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Elen Turner

I'm a writer and editor based at the top of New Zealand's South Island. After previous lives in Nepal, the USA, Australia, Japan, the Czech Republic, Sierra Leone, and the UK I enjoy writing about all kinds of travel destinations and experiences.

I'm the co-author of the recent (2022) Lonely Planet New Zealand Experiences guide, and am currently working on the next edition of the Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand. My travel writing has also featured in "The Best Women's Travel Writing" vol. 11 (ed. Lavinia Spalding), as well as numerous magazines and websites, including AFAR, the New Zealand Herald, Fodor's, TripSavvy, and more.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Nepal, New Zealand"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I've been travelling all my life, as my parents were keen travellers. But after a foray into a career in academia I knew my real passion lay elsewhere, and so I became a travel writer!"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Many people trek to Everest Base Camp, but the most unforgettable experience of my life was flying over it in a helicopter. "

Morning view from Te Mata Peak, Hawke's Bay on New Zealand's North Island
11 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Eleven days is plenty of time to visit New Zealand's highlights, from cities and culture to mountains and adventure sports. Focus on just one island to get an in-depth look, or cover both islands for an exciting and diverse overview. Highlights of the North Island include the Hobbiton Movie Set, the geothermal attractions of Rotorua, and lively Auckland and Wellington. The South Island delivers grand mountains, lakes, and of course, Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Spot wildlife on Australia's beaches
2 Weeks in Australia - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in Australia is ample time to take in a variety of the country's highlights at a family-friendly pace. As well as Australia's famous wildlife, kids will love the variety of outdoor activities available, from swimming and snorkeling to hot-air ballooning and hiking. Plus, with a generous two-week itinerary, you can even hop over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, a completely different landscape with its own unique attractions.

Namib dunes at dawn in the Namib-Naukluft National Park
1 Week in Namibia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In a week, you can enjoy a range of wildlife-spotting highlights in Namibia's deserts and canyons, plains and watering holes, and coast and wetlands. Between safaris, you'll explore some of the world's largest dunes at Sossusvlei, ancient tree carcasses of the Deadvlei, and shipwrecks along the foggy Skeleton Coast. There's even time to combine a visit with neighboring South Africa on a well-planned itinerary starting in Cape Town.

The walls of Sesriem Canyon, Nambia, illuminated by the setting sun
5 Days in Namibia - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Namibia is a vast country with a wide variety of desert and coastal landscapes, and with five days in the country, you can get a taste of its highlights. Most tours start in the Germanic capital, Windhoek, from where you can embark on a self or private guided tour. Be amazed by vast red dunes, ancient canyons, abundant wildlife and birds, eerie shipwrecks along the coast, and European-like cities.

Discover Palawan's Snake Island at low tide in the dry season
Best Time of Year to Visit the Philippines

The dry season (December to May) is the best time to visit the Philippines as the sun is shining, the sea is calm and clear, and the conditions are perfect for a range of outdoor activities. There are also advantages of traveling in the wet season (June to November), including lower prices and fewer crowds, as well as pockets of the country that remain pretty dry.

A desert adapted mother elephant and her calf walk a dried river bed in Namibia's northwestern region
Namibia in December: Travel Tips, Weather & More

December is midsummer in Namibia and a low season for travel. Namibian summers tend to be hot and wet, but notable exceptions exist. Keep your cool at the bone-dry dunes of Sossusvlei or the foggy Skeleton Coast, or embrace the heat and go bird-watching in the Caprivi Strip. If you are in Namibia for Christmas, make the most of a hot festive season. Read on for more tips for traveling to Namibia in December.