China Instagram Highlights

China Instagram Highlights

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As with all my trips I captured a lot of the people, places and moments whilst working in China. There’s nothing I enjoy more than giving others a glimpse into daily life whilst I travel. My chosen platform is always Instagram and with this post I thought I’d round up my favourite posts from my time in China. It was hard to choose a few for this post, so if you want to see more remember to check my Instagram for more! If you’d like to read more about my time in China then read this post on Shanghai and here for Beijing.

The neon lights in East Nanjing make walking around a sightseeing adventure of their own 👌🏻#streetart

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Amazing views seen from The Bund at night. Need to find somewhere high up for the next shot #shanghaicity

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Orderly chaos in the backstreets of the city #exploreshanghai #chinagram

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Sitting, waiting and thinking #peopleofshanghai

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#templeart #goldenbuddha

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‘Three’s a crowd’ #shanghai #peopleofshanghai

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#peopleofbeijing #beijing 🇨🇳

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Hidden places walking through the famous hutongs of the capital 🇨🇳 #streetshots #chinatravel

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#streettour #peopleofbeijing 🇨🇳

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New post on #Beijing is up on the blog *link in bio* #chinatravel

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Last full week in #Shanghai and I’m making sure I explore as much as possible #cityviews

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🗺👌🏻#landscapehunter #viewsfordays

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Memories, Places & People’s Faces | Portraits

Memories, Places & People’s Faces | Portraits

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Portraits & Photo-Journalism

I have been fortunate enough to have met some incredible people on my journey so far. During my recent travels I took it upon myself to start capturing some portraits and try to tell a story. I actually found it really fun trying to create an image that would give an insight into a persons life and also enjoyed the photo-journalism side of it all as well. Creating a collection of images that I am proud of and archive some amazing memories I’ve had with that/or involving that individual. This is the first post to share the few portraits I have released so far and I have many more that I’m working on and more to take!

I just hope that upon hearing some of these stories it will inspire or give someone else some perspective on what another person has gone/going through. I think that its human nature to be curious and want to know about other people, especially those that are in a completely different culture to us. Looking at portraits transports someone into someone else’s life for just a brief second and I’ve found that I really love capturing their portraits!

First up is Prayash, who I met whilst staying at a guest house in Bhaktapur. He works there whilst attending some college classes and managing his radio show. If you’re ever in the area then tune into 107.9fm every thursday 3-4pm for some debates and slick tunes. Prayash dreams of becoming a media personality and enjoys exploring to see new views like the one behind him. He took me to see his home village and the incredible view from Nagarkot, thanks man!” 

“Next up is one of my Nepali Didis, Gita. She works in the fields and helps look after Bhakatapur Children’s Home; as well as be a mother to 3 of her own children Suraj, Sumon & Susata. Her husband is away in the Nepali army currently but she still manages to have one of the kindest, goofiest and warm personalities I’ve come across.”

“Rahul taught me the power of a ‘pinky promise’. I have so much time for this little bro. He has a bright future ahead of him and I can’t wait to see him succeed in everything he chooses to do next.”

“Let me introduce the taxi driver with the most swag, Rameshwor. You’ll be able to identify him from his blacked out shades, leather driving gloves and nepali dance tunes. When I first visited Nepal he was our trusted point of call for transportation between the village and marketplace. He doesn’t speak much English but we still managed to have some funny conversations. When I returned to Sipadol I was walking through the market and to my surprise he ran up to me and remembered who I was; which was amazing! I was also happy to see that he was able to buy a new car and had employed someone else to drive the old one, growing his business.”

“Back in 2014 I went for a wander in the marketplace in Bhaktapur where I was staying. I decided to head into a shoe shop to have a look around. 2 minutes later I ended up sat having chai (tea) & shisha pipe with Suniel Duwal, who is a pretty cool guy. Recently I went back to surprise him and once again drank chai whilst he showed me some metal bands concert videos – he’s a massive fan, as well as being a dedicated Arsenal supporter. I also got to meet his wife, daughter & mother-in-law. If you’re ever looking for some new style – Sunil Fashion House can sort you out.”

“This is Kopila (lalala my nickname for her, she finds it funny calling me Jackalalala) who loves to dance and spends most of the time giggling with her best friend Anita – who is also at the children’s home. She is also the one who taught me the numbers from 1-20 in nepali as I kept getting stuck at 10!”

“If you have a question, Sushil can answer it. He’s very smart and his dream is to be a doctor. He is just an all round cool guy and I spend a lot of the time learning from him!”

“This is Suraj – who is awesome. His mother is Gita who works at the children’s home. On my second visit I’d never met him, his mum or his siblings before, but we got on so well – he felt like my younger brother and we spent two weeks learning about physics, nepali vocab & wrestlemania! I can’t even explain how enriching for both sides going to volunteer or just talking to locals can be; if you’re considering doing it then don’t hesitate to drop me a message if your not sure how to go about it.”

I hope you enjoyed those portraits and snippets of memories from my travels.

There are many more to come so stay tuned and follow up on my social links!

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Chitwan Safari at the Eden Jungle Resort | Travel Talk

Chitwan Safari at the Eden Jungle Resort | Travel Talk

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Whilst in Nepal I made sure I got to visit one of the regions famous national parks in Chitwan. Located in the southern part of Nepal, Chitwan is about 6-7 hours travel from central Kathmandu via tourist bus. I would recommend travelling in a tourist bus as you get your own seat, water and toilet breaks; the driving is also ‘slightly’ safer as there are less people in them compared to one of the local buses.

I went on a 2 night 3 day safari tour at the Eden Jungle Resort which cost around £59 ($90) which I thought was super cheap for what you get!

Eden Jungle Resort
Eden Jungle Resort

The bus journey from Kathmandu was incredibly long and we got stopped a few times due to small landslides (which are very common throughout Nepal before you worry) along the way. Bring some food, a book and some water; maybe pack some travel sickness tablets just in case. You do stop off a few times for toilet breaks and at local cafes so there are opportunities to get food along the way, however always keep in mind in Nepal that the food may not be what you are used and ‘nepali belly’ much like ‘delhi belly’ is quite common amongst travellers. Be smart about food choices, I pretty much stuck to rice and momos!

Once I arrived at Chitwan we were picked up and taken to our home for the next few days. We were greeted with smiling friendly faces – as you get anywhere in Nepal – and briefed on the iteniary. We were taken to our rooms and were able to have a quick freshen up before heading out on a tour of the resort. The rooms are fairly basic but sufficient for what you need, its not luxury but does the job. You are provided with beds, a ceiling fan, nets and a bathroom; consisting of a western toilet, sink and shower.

We immediately went for a tour around where they kept the elephants and shown around the grounds. We were lucky enough to see one of the famous one horned rhinos bathing in a stream in the first 20 minutes of being there! They showed us the river which at the time was overflowing due to it being the monsoon season. We were able to watch the sunset and then head back for a cold everest beer!

Elephant HairdoOne-Horned Rhino

Later that evening after a buffet style dinner we were driven to the nearby Tharu village where we were treated to some traditional tribal stick dancing. This was a great atmosphere and interesting to see the tribes cultural heritage. Afterwards we headed back to our resort to get some well earned rest after the days travelling but not before we squeezed in a few more everest beers!

The next day we had an early breakfast (breakfast and dinner are included at the resort) and went down to the river where we got into canoes down the river. There are opportunities to spot gharial crocodile, various birds and monkeys. We got out further down the river and went for a short walk through some local villages. Unfortunately when I was there we were not able to go over to the elephant breeding center to see the baby elephants as the river was so high we could not cross safely, however you are usually able to see them up close.

During the afternoon we had some free time so went into the local village to have a look for some souvenirs and to grab a quick lunch. Lunch turned into nearly 2 hours waiting, always remember your on nepali time haha

chitwan 1
You’ll get used to seeing elephants just walking around the village!

We headed back to the resort to quickly freshen up by taking a shower…with an elephant. A pretty cool experience but definitely came out smelling a lot more worse than I wen into it! I made a quick purchase of one of the resort t-shirts and went for another shower minus the elephant.

the best way to shower in nepal! #elephant #powershower #nepal #travels

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Hatti are awesome #elephant #nepal #travelling #closeup #vscocam A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Next we jumped into a jeep and travelled over to the forest where we were then able to go on an elephant safari. It was a really cool way to see the reserve and some of the animals including deer, rhino and monkeys; left me feeling a bit achey in my legs though! During the Chitwan Safari you have a well experienced guide who spots all the animals a mile off through trees and bushes. When you get off at the end theres usually children selling bananas for a few rupees to feed the elephants with make sure you buy a few to reward them for all the walking they just did.

Elephant EyesElephant Safari

Deer Ears

can’t get enough of these guys #elephant #nepal #travelling #safari A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

legit jungle book #chitwan #jungle #safari #nepal #travelling #vscocam

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For the evening we went our for dinner to make the most of some of the western food that is available here before heading back to our homestay placements. Grabbed yet another couple of everest beers – my favourite if you couldn’t tell by now – before heading to bed to get some rest and digest the days elephant antics.

Early morning wake up call for some bird watching and breakfast and then back onto the tourist buses to head back to Kathmandu.

Chitwan is a great few days away activity whilst travelling around exploring Nepal. I’d head there between october-march to really get the most out of the experience the temperature isn’t too bad at around 25°C, the best months for viewing game is late january-march as the grass is cut shorter improving disability. Check out Lonely Planets essential guide for your trip.

If you’d like to see more of my travel photos from Nepal or my other photography then check my social links!

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I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

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If your a fan of photography and also a ‘wanderluster’ then check out my new instagram account to satisfy the whimsical dreamer inside of you. You can expect an array of snaps from colourful cultures and faraway places! I’m a passionate explorer and love to travel capturing every moment of my journeys. Documenting it along the way is a great way to connect and share those experiences with others. It also lets me keep a photographic journal that I can share. I also love to look at other instatravellers accounts as it gives me inspiration for my next trips and helpful insights into planning – as well as indulge my visual appetite with beautiful images from all over the world. If your a #travelgrammer then send me your link, i’d love to have a look at your captures!

You can expect to see images like these…

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Fraser Island, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.4

Fraser Island, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.4

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The beautiful island of Fraser is situated on the East Coast of Australia and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I have seen. Stunning clear water lake, tropical canopies and sandy white beaches make this a must see place on your travels along the east coast.

I went on a 3-day excursion through Sunset Safaris which was definitely not long enough but unfortunately I was squeezed for time. The tour was well organised and very informative by our tour guide ‘Scuba Steve’ who provided an entertaining tour for the duration. We also got to ride in a huge 4×4 safari truck which was quite comfortable and pretty cool racing over the sand dunes in! I could have spent a few weeks here easily. Nevertheless it was fantastic and Im really glad I got to experience this place even if just for a short amount of time.

From rainforest walks, to crystal clear streams and a spot of whale watching it couldn’t have been any better. Accommodation and food were included throughout. We visited The pinnacles, Rainbow beach, fresh water lake, mahino shipwreck and explored the entire island; spotting a fair few wild dingos as well. For now I’ll leave you with a few snaps from my time here and hopefully I’ll be able to go back for a longer stay one day!

Quick Price | Adult 3 Day Excursion £240 $370

amazing couple of days on fraser island doing a truck safari #fraser #island #australia #truck

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Australia you delivered #beach #paradise #instadaily A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Aussie Coasts

Jungle book. #rainforest #disney #austrailia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Maheno Shipwreck

found my new thinking spot #fraserisland #australia #instadaily A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Coloured Sands

Coloured Fraser Sands by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

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Melbourne, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.3

Melbourne, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.3

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Voted Australia’s ‘Culture Capital’, Melbourne offers bustling high streets crammed with great places to grab something to eat or sit down for a coffee; surrounded by art, creativity and urban street scenes. There is  tonnes to entertain you by day and night in this city. I’ll be suggesting the top places I’d recommend on going and seeing whilst your there.

If your in need of some arts and culture then check out Melbourne’s ACMI centre for Art, Film & Digital Culture. Its a hive of creative content and exhibitions where you’ll be immersed in a world of the arts. Whilst I was there I enjoyed the dreamwork animation exhibition they had on which gave a real insight into the production and creation of the iconic films; as well as lots of behind the scenes looks at films and even a chance to have a go at animating like the pros! Check out what they have on when you visit.

Quick Price | Adult Entry Exhibition £10 $15 (prices vary on exhibition) | ACMI Entry FREE (some exhibitions require no fee!)

Melbournes architecture #australia #buildings #artsy

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checking out the sculptures at dreamworks #animation #kungfupanda #design

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Another place I loved when I visited Melbourne was the Queen Victoria Night Markets. This is a great place to discover mouth watering food and drinks with a variety of different options from all over the world as well as some new flavour combos that will get your taste buds going. I tried duck and waffle with hoisin sauce which was incredible and sat back with a mulled wine cider watching a 1950’s band play a set.

Live music, great food and feel good atmosphere make this place a great evening out – just make sure you don’t eat before you go so you can make the most of whats on offer here, I’d recommend on taking at least £20 $30 out with you to really enjoy yourself but you can also pick up bargain meal prices with the amount of competition that is there. As well as all this you can also take a look around some vintage craft stools, handmade gifts and quirky items that are on display. Make sure you wrap up warm or bring extra for another mulled wine cider!

mel1

Melbourne offers its own Eureka Skydeck which serves as a great 297.3m vantage point to look out and admire the city of Melbourne. It is the southern hemispheres highest vantage point and boasts a whooping total of 88 floors! This can usually be coupled with a deal that includes a trip along The Great Ocean Road and a day out exploring Phillip Island. I’d say definitely get this in with a deal as buying the tickets just for the skydeck may not be worth it; although it provides a great view once you have walked around the top (approx 15-20mins) theres not a great deal else to do, so to make it worthwhile and couple it with another activity in the day.

admiring the view from 88 floors high #eureka #skydeck #view #melbourne

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Thatttt skyyyy #melbourne #australia #instadaily

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Somewhere you have to see whilst in the southern territory of Aus is The Great Ocean Road an epic 243 Kilometres stretch of prime aussie coastline partnered with spectacular sea views. Make sure you glimpse the 12 Apostles and have your picture taken with the start sign at the beginning of the road! The Tour we went through was with our hostel in the ‘3 in 1’ package – this was great as we had a limited amount of time and budget but if I’m honest I think the best possible way to do this and get the most out of it is to hire a campervan and road trip it with friends over a few days! That would make for one EPIC ROAD TRIP and when I head back this is what I’ll be looking at doing for sure. Salamanda Travel & VroomVroom are some camper van options.

Finally the day trip to Phillip Island gave us a day of kicking it with koalas, taking a nose at the Nobbie’s centre and perusing the penguins. We got to go onto an authentic and still working Australian farm to learn about the history and agriculture of the country. We stopped off at a centre dedicated to Australian creatures where you can feed the roos and take a few selfies with your new furry friends. Then finished it off with dinner and a spot watching the famous Phillip island penguins come home form the sea and follow them up as they go back to their nests.

Quick Price | 3 in 1 Tour Package (Most hostels & Tour Operators) £220 $340

The Great Ocean Road! #sightseeing #tourist #australia

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ideal location for lunch #lighthouse #view #australia

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2 of the ’12’ (8) Apostles, pretty amazing to see #12apostles #australia #landscape

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fed a roo! #australia #kangaroo #animal

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Phillip island at sunset before watching the penguins #australia #landscape #sunset

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There are so many other great things to do in Melbourne and delicious things to eat that you can’t miss out on exploring this city. With graffiti artwork adorning the city walls, trams trundling around ready to take you to every corner and tonnes of shops for you to indulge in some retail therapy. And why not head over to the Chinatown part of the city – grab some noodles and see a play at Her Majestys Theatre !

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Cairns Australia | Travel Talk Pt.2

Cairns Australia | Travel Talk Pt.2

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One of my personal favourite places to visit in Australia was the beautiful ocean side city of Cairns. Situated in the northern territory of Australia Cairns provides everything you’d expect from the land down under with its lush green rainforests, laid back life and Aussie sunshine.

sun worshipping #sun #silhouette #pro

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Whilst in Cairns I managed to cram in loads of tours and exploring. I’ll give a run-through of what I got up to and hopefully it will give you some ideas to put your own itinerary together when you visit! 1. You have to check out Cairns esplanade located in the centre of town – its an open swimming pool that overlooks the sea and is the perfect place to sit back and relax. I was a bit dubious about a free local pool but it’s incredibly well maintained, lifeguarded and modern designed. Head over to here and soak up the atmosphere, they often put live music on and you can always people watch because who doesn’t love having a nose at other people! And while your there why not grab an ice-cream from Baskin Robins; I only discovered this for the first time in Cairns and I’m a fan – try the chocolate brownie and hazelnut whip flavour with a waffle cone.

Quick Prices: Esplanade Pool FREE | Ice-cream £6 $8

 

Cairns lagoon beaut #austrailia #pool #chilled A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

The lagoon fish #cairns #austrailia #sculpture #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

enjoying a @baskinrobbinsau gold ribbon medal waffle ice cream #brcr8 #cairns #icecream A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

2. The Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is located right next to this world heritage site and wonder of the world, so why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to go and have a look around! I used Quicksilver Tours to go and have a dive  around the outer barrier reef. The tour is a full day and early start (5:30am – 4:30pm) where you are taken to the boat that will take you and others (around 70/80 people) over to 3 different reef locations. You’ll get all the scuba diving equipment included and there are options for diving with oxygen tanks that require more lessons or experience. All 3 locations offer a close look at the various wildlife including chorals, fish and turtles with an occasional rare shark spot – not jaws though! Don’t panic! You get lunch included which was a fresh salad type buffet as well as tea and coffee with biscuits throughout the day.

If you feel like sitting out one of the dive spots then you can take the chance to go and sunbathe on top of the boat. One thing I would say is there is an onboard photographer who will come round and snap your picture with blue backdrop of the reef but these can be pricey. I paid £10 for one photo as I wanted a high quality image from my trip as I wouldn’t be there again anytime soon. I would invest in an underwater camera and even a waterproof phone pouch – use these at your own risk though you don’t want to drop your smartphone amongst the choral reef!

Quick Prices: Adult with return coach transfers £120 $180

Divng at the reef #prodiver #australia #blue #reef #instadaily

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3. One of the best tours I went on was with Tropical Horizons to the Daintree Rainforest – the oldest rainforest in the world. The day trip included pick up/drop off to and from the destinations. A road trip that took us through part of the Daintree where we were able to stop off and take a walk to look at the old rainforest trees and wildlife. We managed to have a wild encounter with the cassowary bird a native bird of Australia. Our tour guide was very informative and was a wealth of knowledge about the rainforest answering every question we threw at him. There were only 8 of us on the trip which gave it a very intimate and friendly feel. We ventured right through the rainforest to the famous cape tribulation beach a small corner of paradise, it felt like we were on desert island with white sand beaches, palm tree forests and crystal clear water.

Stopping for lunch we enjoyed a buffet style cold salad lunch and had the opportunity to do a spot of canoeing in the river. The next stop off was with a local guy who takes people crocodile spotting down the river, great fun especially when crocs pop up from nowhere beside the boat! Heading back through the forest we stopped off at some viewpoints and grabbed an ice cream from a local famous ice-cream shop – worth a visit! A very long day but great tour to go on if you want to get some picturesque views and learn about the rainforest.

Quick prices: Daintree Rainforest Day Tour £80 $120

The Daintree

felt like I was on shipwrecked today #beach #paradise #australia

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

cheeky #selfie on cape tribulation beach #beach #australia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

canoeing down a river in a rainforest – straight out of a travel brochure #canoe #dream #australia

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

spectacular Daintree rainforest #forest #landscape #view A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

4. Another place you should check out is the Kuranda Skyrail and Railway. Glimpse the top of the rainforest from a cablecar hovering above the canopies and get right amongst the natural beauty of Cairns. You get a real sense of the sheer size of the rainforest. The rainforest cablecar takes about 40/50 mins which is enough time to soak it all up. Once you come to the end of the cable you get off in the small town of Kuranda right at the centre of the forest. Its a great little town where you can shop, eat and check out the wildlife centres.

You can pick up great unique souvenirs from the native tribe here with shows and performances as well. But the number 1 thing you MUST do is head to Koala gardens where you’ll be able to have a quick snap with a koala – a big tick off the Aussie checklist! You can hop on the Kuranda Train back to the beginning where you’ll take a meandering journey along the cliffs of the rainforest and get to see some waterfalls on the way.

Quick Prices: Adult £60 $90

travelled across the rainforest in a cablecar #kuranda #skyrail #austrailia #rainforest

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

amazing view at baron falls #waterfall #landscape #austrailia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

got a very warm and fluffy cuddle – meet Tam #koala #hug #austrailia #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

5. Lastly ignite that inner daredevil in you – do a skydive. It will honestly be one of the best experiences you can have. And skydiving over The Great Barrier Reef couldn’t be a better place to do it. I booked with Skydive Cairns who were great and really reassuring, the skydive cost £120 (with a beach landing) which is pricey but worth it. Again if you want a photo or video of it you’ll have to pay around £80 – which isn’t bad as its a one-off (unless you get the bug for it!) but depends on your budget and if you want to go on any over tours while your in Cairns.

Quick Prices: Adult with Beach Landing £120 $180 | Video & Photos £80 $120

 

jumping 15,000ft over Cairns and landing on the beach #skydive #awesome #extreme #australia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

My time in Cairns was incredible, I loved the whole vibe and way of life there. The views were amazing and the people were great you definitely have to check this part of Australia out and what it has to offer.

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Australia | Travel Talk Pt.1

Australia | Travel Talk Pt.1

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Heading down under with this post all about the awesome aussie east coast, starting off in sunny Sydney!

Icon : Sydney Opera HouseI flew from Heathrow airport in London on an Emirates flight – which was incredible. The service, food and choice of films couldn’t have been better. With a stop off in Dubai airport we continued our 18 hour journey to the beautiful city of Sydney. ( I have tried to give rough estimations on what I spent in Sydney, please take this as guide price and always look for online discounts or deals that may be available in other months/times of the year! )

Quick Prices: Return Economy Flights with Emirates ( 1x stop off June/July – August/September) £900 $1400

When we arrived at our first hostel ‘The Base‘ we checked in, dropped off our backpacks and decided to head for a large coffee in Hyde park and take a stroll through Sydney’s botanical gardens – which led us to our first glimpse of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Very surreal to finally see it up close and its a lot smaller than it seems on tv but just as magnificent with the back drop of the harbour bridge. The architecture and design of it is stunning and after soaking up the sun on the steps of the opera house we headed back to our hostel to catch up on some much needed sleep! The Base’ facilities were really well maintained and all the staff were very friendly and helpful. Your able to book tours through most of the hostels you go in and can even work shifts for free accommodation or food – so make the most of this if your on a budget!

Quick Prices: 1x Night Accom. The Base £16 $24

 

holding the #sydney #operahouse #austrailia #selfie #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Whilst in Sydney we discovered that you can get water taxis across the harbour. We hopped in one and jetted over the scenic harbour taking in a 360 view of the opera house and bridge – pretty cool way to see it and I’d definitely recommend going in one as they are only a couple of dollars – way better than cramming onto a ferry! It took us over to The Taronga Zoo to check out our first glimpse of Australian critters. The zoo itself was huge, there was so much to see and do. We saw everything from koalas to kangaroos, crocodiles and platypus’ as well as loads more. Some great photo opportunities for any wildlife photographers out there. A great and well run zoo packed with information on wildlife, we managed to get our ticket in a deal with the water taxi by scouting out around the harbour and combining deals.

We managed to get our tickets in a deal with the water taxi return fare as well! Look out for the promoters round the harbour front and don’t be scared to haggle for better prices – theres loads of different tour operators but they all want your custom!

Quick Prices: Taronga Zoo & Taxi Return £27 $41

Taxi view #watertaxi #sydney #austrailia #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Giraffe In The City

Tiger Light

Hi Nigel! #pelican #bird #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

We also took the opportunity to visit Darling Harbour for a bit of sightseeing round the city and a chance to check out the shops and food places. If your looking for a day of retail therapy with snacks and drinks then you should head here. Theres everything you could want and its all set around a picturesque harbour front. Whilst here we visited Wildlife Sydney which was another chance to see some of the animals indigenous to this country. Wildlife Sydney had a more up close and personal feel with some of the smaller creatures of the bush and was catered a lot more to families with young children – so if this is you I’d head to Wildlife Sydney for your dose of aussie animals.

As this is part of the Merlin attractions family you can usually get great discounts to combine entry to multiple places, so really good if your planning to visit more than one of them and make the most of the deal. Make sure you look tickets up online as well as you can often save money on online deals and discounts!

Quick Prices: Online Booking £10 $15 | Walk-In Booking £15 $21

RexBoomerangs

Being in Sydney we couldn’t not take a bus down the road to the famous Bondi Beach. A beautiful small beach located just 20 mins bus journey out of the city offers stunning oceans views and a bustling beach town with cafes, restaurants and shops to explore. I just enjoyed sitting on the beach soaking up the incredible views and ocean sunset! The bus system in Australia is run very efficiently as you can buy tickets in local shops or by machine – they do not take cash on board so its just a swipe on and off system which makes travelling really quick and easy. Trains work in the same way but you buy all the tickets as you go down into the underground using machines.

Quick Prices: Sydney Town Centre – Bondi Beach Bus Return £5 $8

I’d quite happily live on bondi beach #sydney #bondi #beach #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

sunset at bondi #beach #bondi #sunset #perfection

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

You can take a walk along the famous Harbour bridge and glance out across at the Opera house and city from the Pylon Lookout at the centre of the bridge. You can also walk the harbour bridge if your feeling brave and want a higher view of everything!

Quick Prices: Harbour Bridge Climb Day £135 $205 | Twilight £170 $260 | Night £116 $176 | Dawn £170 $260

Amazing views from the bridge #sydney #austrailia #landmark #operahouse #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

To finish our first stop in Sydney off we took a trip back down the harbour and relaxed in the Opera bar that comes alive at night with bars and tables set up along the harbour front. Massive fire patio heaters light the way and you are able to order food from the bars restaurant as well. You can soak up the atmosphere as you look out onto a bustling harbour front whilst you sip your ice cold aussie beers.

Quick Prices: Beer £4 $6 | Red/White Wine £5 $7 | Pizza £10 $15 | Chips £5 $7

 

perfect end to the day a cold beer at the opera bar #ideal #sydney #austrailia

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

the best course #dessert #cake #foodporn #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

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Nikon D7000 | Camera Review

Nikon D7000 | Camera Review

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Over the last 6 years or so photography has become, like many, a strong passion of mine. I’m obsessed with taking, editing and uploading photographs and have 1000’s of photos stored away. I started out with a Nikon D40 camera which was a great introduction into the digital SLR world. I took photography at A-level and couldn’t wait to test and explore all the things I had learnt out with my D40. Then came my trip to Kenya and further ignited the spark for taking photos whilst on safari. My 365 project further encouraged that growth. Mostly self-taught through endless hours of re-taking and fiddling with different settings, I began to outgrow my camera and so after a lot of hours of overtime and a strict savings scheme; I began the search for my current piece of equipment: The Nikon D7000.

Nikon-D7000-Digital-SLR-Camera-32-2

nikond7000-rearback-2

It’s my baby. I worked hard, saved and it paid off. I am so happy with my investment in this camera! I paid around £660 ($1000) on amazon, although shop around for better discounts and prices. If your thinking of upgrading or becoming more serious about photography I would consider this an option. If your looking to take candid snaps on holiday or with friends at events then I’d just go with one of the more basic DSLR’s (D40 or even the nikon coolpix range seem to be getting fairly good reviews at reasonable prices) that are more than capable of delivering the results you desire. For the serious ‘artists’ or up-coming professionals, investing in good equipment can only increase the successfulness of taking awesome photos. I am in no way an expert at all in this field, anything I recommend or review is just my personal opinion based on the equipment I have used or researched. I hope to continue to learn new things and test out new products!

The reoccurring frustration I had with my old D40 was it’s capability in poor or dark lit scenarios. The ISO capability just wasn’t working out for the kinds of photos I was wanting to take. The D7000 has a maximum ISO of 6400 as well as H 2.0.

This gives it a way better performance in low lighting with reduced noise quality.

It’s much better at getting the night-time shots or inside snaps, like some of my own photos below.

Saber-Tooth

ISO 200 f/1.8 1/100

Rainbow Fish

ISO 320 f/1.8 f/320

South Bank At Night

ISO 640 f/11 25.0

It’s ability to adapt and perform well under low light conditions without loss of quality to the photo, has been one of the main benefits of upgrading. I’m still pushing the ISO to it’s maximum setting to get the best out of it as possible. Another highlight has been the 39 central point field focusing system; adaptable in combinations of 9,21 or a 39 point ring. This allows for fast tracking focus for moving objects; so great when your trying to get a shot of something speedy in a one time take. The AF in-built motor system is great as well, especially when I team it with my 50mm f/1.8 lens, helping to get the maximum aperture shot in focus. Overall i’m more than happy with this upgrade and it’s perfect for the kind of creative/semi-professional work I want to create, I still have a lot more exploring to do with the camera but couldn’t rate it more!

I’d give the Nikon D7000, 4.5/5 (It’s my most used piece of equipment, I love it!)

Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.2

Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.2

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The kenyan adventure continues…

The second part of the trip was all about safari. We woke up early and departed our home in Malindi and headed for our first game park Tsavo East. We stopped off at a small shop on the way to get snacks and some souvenirs and were able to walk down to a river – where there were hippos and crocodiles. No barriers – we were truly up close and personal with animals now.

We headed off through the reserve and got our first taste of the safari experience – amazing. (All Photographs are my own copyright 2015)

Our first camp was an eco camp that was set up with large green tents right in the heart of the reserve. The camp looked out over a watering hole where a group of elephants and buffalos were gathered. Amazing to watch these gentle giants up so close. I think that was what was the most overwhelming – not realising quite how close you would be to so many of these wild animals. At night you could hear loud noises and on the morning game drives you’d see the aftermath. Dining with lions for breakfast.

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Eco-Camp in Tsavo East | Copyright Jack Gunns 2015

Elephant Eyes by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Flying Antelope by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Buffalo Soldier by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Simba by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Hide and Seek by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

After exploring Tsavo East we headed for the next national park – Amboseli the home of Elephants. Staying at Kilima Safari Camp were we were given a quick break to refresh and then headed out on some more game drives. The hotel and staff were very friendly and the bedrooms were incredible and there was also two large pools and the facilities were great – not what you would expect to find out in the wilderness. We climbed the tower to watch a burning red sunset behind Mount Kilimanjaro and were treated to a relaxed evening around a fire pit with music. A truly spectacular hotel that sits underneath he magnificent Mt.Kilamanjaro. k2

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Kilima Safari Camp | Copyright Jack Gunns 2015

Elephant Crossing

Monk II by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Tribal Bird by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Cheetah. by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

We got the chance to visit Mzima Springs and although it was the height of a drought we still managed to see a few hippos and wildlife. I’d definitely recommend seeing this place especially when it is in full bloom there are usually hundreds of hippopotamuses! Smile

Our final stop ‘The Severin Safari Camp‘ in the Tsavo west part of the reserve was another amazing place to stay. Being upgraded to the royal suites on arrival with outside private showers and a watering hole right beside our balcony was a truly luxurious experience. The facilities here were top class and you were escorted between the lodges and the main restaurant reception areas by Masai warriors in case you bumped into any wildlife on the way…More game drives and our final chances to spot animals. Finishing off watching elephants and giraffes wander around the watering hole by our balconies at sunset – priceless. If your looking for a luxurious safari experience right in the heart ion everything then this place is for you!

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Severin Safari Camp | Copyright Jack Gunns 2015
source: http://www.severin-hotels.com/severin-safari-camp/tents-suites/
source: http://www.severin-hotels.com/severin-safari-camp/tents-suites/

it’s days like these that I #wish I was on #safari in #hot #africa #goingback #oneday

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Elephantidae by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Elephant & the Bird by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

On Safari by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

Zebra Crossing by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

The journey of our safari had come to an end after a week of roaming the national parks and witnessing some truly spectacular sights. I think i’ll finish off with one of our final destinations when we were back in Nairobi – The Giraffe centre and Manor. Another place you should check out as you couldn’t get much closer to giraffes if you tried, lots of hand-feeding and petting with these blue-tongued spotted giants.

Giraffe Close Up by Jack Gunns on 500px.com 

My time in Kenya was jam-packed with some incredible places, people and experiences. It is somewhere that I will for sure have to visit again and could not recommend this trip more to anyone looking for a taste of the wild thrill of safari and cultured beauty of Africa.

Landscape I by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

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