We already have a few land and lagoon excursions lined up for our trip to Tahiti and her islands and one thing I was keen to do was either a day bike or scooter trip on the day we are scheduled to dock in Huahine. There seem to be two very differing opinions on the safety of doing this and I would be happy to hear your opinion. Apart from the traffic/road conditions safety aspect I was also wondering about personal safety while biking around. Also, any ideas about bike hire prices and attractions that may be within bike range? I hear the beach by the old Sofitel has nice coral and makes a nice trip, along with Faii township to see the blue- eyed eels. Not sure how long it would take.
I've asked Robert Thompson, director of Tahiti Touisme New Zealand, for advice and he says you've done some very good research on this. According to him, safety should not be an issue in Tahiti, personal or on the road, but no matter where in the world you are, you should exercise caution and bike during the day.
Huahine has a proud and small local population that is thankful for any tourist who chooses the island over its more popular neighbours like Bora Bora, so you're bound to have a fantastic time there.
The coral gardens near the Sofitel are indeed beautiful and the blue-eyed eels in Faii township are definitely worth a quick stop.
Based on what you'd like to do, Robert says it's a good idea to get in touch with a locally owned excursion company to ensure you don't get lost or miss the eels. They can also take you out snorkelling. He recommends Huahine Nautique.
Bicycle hire at Huahine Lagoon costs 1200CFP ($16.80) for four hours and 2000CFP ($28) for eight hours.
Robert reckons it's best to do an excursion - more for time-saving purposes and the bonus of being able to go out in a boat for part of the day trip. But if you're keen to explore independently, it looks like a bike is a pretty decent way to get around.
I'm a single, female traveller heading off to the US solo in July. I was wanting to head down to Mexico for a couple of weeks' beach time and wondered where you would recommend that would be a) safe b) easy to get to c) easy on the wallet.
As with any country in the world, travelling solo you do need to exercise a certain degree of caution. Mexico is very easy to travel around.
Provided you don't head north of Mexico City or into certain neighbourhoods known for drug cartels, the rest of the country is scenic, fun and easy to travel. It's all about doing a bit of research to make sure you're aware of the danger spots.
If in doubt, jump on to the Safe Travel website safetravel.govt.nz/mexico to find out the areas you need to avoid.
My contact at World Expeditions recommends Playa Del Carmen, as it is still a relatively good option with some bargains to be found.
If you want something a bit more rugged, surfy, beach lovers and water sport paradise then Puerto Escondido is also great.
With travel to these exotic countries it is all about research, reading and a little bit of prep work.
Neil Beattie wrote in to say he disagreed with Steve Parson's response regarding a tour of Gallipoli in last week's column and reckons you could easily do it in a single day.
"Our family (4 adults) spent a week in Istanbul in December 2014. We did a day trip to Gallipoli with RSL Tours.
Though it was a long day - early morning pick up, evening return - it was easily manageable in a single day.
RSL were great; we had a driver and knowledgeable guide who took us to all the main Australian and New Zealand sites and we had plenty of time to wander around and take in the atmosphere. I would have thought three to four days was far too long."