TSR competition - Win a trip to Australia / New Zealand! [Round 3]

Badges: 21
Report Thread starter 7 years ago


Welcome to battle of the bloggers!

We've teamed up with Topdeck travel to offer you a fantastic competition - win a 14 day Island Suntanner trip in Australia or a 17 day Grand Kiwi trip in New Zealand to give away! An incredible prize!

How it works

Topdeck's travel bloggers have written 10 blogs, about various aspects of Australia / New Zealand. All YOU have to do is vote on where you would rather go, Australia or New Zealand, based on each category...

Check out the blogs below and enter via our form at the bottom. It's that simple!
We'll be posting the blogs (a total of 10) across the next few weeks. You can enter on as many as you like, so that means the more you enter, the greater the chance of winning!

(click here to check out and enter Round 1 and Round 2)

Australia - Open sea kayaking


Let me start off by saying that this trip was the ultimate adventure! Every day I experienced something new and exciting that took me completely out of my element, from scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef to hiking through South Molle Island’s National Park, there was never a dull moment!

Serene and soulful Byron Bay offered a plethora of heart-pumping activities from sky diving to open sea kayaking and from hand-gliding to humbling coastal walks, this chilled out spot definitely knows a few ways to get your adrenaline pumping.

My personal favourite activity left me completely exhilarated and was something I’m not going to be forgetting anytime soon; open sea kayaking in Byron Bay! The whole experience was truly memorable and being guaranteed to see pods of dolphins definitely sealed the deal for me. Talk about getting to know the locals!

The greatest initial challenge was actually getting past the waves, from an outsider’s perspective it seems like a walk in the park, but learning to steer and stay onboard whilst battling Byron’s surf was rather difficult! I haven’t even mentioned the ordeal of the kayak capsizing yet! Although somewhat challenging, once you’re out in the open water, the views are sure to impress. Throw in a pod of Dolphins and you really do have a once-in-a-lifetime experience on your hands!

New Zealand - White water rafting


White water rafting has always been on my bucket list. For one reason or another, I’d always missed the opportunities to do it in other countries. The day before we arrived into Rotorua, I found out I had another chance to go rafting. I wasn’t going to miss out again.

We met the Kaituna Cascades team outside their base in Rotorua. They were half way through blowing up the rafts, so we were given a quick summary of the rafting morning, and then told to split into two groups.

“Good morning you lucky people! Did you know you’ve chosen to raft the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall? No? You do now! How big is the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall? About twice as high as our hanger here, or 7 metres”. That was high. Very high.

“We’re going to have fun. We’re going to get wet. We may capsize. If we do capsize, hang onto the raft for dear life - we rarely turn the raft over, but if we do, don’t worry, there’s many of us out there who will help you in no time, you’ll be completely safe. Wet, but completely safe”. There were a few nerves in the group, but if skydiving taught me one thing, it was to embrace any fear you have.

We were given a further saftey briefing, told how to paddle in unison, and told how to sit in the raft. We slipped into our ever-flattering black wetsuits and lifejackets, had a quick team picture, and headed for the river.

We carried the raft (yes, really) down the road, to the point where the rafts enter the river. The guides and crew put the rafts onto the river, and one by one, we jumped in. The strongest people need to be at the front of the raft, so in a group mainly made up of girls, myself and a friend from Chile took the helm.

At this point my adrenaline swung into action. The roar of the river and the excitement and eagerness on the team’s faces added to the anticipation of rafting a 7m waterfall.

We sailed down a couple of bumps, paddling forwards in unison, then backwards, spinning down the river, bumping into rocks and trees at the side. This was fun!

We were now half way down the river, with the two biggest waterfalls to come. Hearts were pumping, but we were getting used to the raft, the bumps and falls. We were even allowed a little dip in the river at a slower point, floating feet first for 20m or so before clamouring back into the raft.

Paddles at the ready, it was time for the first big waterfall. One last team shot with paddles raised before we sailed over the edge.

We approached the top of the first waterfall and put into practice what we’d learnt back at the base. Paddles to the side, tuck yourself down into the raft with your head down, and hang on for dear life.

With a mouth full of water and adrenaline fuelling us, we’d made it. Loud whoops and cheers were made as we came out unscathed. But the highest waterfall was yet to come: Tutea Falls - which gives the river a Grade 5 when it comes to white water rafting.

We waited for the other raft to go down first, and then it was our turn. Same drill, tuck, duck and hang on! The raft went down the waterfall and at the bottom we were completely submerged underwater for what felt like ages. Adrenaline levels were through the roof. I felt the raft tip to the right, and just as it popped up above the water I saw my Chilean friend fly out of the raft, upside down, and another girl disappear in my peripheral vision. Bodies were going everywhere!

Both team mates were fine after swimming back to the raft from the waterfall. Scary stuff, but made for some highly entertaining photos!

30 minutes of rafting had gone very quickly, and the remaining 10 minutes was spent playing around with different, smaller waterfalls, including ducking the front of the raft into the waterfall as group members rotated the front two seats.

Eventually we made it back onto dry land. But the Kaituna Cascades team weren’t done with the adrenaline shots. “Who likes jumping off stuff?!” An overwhelming response from the group. “Who likes jumping off BIG stuff?!”.Mixed response this time, but ended up with the girls staying put to jump off ‘stuff’, and the boys heading over a bridge to jump off ‘big stuff’.

With the adrenaline still pumping through the body, one by one we jumped off a cliff into the river 15m below. A short swim later and we were finally done. Back to base to look through photos, spend the rest of the day wrestling our wetsuits, and to collect medals.

About the bloggers
Rumbie (ruesview.com) a 19 year old public relations student based in beautiful Melbourne, Australia travelled on the Topdeck 14 day Island Suntanner in Australia and Simon (simonsjamjar.blogspot.co.uk) is a marketing professional from Preston UK who travelled on the Topdeck 17 day Grand Kiwi trip in New Zealand.

Terms and conditions

The prize must be booked before 30th June 2014 and travelled before 31st October 2014. This prize is valid for one person. No cash value. Not transferable. Not refundable. Subject to availability. Prize winner must travel otherwise the prize is invalid. Must be 18-39 years old to travel with Topdeck. Prize consists of trip only and does not include flights or travel insurance. The decision of the promoter (Topdeck) is final.
Badges: 17
Report 7 years ago
Doesn't include flights or travel insurance? That's probably more than half the price of such a trip!

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