the sky at night.

Perth City Beach

The clean, quiet waters of the city beach are perfect for a day of swimming, fishing, or body boarding. The foreshore has a children’s playground, tables for picnics, and shower and changing rooms, making it an ideal destination for a family getaway. There are also a few restaurants, cafes, and pubs nearby. For a longer stay, you can book a stay in a hotel or a short-term rental accommodation in apartments around the area.

There’s no better place to enjoy the beach in Western Australia than in Perth. Book an accommodation in Cottesloe Beach House Stays and enjoy the city’s waters. Don’t forget to visit the website of the City of Perth and read magazines like the Voyager or Travel Weekly for a guide to the city.

Malaysia Expects No Drop In Tourism Due To MH370

KLCC
Image by Stefan Fussan | Wikimedia

As the search continues and the mystery deepens on the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the country’s authorities said that the issue would not affect the tourism industry.

No drop in arrivals

“I don’t expect a drop in arrivals as there are other airlines people can come on to Malaysia,” said state agency Tourism Malaysia deputy director of domestic marketing Tuan Razali Tuan Omar.

Malaysia expects 28 million foreign tourists in 2014, a better figure from last year’s expectation of 25.7 million. The country’s government proclaimed 2014 as the “Visit Malaysia Year,” but Tuan hopes that tourism figures remain positive despite the tragedy.

Tourism “is a catalyst for developing the economy and an important agenda of socioeconomic development,” said Tuan. The said industry is the sixth largest contributor to Malaysia’s gross national income.

We stand behind you’

At the recent tourism fair in the country, much of the talk focused on the missing aircraft.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Hamzah Rahmat emphasized the incident in a speech.

“The specter of tragedy that is MH370 looms over us all, and its impact on this nation will resonate for many years to come. To Malaysia Airlines, our national carrier, we stand behind you through these difficult times,” said Rahmat.

Management Rights Purchase and Sale: Issues You Need to Know

brisbane
Photo courtesy of Jorge Láscar

Buying or selling a management rights for sale in Brisbane can be challenging. The processes can be smooth and stress free, however, if you know what to expect and work with experienced professionals such as an agent.

An agent experienced in management rights purchases and sales is a valuable resource. After all, management rights are unique businesses, as any purchase or sale is a three-party transaction. The process involves the buyer, the seller and the body corporate of the community title scheme.

In addition, the business isn’t your only consideration when buying or selling real estate. You need to consider other issues as well, including:

The Managers Unit

As a buyer, you can purchase a management rights business in the capacity of a company or as a trustee of a trust.

Under certain circumstances, you may want to buy the unit in your individual name or your partner’s name. In this case, your agent will note the entity correctly on the contract to eliminate the need for terminating the initial contract under the “due diligence” clause.

The Price

When determining a reasonable price to pay or receive for a management rights business, you should consider a number of issues. You should think of utilising input-output multipliers that can provide an approximate value of a reasonable purchase price of a business as well.

The Contracts

The contracts for a management rights business and the manager’s unit are complex, as they require a certain number of special conditions to protect the interest of the buyer. Both contracts also need to be conditional upon each other and should be completed at the same time.

The Settlement Date

The settlement needs to be calculated within reason. With the body corporate an integral part of the sale process, however, a period of 30 days will be in effect in which the entity considers the proposed new owner. Unfortunately, this period doesn’t start until the entity gets all the information it is entitled to, making the 30-day settlement plan unrealistic for the purchase or sale of a management rights business.

These are the major points that management rights business buyers and sellers need to consider. To know more about these issues, contact an experienced local agent.

Best Places to Live in Brisbane

streets in BrisbaneBrisbane is the capital of Queensland and is Australia’s third biggest city. It stands on the original European settlement inside the bend of the Brisbane River. The city offers a multi-cultural society and a blend of modern and traditional lifestyle. It features nice weather all year round, rich cultural heritage, great career opportunities, and a thriving economy. This is why many Australians and expatriates move to the city.

Brisbane’s 450 suburbs are divided into five areas: the inner suburbs, northern suburbs, southern suburbs, eastern suburbs, and western suburbs. Here are some of the best places to live in the city:

Hamilton

Hamilton is one of the oldest suburbs in Brisbane. It features the “Hamilton Hill,” which provides great views of Mt. Coot-tha, Moreton Bathe, and the central business district. Hamilton is known as an old wealth suburb of Brisbane, along with Clayfield and Ascot. It offers different styles of houses, including Victorian, Queenslander, Georgian, Tudor, and Colonial, but also provides modern units, houses, and town houses. Hamilton also features 1970s style brick units that offer affordable living in the prestigious suburb.

Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley, also known as “The Valley,” is Australia’s top entertainment district, popular for its nightclubs, bars, live music, and adult entertainment. As it lies near the central business district, many expatriates look for accommodation in Fortitude Valley. According to statistics, 50 percent of its population consists of expats from New Zealand, England, China, Ireland, and Korea. Fortitude Valley is also renowned as a premier shopping destination, featuring different national retailers. Decorative and home shopping retailers include Everyday Living, Harvey Norman, Nick Scali Furniture, and Winning Appliances.

Accommodation in The Valley ranges from apartments to town houses and individual homes. It offers Secure Taxi Ranks for commuters, has a railway station, and is accessible though Brisbane Transport, which offers trips to, from, and through the district.

McDowall

McDowall, named after Colonel John McDowall, offers a laid-back lifestyle near the city. It features vast plains, a variety of parks and gardens, and great fauna. McDowall is popular for the Raven Street Reserve, a 24.3 hectare bushland area surrounded by busy roads and urban housing. It offers many species of wildflowers, grass trees, and creek fauna, such as water dragons and turtle, and native fishes like the crimson spotted rainbow fish. All of McDowall’s residential developments are near its two community-based shopping centres: the The North-West Plaza and the McDowall Village shopping centre.

Other great suburbs in Brisbane include Ascot, Paddington, Clayfield, Bulimba, Hawthorne, Carindale, Tingalpa, and Ashgrove.

Resources:

http://businesslistings.net.au/Accommodation_Booking_Services/QLD/Fortitude_Valley/M_A_Apartments/41601.aspx
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/buyers-can-save-years-on-their-home-loans-by-capitalising-on-brisbane8217s-hidden-gem-suburbs/story-fnihsrf2-1226702173196
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-property-values-set-to-grow-with-wages-analyst-20131212-2z9tj.html

An Expat Guide to Living in Portugal

properties in PortugalFeaturing cobblestone villages, medieval castles, golden-sand beaches and vast plains and mountains, Portugal is a small, yet vibrant country. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in the South-Western part of Europe. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds the country to the west and south, while Spain borders it to the north and east.

An Emigration Country

Portugal has long been an emigration country. It began receiving migrants from Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, such as Angola, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique in 1970s. In 1990, labour migrants from Brazil, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Romania settled in the country.

Today, Portugal has over 10 million inhabitants, of whom more than 400,000 or 4 per cent are legal immigrants. The government continuously attracts foreigners to move into the country through different programs that offer fast Portugal visa application and processing and permanent residency.

Climate, Culture and People

Portugal has a Mediterranean climate and is one of the warmest European countries. The average temperature varies from 12 degrees Celsius in the north to over 18 degrees Celsius in the south. While there are changes in temperature in the different regions of the country, most places have mild to hot weather.

With a rich colonial history, Portugal features a multi-cultural society. Its culture is a result of the flow of different civilisations, from its contacts with the Phoenician-Carthaginian, to the Germanic invasion and the settlement of Suebi and Buri. Portugal is home to many ancient architectural structures and cultural landmarks ranging from museums, ancient church buildings and medieval castles.

Economic Overview

Portugal is famous for its world-renowned wines, tourism and quality produce, such as olives, cherries and oranges. But other than that, Portugal presents expats with a highly diversified job market with a strong emphasis on services. Sixty per cent of the country’s workforce produces three quarters of the national GDP.

The country also offers great investment opportunities. The Portuguese immigration issues golden Portugal visas to foreigners who purchase a property, establish a company or maintain a deposit in the country. Some of the growing sectors in the country include the ICT industry, renewable energy, biotechnology and the aerospace industry.