The World’s Best Airports In 2018

The World's Best Airports In 2018

Singapore Changi Airport has been named as the World’s Best Airport by air travellers for the sixth consecutive year at the 2018 Skytrax World Airport Awards, held at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the first time in the history of the awards that an airport has won this prestige title for six consecutive years.

See the rest of the results below.

The World’s Top 10 Airports

1     Singapore Changi
2     Incheon
3     Tokyo Haneda
4     Hong Kong
5     Doha Hamad
6     Munich
7     Centrair Nagoya
8     London Heathrow
9     Zurich
10    Frankfurt

The World’s Cleanest Airports

1    Tokyo Haneda
2    Centrair Nagoya
3    Incheon
4    Taiwan Taoyuan
5    Singapore Changi
6    Tokyo Narita
7    Hong Kong
8    Zurich
9    Doha Hamad
10   Helsinki

The World’s Most Improved Airports

1    Rome Fiumicino
2    Perth
3    Calgary
4    Taiwan Taoyuan
5    Athens
6    Nadi
7    Montréal
8    Moscow Sheremetyevo
9    Houston Intercontinental
10   Manila

The World’s Best Airport Terminals

1    London Heathrow – T2
2    Munich – T2
3    Singapore Changi – T3
4    London Heathrow – T5
5    Tokyo Haneda – Int’l
6    Madrid – T4
7    Dubai – T3
8    Paris CDG – T2-M
9    Mumbai – T2
10   Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport – T1

The World’s Best Domestic Airports

1    Tokyo Haneda
2    Shanghai Hongqiao
3    Tianjin
4    Kagoshima
5    Osaka Itami
6    Ordos
7    Changsha
8    Kumamoto
9    Shenyang
10   Hohhot

The World’s Best Airport Hotels

1    Crowne Plaza Changi
2    Pullman Guangzhou Airport
3    Hilton Munich Airport
4    Fairmont Vancouver Airport
5    Sofitel London Heathrow
6    Hong Kong Sky City Marriott
7    Langham Place Beijing
8    Regal Airport Hong Kong
9    Sheraton Amsterdam Airport
10   Hilton Frankfurt Airport

The World’s Best Airport Staff Service

1    Incheon
2    Tokyo Haneda
3    Taiwan Taoyuan
4    Centrair Nagoya
5    Singapore Changi
6    Hong Kong
7    Kansai
8    Narita
9    Amsterdam
10   Vienna

The World’s Best Airports for Dining

1    Hong Kong
2    Singapore Changi
3    Incheon
4    Tokyo Narita
5    Doha Hamad
6    Munich
7    Houston Intercontinental
8    Vienna
9    London Heathrow
10   Rome Fiumicino

The World’s Best Regional Airports

1    Centrair Nagoya
2    Hamburg
3    Durban
4    London City
5    Denver
6    Dusseldorf
7    Cologne / Bonn
8    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
9    Haikou
10   Xi’an

The World’s Best Airport Shopping

1    London Heathrow
2    Singapore Changi
3    Hong Kong
4    Doha Hamad
5    Amsterdam
6    Incheon
7    Dubai
8    Rome Fiumicino
9    Paris CDG
10   Frankfurt

The World’s Best Airport Security Processing

1    Tokyo Narita
2    Centrair Nagoya
3    Copenhagen
4    Taiwan Taoyuan
5    Tokyo Haneda
6    Singapore Changi
7    Zurich
8    Incheon
9    Hong Kong
10   Amsterdam

The World’s Best Airport Baggage Delivery

1    Kansai
2    Tokyo Haneda
3    Incheon
4    Taiwan Taoyuan
5    Tokyo Narita
6    Zurich
7    Singapore Changi
8    Centrair Nagoya
9    Munich
10   Copenhagen

The World’s Best Airport Immigration

1    Taiwan Taoyuan
2    Centrair Nagoya
3    Hong Kong
4    Copenhagen
5    Helsinki
6    Tokyo Haneda
7    Zurich
8    Singapore Changi
9    Incheon
10   Tokyo Narita

The World’s Best Transit Airport

1    Hong Kong
2    Singapore Changi
3    Incheon
4    Munich
5    Taiwan Taoyuan
6    Doha Hamad
7    Tokyo Haneda
8    Amsterdam
9    Narita
10   Frankfurt

The World’s Best Airport Leisure Amenities

1    Singapore Changi
2    Incheon
3    Doha Hamad
4    Amsterdam
5    Hong Kong
6    Munich
7    Taiwan Taoyuan
8    Zurich
9    Frankfurt
10   Centrair Nagoya

The World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Terminals

1    Kansai – T2
2    Tokyo Narita – T3
3    Melbourne – T4
4    Kuala Lumpur – KLIA2
5    London Stansted
6    Brussels Charleroi
7    East Midlands
8    Luton
9    Berlin Schönefeld
10   Frankfurt-Hahn

More Information

World Airport Awards

Singapore Airlines To Launch The World’s New Longest Flight

Singapore Airlines To Launch The World’s New Longest Flight

Singapore Airlines has announced that it is preparing to launch a 19-hour flight travelling from Singapore to New York… making it longest in the world!

The flight will beat out fellow contenders, currently held by Qatar Airways for its Auckland to Doha route which travels 14,536 kilometres and takes 18 hours, followed by Qantas’ Perth to London route, which flies 14,499 kilometres and takes just over 17 hours.

Airbus, the maker of the A350 XWB, the ultra-long-range plane that will be used on the route, announced that the aircraft had recently successfully completed its first flights. The company says that the plane will enter service with Singapore Airlines by the end of 2018.

Aurora Station: World’s first luxury space hotel to debut in 2022

Aurora Station: World's first luxury space hotel to debut in 2022

The first-ever luxury space hotel was introduced during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. Named after the magical light phenomenon that illuminates the Earth’s polar skies, Aurora Station is being developed by Orion Span and the company’s team of space industry veterans, who have over 140 years of human space experience.

The first fully modular space station to ever debut, Aurora Station will operate as the first luxury hotel in space. The exclusive hotel will host six people at a time – including two crew members. Space travellers will enjoy a completely authentic, once-in-a-lifetime astronaut experience with extraordinary adventure during their 12-day journey, starting at $9.5 million per person. Deposits are now being accepted for a future stay on Aurora Station, which is slated to launch in late 2021 and host its first guests in 2022. The fully refundable deposit is $80,000 per person.

“We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space. Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travellers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience,” said Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span. “Orion Span has additionally taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travellers to visit a space station and streamlined it to three months, at a fraction of the cost. Our goal is to make space accessible to all, by continuing to drive greater value at lower cost.”

During their stay on Aurora Station, travellers will enjoy the exhilaration of zero gravity and fly freely throughout Aurora Station, gaze at the northern and southern aurora through the many windows, soar over their hometowns, take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit (which they can take home with them as the ultimate souvenir), revel in a virtual reality experience on the holodeck, and stay in touch or live stream with their loved ones back home via high-speed wireless Internet access. While in space, Aurora Station guests will soar 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in Low Earth Orbit, or LEO, where they will find stunning views of the Earth. The hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, meaning those aboard will see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours. On return to Earth, guests will be treated to a hero’s welcome home.

Prior to take-off, those set to travel on Aurora Station will enjoy a three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC). Phase one of the certification program is done online, making space travel easier than ever. The next portion will be completed in-person at Orion Span’s state-of-the-art training facility in Houston, Texas. The final certification is completed during a traveller’s stay on Aurora Station.

“Aurora Station is incredibly versatile and has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel,” Bunger added. “We will offer full charters to space agencies who are looking to achieve human spaceflight in orbit for a fraction of the cost – and only pay for what they use. We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing. Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth. We will later sell dedicated modules as the world’s first condominiums in space. Future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo. This is an exciting frontier and Orion Span is proud to pave the way.”

More Information

Orion Span

The Hive comes to Kew Gardens

The Hive comes to Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens in London is home to a multi-sensory architectural installation known as The Hive, which transforms the life inside a beehive into a sound and light show for visitors to enjoy.

The Hive, Kew Gardens, LondonThe activity of the bees – who communicate through vibrations – is monitored inside a real hive, also situated at Kew, by a vibration sensor known as an accelerometer. These vibrations are sent in real time to the man-made Hive which is located in the middle of a wildflower meadow at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The structure contains more than 1000 led lights which are powered on and off in seemingly random patterns by the real life vibrational activity of the bees inside the real hive.

The soundscape at The Hive is composed of bee sounds and sounds from a pre-recorded library. Signals from the real beehive trigger noise gates at particular thresholds, activating the sounds.

The 17-metre, 40 ton structure, made up of 170,000 steel and aluminium parts, is a collaboration between artist Wolfgang Buttress and designer and engineer Tristan Simmonds.

img_0364The multi award-winning experience was inspired by scientific research into the health of honeybees. It is a visual symbol of the pollinators’ role in feeding the planet and the challenges facing bees today.

The installation arrived at Kew Gardens after a spectacular run as the centrepiece of the gold medal winning UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo UK Trade and Investment.

 

More Information

Kew Gardens Official Website

 

Interested in visiting Kew Gardens? Check out our Slow TV episode Kew Gardens: Flora from around the world.

Museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent opens in Marrakech

Museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent opens in Marrakech

In October of last year, a museum dedicated to renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent opened in Marrakech, a city he discovered in 1966 and visited regularly till his death in 2008.

Laurent’s love of Morocco is well documented and the ‘Red City’ especially served as a major inspiration, him once stating “Marrakech taught me colour”. The museum itself is situated near sites of great importance to the designer, including Jardin Majorelle, a garden that he and business partner Pierre Berge saved from development in 1980, and the villa that Laurent bought to continue his visits to Morocco.

A unique view of the gardens

A unique view of the gardens

The opening of the new museum coincided with that of Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, which was constructed inside 5 Avenue Marceau, the couture house that Saint Laurent worked his magic for nearly 30 years and which will showcase the creative process used by Laurent to design his most famous pieces.

The Marrakech museum compliments its Parisian counterpart by showcasing a private collection of Laurent’s work with over 5,000 pieces of clothing, including his famous smoking jackets, as well as rotating temporary exhibitions. The museum also reconstructs memories of Laurent’s personal life, with exhibitions including dialogues from the designer himself, magazine clippings, press releases and photographs.

The museum is not solely focused on Laurent; amongst the temporary exhibits are collections from varied – often young and upcoming – designers, such as Moroccan local Noureddine Amir. In addition to the exhibit spaces, the museum building includes a terrace café, research library and auditorium. It also includes a fantastic museum dedicated to Berber culture. Located in the former painting studio of Jacques Majorelle, this section includes more than 600 objects from the Rif to the Sahara Desert, collected by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, which demonstrate the richness and diversity of this still-vibrant culture.

More Information

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

Words by Aranya Tatapudi

 

Love all things design? Watch our series Metropolis – each episode explores the history and development of cities and regions through their architecture, design, and urban style.

Leonardo DiCaprio & Seychelles join forces to create marine reserves

Leonardo DiCaprio & Seychelles join forces to create marine reserves

In an agreement the first of its kind in world history, Seychelles is to protect large areas in the Indian Ocean to clear some of its national debt.

The island nation has agreed to preserve 210,000 square kilometres of ocean (almost the entire size of the United Kingdom), comprising of two huge marine parks which will cover 15% of Seychelles’ ocean. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation donated $1 million towards funding the debt swap.

The plan restricts tourism and fishing activities to prevent damage to aquatic life. For a country such as the Seychelles, where tourism accounts for 16% of its GDP, this was a difficult, yet important decision.

“We need to be responsible as we sustainably develop our oceans,” Seychelles Tourism Board CEO Sherin Francis said. “By safeguarding our environment, we can also ensure that we are protecting our people against an uncertain future.”

The World’s First Debt Swap Designed to Protect Ocean Areas

In 2016, The Seychelles government agreed on the debt swap with the Nature Conservancy, a US charity, and other investors.

As part of the $21 million deal, the charity and investors, including the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, paid off a part of Seychelles’ national debt.

The country will make future debt payments to the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT). The trust will offer low-interest rates on debt repayments. Any savings will fund new projects designed to protect marine life and fight climate change.

What Will Be Protected?

Seychelles will increase its protected waters from 0.04 to 30 percent by 2020.

The first marine reserve includes the Aldabra islands. Aldabra is home to giant tortoises, rare tropical bird colonies and the dugong – one of the Indian Ocean’s more endangered species. This area will be completely protected, with only research and regulated tourism allowed.

The second area will limit the fishing and tourism activities around the waters of Seychelles’ main islands.

More Information

The Seychelles Islands Official Tourism Site

Earth Day: 8 Destinations That Have Sustainability In Mind

Earth Day: 8 Destinations That Have Sustainability In Mind

Each year Earth Day aims to highlight global environmental issues, raise awareness of the impact of climate change and encourage sustainable development. Tourism can play a key role in this approach when travellers can look to offset their carbon footprint when choosing which destinations to visit. From saving turtles in Florida to protecting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to sustainable farming in Arizona, here’s a list of activities in locations all over the world that have the environment and conservation in mind ahead of Earth Day on 22 April 2018.

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Bhutan: Breathtaking treks and outdoor adventures in a destination leader in conservation

Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas, is a global leader in environmentally sustainable development. The country is known for its long-term conservation goals to maintain its pristine landscapes and rich biodiversity, with the national constitution stating a requirement of a minimum of 60% of the country’s land is forested at all times. The country is home to less than 800,000 inhabitants and over half of Bhutan is designated to national parks, forests, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Bhutan is therefore able to achieve carbon neutrality, with trees taking in almost 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Bhutan is an advocate of sustainable tourism activities, including exploring the natural and untouched landscapes throughout the country on foot. Druk Path Trek is one of Bhutan’s most popular short treks which takes visitors through stunning blue pine forests, along high mountain ridges and next to a number of lakes. Travellers also have the chance to see alpine yak pastures where nomads can be spotted in their natural habitat. The six day trek passes by a number of ancient lhakhangs, dzongs and villages and ranges at altitudes between 2,400 and 4,200 metres. The final descent of the trek leads into the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu.

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Arizona: Agritourism, sustainable farming and fresh local produce on Mesa’s fresh foodie trail

Travellers can grab a hold of the grain, and get their hands dirty picking the day’s harvest, before heading to the kitchen to put together a menu with seasonal, local produce. Visit Mesa has launched the Fresh Foodie Trail™, a self-guided route that connects many of the culinary stop offs in Arizona’s third-largest city. The food-centric experience advocates long-table dinners and invites visitors to learn why their food choices matter. Pasta making classes with ancient grains, watching the cold-pressing of fresh olives, foraging for the freshest produce –in an educational trip that highlights the green and sustainable methods of producing and enjoying food. Serving as a culinary gateway to Greater Phoenix, the neighbouring farms in and around Mesa provide a bounty of seasonal goods for visitors to enjoy year-round. Citrus in January, peaches in May, olives in October and even, heirloom wheat in the winter. During the trail, travellers will stop off at True Garden, which features revolutionary hydroponic gardening techniques, where visitors can learn about organic growing practices and sustainable farming. True Garden uses 95% less water and 90% less space than a traditional garden, and contains no harmful chemical, pesticides or herbicides. Another stop off, Mesa Urban Garden was created to inspire sustainable urban living through education, community involvement and creative cooperation to strengthen families and enhance and beautify the region.

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Queensland: Go green on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

One of the seven wonders of the natural world, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef (stretching for 1,800 miles) is a must-see for holidaymakers. Eco-conscious visitors have a number of different options when it comes to enjoying everything the Reef has to offer in a sustainable manner, including a stay on Lizard Island – the only resort located on a 1,013-hectare National Park on the Great Barrier Reef itself. The resort offers complete luxury on the world’s largest and most diverse reef system and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top hotels. All activity on the island is undertaken with full commitment to protecting, nurturing and maintaining the critical balance between the resort and the diverse eco-system of Lizard Island and its surrounding waters. The island is also home to the Lizard Island Research Station which attracts reef researchers from all over the world. Tours to the Research Station are conducted twice a week and are available for all Lizard Island guests, where they can learn more about the reef. Alternatively, there are a number of other sustainable islands guests can stay on when visiting the reef including Bedarra – Australia’s most sustainable island resort – Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island. Those looking to visit Queensland over peak holiday periods can also volunteer at some Queensland National Parks including Lady Musgrave Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, where they can camp for free in exchange for volunteering as campground hosts, providing island interpretation with a conservation message. There’s also a chance to make the trek to Deepwater National Park to help nesting loggerhead turtles. Andy Ridley, the CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour, has recently been appointment CEO of newly launched concept “Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef” – a global social purpose movement founded to empower individuals from every place and all walks of life, to collectively change the world and ensure future generations can continue to learn about, protect, and enjoy our greatest natural inheritance, the Great Barrier Reef, which visitors can also sign up to.

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Nevada: Discover Animal Ark – a safe haven for injured, abandoned and otherwise non-releasable wildlife

The Animal Ark located north of Reno, aims to inspire environmental stewardship through wildlife education and provides a haven for North American predators, who otherwise would not be able to survive in the wild. Every effort is taken to stimulate their natural habitat with native trees, plants and boulders. Set in Nevada’s high desert, the sanctuary uses environmentally-friendly power, and can supply almost all the energy required to run, through solar panels and wind generation. The sanctuary holds a number of events to educate visitors on the fascinating animals, such as Ark at Dark where guests will hear the wolves and coyotes howling into the night as they take a nocturnal nature walk, see Cheetahs race around the Ark track at sunset or visit during Harvest Festival where animals receive carved out pumpkins filled with their favourite food.

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Namibia: The top destination for an eco-holiday in 2018

Climb the highest sand dunes in the world. Descend to the floor of the deepest canyon in Africa. Immerse yourself in the past at one of the Africa’s richest rock art sites, and watch wildlife shimmer against one of the most spectacular pans on earth. Explore the oldest, driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul. Namibia is the place to go for an eco-holiday in 2018. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate environmental protection into its constitution and today more than 40% of the country is under conservation management. The outcome? Namibia is now home to the last free-roaming populations of black rhino and desert elephant, as well as 25% of the world’s cheetah, making it a superlative destination for responsible wildlife holidays. The best place to spot the endangered desert rhino is from the luxurious Desert Rhino Camp, situated in the private and protected 400,000-hectar Palmwag Rhino Reserve, operated in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust and Wilderness Safaris. The rhino viewing is done on foot discreetly and respectfully. Travellers can stay in one of the eight large Meru-style tents, enjoy guided nature hikes with local conservationists and savour picnics in remote locations around the secluded property. A portion of revenue from Desert Rhino Camp goes to the Save the Rhino Trust to contribute towards its conservation operations.

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Palm Beaches, Florida: Save the loggerhead turtle

The Loggerhead Marinelife Centre is designed specifically to rehabilitate loggerhead turtles, and offers an array of conservation activities for visitors. Its mission combines the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles, replenishing dwindling numbers. Now internationally recognised as the most densely populated nesting beaches for loggerhead turtles in the world, The Palm Beaches serves as an international hub for sea turtle education, ocean research and conservation. The non-profit educational facility located on the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County also houses a variety of exhibits, including live sea turtles and other coastal creatures, as well as a state-of-the-art full service veterinary hospital, exhibit hall, outdoor classroom, research lab, and resource centre. Exhibits include a prehistoric Archelon sea turtle replica, salt water aquaria and displays of local wildlife, as well as educational displays about South Florida’s marine environment and how to conserve it

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Ontario: Celebrate sustainability in Ontario with the 125th anniversary of Canada’s provincial parks

Home to 334 stunning provincial parks, Ontario, along with the rest of Canada, will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its provincial parks in 2018. This anniversary is particularly significant for Ontario as the province’s Algonquin Provincial Park, established in 1893, was Canada’s first. Year-round activities are planned to commemorate this historic milestone including unique pop ups and new initiatives. There are a number of eco-friendly accommodation options in or near these parks including Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Provincial Park and Elmhirst Resort in Muskoka. The parks offer visitors the chance to get back to nature and explore some of the planet’s wildest depths with a number of hiking and biking trails, canoe and boating routes and the chance to spot the stars and Northern Lights in some of the world’s clearest skies.

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Mauritius: Explore an eco-adventure park

A world biodiversity hotspot known for its natural beauty, Mauritius is on a crusade to reduce the eco-footprint for the benefit of the island. Volcanic mountains, savannah-style plains and pockets of ancient forest with endemic plants and wildlife offer plenty of opportunity for green adventure, from birding and zip-lining to blue marlin fishing and nature treks. For those interested in learning more about the island’s natural environment, some Sugar Estates have opened as eco-adventure parks offerings treks, horse riding, mountain biking and safaris to spot deer, monkeys and wild boar. Angsana Balaclava, a resort in the North of the island attained bronze benchmark status from Earthcheck and are planning a coral planting project. The resort also employs a marine biologist who will guide guests on snorkelling trips. Meanwhile, Shanti Maurice, has campaigns to conserve Mauritius’ coast and the Shandrani Resort & Spa has trained ‘Shandrani Rangers’ for coral conservation. The Attitude Hotel group has inaugurated Nauticaz, its educational and research centre which is open to guests and locals, one of its most important features is the equipper marine laboratory set up to monitor and protect coral reefs and the islands ecosystems.

More Information

Hills Balfour

Tourism Council of Bhutan

Visit Mesa

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef

Travel Nevada

Desert Rhino Camp

The Loggerhead Marinelife Centre

Ontario Travel

Tourism Mauritius

Australia Day: Inventions you didn’t know you had Oz to thank for

Australia Day: Inventions you didn't know you had Oz to thank for

It’s time to thank the many Australian inventors who have quite literally changed our world… here’s a list of the top 14 essential gizmos and gadgets that can trace their roots Down Under (and which without – our day-to-day lives would be very different).

The Electric Drill

Hailing from Scotland (but an honourary Aussie), Arthur James Arnot touched down on the sun-kissed soil of Australia in 1889. He came to build a power plant for the Union Electric company in Melbourne, but fate had other ideas, and he created one of the most useful tools that is still used universally today.

The drill designed by Arnot wouldn’t exactly fit in your toolbox today as it was designed to drill rock and coal so was rather cumbersome. Yet, within six years, a miniature version was on the market.
And the rest, as they say, is history.

Wi-Fi

Sullivan had his eyes to the skies in 1977. His work as an electrical engineer led him to investigate how a tool called a Fourier Transform, which breaks waveforms down, could be applied to radio astronomy.

His discoveries turned out to have a much wider application. They formed the core technology, patented in 1996, which made wireless LAN fast and reliable.

And today there’s just the small matter of 8 billion devices using Wi-Fi across the globe, with more than $420 million having been banked thanks to the patent held by the national science agency, CSIRO.

Plastic Banknotes

Way back in 1968 the increasing number of forged and counterfeit bank notes led to a skilled team of individuals being appointed to develop an alternative to paper banknotes: polymer banknotes.

These notes incorporate many security features not available with paper banknotes and last significantly longer.

It took twenty years until the world’s first ever plastic banknote was released into circulation in Australia during 1988.

Worldwide now you will find some three billion polymer notes in service in 22 countries, including right here in the UK.

Google Maps

Australians Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma co-founded a mapping-related startup in 2003. It wasn’t long before their invention, quite literally, placed Australia on the map.

Google bought the company in 2004 and, using the Where 2 Technologies software, created Google Maps, which is now used all over the world. In fact, it has almost replaced the paper map entirely in some countries.

There are 4,632,704 live websites that currently integrate Google Maps, and who knows how many of us have reached our intended destination thanks to it?

There’s more!

Here are some other notable inventions we have Australia and Australians to thank for.

  • Pharmacologist and pathologist Howard Florey shared a Nobel Prize in 1945 for his work extracting penicillin
  • David Ronald de Mey Warren invented the ‘black box’ flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder in 1958
  • Ian Frazer invented a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in 2006
  • Notepads (1902)
  • The tank (1912)
  • Aspirin (1915)
  • The pacemaker (1926)
  • The wine cask – or Goon Bag, as it is affectionately called in Australia (1965)
  • The bionic ear (1978)
  • Dual-flushing toilets (1980)

Post thanks to Distant Journeys

The Top 6 Hikes in Hawaii

The Top 6 Hikes in Hawaii

Hawai‘i offers some of America’s most exciting and varied hiking trails, with routes traversing volcanic craters, jungle ridges, bamboo forests, waterfalls, sandy beaches and rugged coastlines.

Each of the six islands offers travellers something unique and enticing, giving hikers the chance to explore scenes that have been used as the backdrops of Hollywood blockbuster films, including Jurassic Park, or spot whales from the shore.

Comprising beginner trails, moderate treks, and more challenging routes, the volcanic archipelago is a haven for those looking for a walk with a view, as well as an opportunity to find out about the culture and history of the islands.

Lāna‘i

Where: Pu‘u Pehe

Level: Easy

kvb-waimea_canyon-091315_0Situated between Mānele Bay and Hulupo‘e Bay, hikers can climb to the Pu‘u Pehe viewpoint to see the giant 80-foot islet rising from the sea. The 20-minute walk to the viewpoint is particularly well rewarded at sunset and some lucky visitors will even see spinner dolphins off the coast. Dubbed as ‘Sweetheart Rock’, the landmark boasts a wealth of Hawaiian culture and folklore.

O‘ahu

Where: Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head)

Level: Easy – Moderate

Offering travellers panoramic 360 degree views from the top of the iconic state monument, Diamond Head is a must do hike whilst in O‘ahu. The trail consists of stairs, tunnels and old military bunkers before reaching the 760-foot summit, which offers views of Waikīkī, Wai‘anae, the Pacific Ocean and the Ko‘olau Mountains. Visitors can learn about the history of the dormant volcano, including how the trail was originally built in 1908 by the US army as a military base, and the background of why the crater was given the name Diamond Head.

Island of Hawai‘i

Where: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Level: Easy – Difficult

Home to two volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, the national park offers hikers the chance to explore over 150 miles of walking trails. The 333,000-acre park includes a number of easy routes such as Crater Rim Trail to Waldron Ledge, moderate hikes including Pu‘u Huluhulu, and challenging routes such as the Kīlauea Iki Trail. Visitors will have the chance to see volcanic craters, steam vents and sulphur crystals up close, whilst spotting native birds and animals in the rainforest.

Moloka‘i

Where: Hālawa Valley

Level: Moderate

hawaii-volcanoes-national-parkThe hike to Mo‘oula Falls is approximately 1.7 miles each way, passing by rivers, native wildlife and fauna. Hikers will also see ancient Hawaiian temples as they pass deep inside the valley, believed to be relics from when Polynesians first settled on the island.

Kaua‘i

Where: Waimea Canyon

Level: Moderate

On the southwest side of Kauai in Waimea, the canyon is dubbed ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, the Canyon offers numerous trails for hikers to traverse, including the Iliau Nature Loop and Kukui Trail.

Maui

Where: Haleakalā National Park

Level: Moderate – Difficult

08561Visitors can join a guided tour or take part in a self-guided hike in Haleakalā National Park. Hikes vary from a short half hour circuit, to a three-day camping trip, offering visitors the chance to explore some of the park’s 30,000 acres. The volcanic crater, towering at over 10,000 feet above sea level, is known as ‘the house of the sun’. Hikers can marvel at the spectacular light show as the sky fills with an array of colours during sunrise and sunset or take advantage of the stargazing opportunities at nightfall.

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Go Hawaii
The Official Hawaiian Islands Tourism Board

 

Got the hiking bug? Join our adventurous presenters to discover the best treks around the world in this epic episode of GlobeTrekker.

Best Treks

The Great Barrier Reef undergoes world’s biggest IVF procedure

The Great Barrier Reef undergoes world's biggest IVF procedure

A ground-breaking coral reef experiment, likened to the world’s biggest IVF procedure, could be the answer to a healthy future for the Great Barrier Reef which, at 70 million football fields in size, is the world’s largest living organism and a natural asset valued at $56 billion.

Professor Peter Harrison, the marine scientist who co-discovered coral spawning 35 years ago, conducted the oversized “fertility treatment” at the Heron Island Research Station with help from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The experiment was first trialled in November 2016 when millions of microscopic sperm and eggs were harvested from last year’s annual coral spawning event, and placed into giant tanks for fertilisation. The subsequent coral larvae were then planted back onto the reef.

Professor Peter Harrison on Heron Island

Professor Peter Harrison on Heron Island

Based on the learnings from the 2016 trial, Professor Harrison this month captured and reared more larvae, taken from the 8th-9th November 2017 spawning event, in a larger-scale study that has already shown signs of successful larval settlement. This time round, mesh tents were used to veil the planted larvae to prevent them from floating to the surface, which Professor Harrison says assists the larvae to attach and settle onto the reef and form juvenile colonies.

“This is the first large-scale study of its kind and our research shows that we can help corals reproduce successfully by increasing larvae settling on the Great Barrier Reef and allowing them to develop into juvenile corals,” said Professor Harrison. “From our previous studies, we know that microscopic larvae, once settled, can grow into dinner plate size corals in just three years and become sexually reproductive.”

“The success of this project on Heron Island could increase the scale of coral restoration on the Great Barrier Reef in future; if we can fast track coral growth and regeneration and apply this to other areas of the reef, we hope to see larger areas of healthy coral that can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

Heron Island

Heron Island

The success of the larval reseeding project at Heron Island is a marker of hope for restoring areas of the Great Barrier Reef previously affected by coral bleaching. Like any parent-to-be, Professor Harrison will continue to anxiously monitor the growth of both coral colonies and refine techniques for future application to other areas of the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said Heron Island, once rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the Top 10 dive sites in the world, was well qualified for pioneering reef studies. “It’s not only tourists who come from all over the world to experience the sheer magic of the Great Barrier Reef at Heron Island, marine scientists also flock to the island to access one of the best reef research laboratories in the world, the University of Queensland Research Station,” said Anna.

“Researchers on the island are looking at innovations like larval reseeding to help coral reefs rebuild and adapt so they can live through everything the world is throwing at them and to survive into the future.”

Acropora valida

Acropora valida

Professor Harrison and the team at the Heron Island Research Centre worked alongside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on the project, which was made possible through a donation by Stephen Fitzgerald, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia and New Zealand.

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Tourism and Events Queensland
The official site of all things Queensland and tourism.