Join the kiwi travel writer in Turkey?

Fancy joining the kiwi travel writer in Turkey – read on . . .

“I can’t wait to go back in May next year.  When I rave about this tour people ask me what I liked most, I think I exhaust them with so many highlights” so says Anna, director and owner of 50plustravel when talking about her recent trip to Turkey.

She continues. “We had lots of fun strolling around the Grand Bazaar, exploring many small and humble shops. It is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 5,000 shops – which is why we only visited a few! There are whole streets of shops specialising in jewellery, leather goods, ceramic and spices to list just a few. There are thousands of things you can find, bargain for, and then buy in the Grand Bazaar. It’s also an opportunity to discover the utterly fabulous Turkish hospitality and of course drink their sweet apple tea.”

Now I’m excited too … I am joining her New Zealand team for the 20-day tour of Turkey in May 2012.  As a travel writer it will be fun to be able to help anyone on the small group who wants to improve their writing about their travels by passing on some tips that I’ve learnt over the years of writing about travel for newspapers and magazines. (See my webpage for more information about my writing, my book, and some of the publications I’ve appeared in. Note: my book, Naked in Budapest, was read, in seven episodes, on Radio NZ National earlier this year and the book has a chapter of Turkey – it will be fabulous to get back there.)

One of my favourite photos from my last trip: taken in Safranbolu - home of the 'best Lokum (turkish delight) in Turkey

What I’m looking forward to see  again is Cappadocia, then Konya, home of the Whirling Dervishes; and Karavanserai where we will see a resting house used on the ancient Silk Road and having a Turkish Folklore evening with its “all you can eat and drink” Turkish meal, local folk dancers, and a belly dancer!

I’m particularly looking forward to watching the sunrise from our Hot Air Balloon ride – this will definitely be one of the highlights of the tour for me.

Anna’s newsletter saidWe did not want to leave Turkey! I can’t wait to take you there in May next year. I’d love you to have the same experience as we had and see for yourself this marvellous destination.  Please book NOW as our groups are small and places are limited.” (See the map here)

Discover Turkey Tour
Istanbul Gallipoli Selcuk Kusadasi Kas Antalya Cappadocia Ankara Bursa

20 outstanding days. Depart NZ 20th May 2012 – Originally $6,975 now $6,775

SAVE $200 … see the webpage for more goodies

Of course you don’t have to leave from New Zealand – I can meet you in Istanbul!

Tourism Industry Update — where do travel writers fit in?

Tourism Industry Update — where do travel writers fit in?

This is the subject of the talk in Wellington by Ann-Marie Johnson, PR with the Tourism Industry Assocation. Ann-Marie, longtime member of the Travel Communicators’ Association, was a major organiser of the mammoth Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand (TRENZ) event in Queenstown in late May. TRENZ brings together around 270 New Zealand tourism operators and a similar number of international travel and tourism buyers so it is an incredible organisational challenge. Ann-Marie will suggest how tourism and writers can help each other.

Time: 6pm on Monday, 27 June.

Place: Museum Hotel, 90 Cable Street (near Te Papa). Street parking available.

Meeting place: The bar on the third floor of the hotel for socialising and drinks/nibbles. Presentation starts in Agostini Room (4th floor) about 6.30pm.

Cost: Travcom members $10; non-members $15.

Register with and send cheque to: Helen Davies, Travcom administrator, at 2B Pukehana Avenue, Epsom, Auckland 1023. Ph: 09 624 5707 or email: if you’d like to use internet banking or have any queries. Register by Thursday 23 June.
The event has been organised by the Wellington branch of the Travel Communicators’ Association.

Further info: Sarah Bennett (; Judith Doyle ( and Heather Hapeta (

travels with a passionate nomad …

Naked in Budapest: travels with passionate nomad, (AKA Heather Hapeta) will be broadcast from Monday, 16 May – Tuesday, 24 May, 2011 at 10.45 a.m. on Radio New Zealand National.

It has been adapted into 7 episodes and is read by the author.

It will be available to hear online at – as an MP3 file – and you can buy a hard copy at

Katherine Mansfield: guided walk Wellington

Love the writing of Katherine Mansfield, if so take this guided walk to trace her steps here in Wellington, New Zealand during New Zealand book month 2011.

This walk will take about 90 mins and will be guided by NZSA (NZ Society of Authors) member Kevin Boon – a man who has written about Katharine’s life in Wellington.

Visiting Katherine Mansfield's Birthplace is part of the tour

DATE: Sunday 20th 2011 at 1030

COST: $20.00

Bookings required: for more details  contact

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