Nature Travel Specialists

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, Southeast Asia and South America

 

Places to go on the web

 

The websites on this page we've found to provide useful information about general travel, our destinations or other relevant stuff. Some we just like. If you have any suggestions, please email them to us. Also, keep checking back - we're continually updating and adding interesting and useful sites.

For ease of getting about, these pages will open in a new page, so by simply closing those sites you will return to this page.

A Warning
Nature Travel Specialists does not place non-session information-seeking cookies on your computer or take any private information. However, we cannot control other sites, and by visiting them you are subject to their rules. Generally we've not included any sites we've found that act in what we consider to be an underhand way, but we're not computer experts and cannot tell what they may be doing unknown to us. That being said, there's some useful stuff here. Enjoy.

 

Currency Conversion

www.forex.com.au. This site gives up to the minute exchange rates for Australia and New Zealand. This is the company we use for all our Australia & New Zealand currency exchanges.

www.oanda.com/convert/classic will give you exchange rates for all countries.

Don't forget that in both cases the rates given are bulk rates - you'll need to increase by 2 to 5 per cent or so for retail rates, depending on how you "buy" the money - travelers' checks, cash or credit card.

 

Weather and Time

www.worldtimeserver.com gives the time all around the world. Very useful is the time predictor. You can enter a time in one country, and it will tell when that will be elsewhere. So if you know that friends are having a special event is Sydney at 8pm in a week's time, it will tell you what time that is in your city, so you can call.

www.whitepages.com.au/worldtime/callwiz lets you enter your own state and the place in Australia you wish to call. It will then give you what number prefixes to use to call, and the local time.

www.weatherunderground.com gives current weather and detailed 5 day forecasts around the world. You'll also see sunset, sunrise and twilight. We like this site.

Want to know if you will have time to actually see the sights after you arrive somewhere in Australia during your travels? This Geoscience site gives sunset and sunrise for any location you enter in Australia. Remember that in the tropical north there is little twilight; but down south in summer it can be extensive.

 

Flights

SeatGuru has seat information for most international airlines. You can see if seat pitches and widths, where seats are in the plane, whether they recline or not, if they are bulkheads or aisles, and other useful information.

 

Conversions

converts all sorts of measurements. Want to know what the torque of your car's engine is in metric? Or how many Chinese dans of beans you can fit in a Russian vodkabottle (an official measurement in that enlightened country) or the oft-used Roman acetabul?

Electricity

World Electric Guide has details on electrical voltage and plug design around the world.

 

US Dept of State Travel Section

The US Dept of State has various useful items for travel abroad, including travel alerts and warnings, and country specific information. While these are usually a bit more frantic than is truly necessary, they will alert you to potential problems. The section on traveling abroad also has some good information.

 

General Information

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a good source for news and current events throughout Australia, and local weather forecasts.

The Jakarta Post is an English-language newspaper in Indonesia.

www.tsa.gov/public/ is the TSA site detailing travel restrictions - what you can and can't take on the plane, among other things.

The Centers for Disease Control website will give you travel advice for your destination country. Please be aware, though, that like the Travel Warnings site, the CDC Travel Section is staffed entirely by your mother's clones. These are people for whom the only reasonable and prudent activity is to remain in an isolation ward for life. Again like the Travel Warnings people, for them travel is akin to swimming in a pool of sharks with live electric leads attached to your naked skin. That being said, there is a lot of useful information here, but remember - this is your mother sending you to summer camp, for your first time apart, in bear country.

Freesearching offers many links on the web, including international phone directories and postal codes, international dialling codes, maps and atlasses, US government departments and many others.

 

Maps and other resources

World-wide destination maps can be found at Infohub.com, an on-line map resource.

You can browse Australia topographically at Australia Geoscience's site. This will open on a map of North Queensland, but you can select any part of Australia for a detailed map. Another one of their sites will answer questions you may have about landforms and other geological and geographical aspects of Australia. There's even a series of maps showing how Australia changed shape from way back when. Going to make your own webpage of your trip to Australia? Click here for a site that will enable you to build up a map of Australia with all the places you went, including towns, geographic features and even the roads you took.

 

Embassies

www.immi.gov.au/visitors has information for travelers to Australia.

www.austemb.org is the general Australian Embassy site.

www.nzemb.org/embassy/consulates.htm is a list of New Zealand consulates.

 

Books, Travel Supplies and Other Goodies

Nature Travel Specialists makes a commission on products bought via some of the shopping links on our website, such as Amazon, REI and ExOfficio. We in turn donate 25% of this directly to our primary supported conservation organization, which is Profauna Indonesia (click here for more information.) A further percentage goes to various conservation causes with our corporate giving in all destinations we travel to. As the products cost no more, please buy them through us by clicking on a link in our website, and support these worthy and essential causes. If you click through to the shopping site, then add that page to your favorites list, your donations will continue even away from our site.

 
In Association with Amazon.com
Amazon.com has most of our recommended reading books available at a substantial discount; we find we always get enough (just one or two books) to qualify for free shipping. Just click the logo to the left. Add to your Favorites (save the address when you first arrive at the site) to enable book checking when you see references when you're away from our site.

Ex Officio Travel Clothing Label ExOfficio makes superb travel clothing. We've tried various clothing types, and ExOfficio is what we wear. Highly recommended.


Shambala Publications
is an excellent source of books on Eastern and other religions, philosophies, and related topics. If you are visiting Asia, or have returned from there, and would like to know more about the religion and philosophies you experienced - or even the food - Shambala is well worth a visit.

The American Birding Association and the Birds Australia stores have hard to find birding books, as well as the standard ones. Profits from both go to bird conservation and research.

Andrew Isles is an Australian bookseller specializing in natural history, with both new and secondhand books. Their website is searchable for titles. We've used this store for books for about 30 years.

A small book publisher, Narrative Press, has an interesting and eclectic assortment of titles, including ones of exploration and discovery, that won't be found elsewhere.

B2 Gallery has original watercolor naturescape paintings by Patricia E. Beebe including beautiful photorealistic wildlife works. Her husband David R Beebe shows wildlife and nature photos. There is also jungle-themed artwork and furniture by Duke and Laura Kintz along with their imported African arts and crafts. Linda Moodie shows fused art glass here as well.

Natural history sites

Fatbirder has more information about birds, birding and related subjects worldwide than just about any site anywhere. If you or a friend are disabled, and still want to get out to see wildlife, Fatbird both runs its own tours and has links to other organizations and companies specializing in travel for the disabled. When you're there make sure you click on the Fun Pages for some good stuff.

Our Conservation Page has additional sites dedicated to wildlife and natural history conservation.

EndemicGuides is a Malaysian company for Malaysia & Borneo Bird Watching & Eco Nature Tours, and promotes sustainable nature tourism. They offer Jungle trekking, Hiking, Rafting, Kayaking, Bird watching, River cruise safaris, Mountain climbing and Culture tours. Their site also has information about Malaysia, and links to birding guides and companies around theworld.

Wildlife Extra has continually updated articles about wildlife and wildlife conservation. They issue an email newlsetter, also available on the web. All the wildlife news you could every want, and you would need to subscribe to scores of magazines and journals to find it all. They also have wildlife tours advertised, mostly UK based but anyone could join up. (Yes, lots of competition for us, but the site is too relevant for wildlife lovers for us to ignore.)

Learn A Language

USIL Logo Arrows  Learn Spanish -- Free Introductory Interactive, On-Line, Spanish Language Lessons and full courses. Learn Spanish at home at your own pace.

 

Migration

Visited Australia or New Zealand and liked it?

The Migration Bureau is an international visa consulting company specialising in obtaining skills, business, and family residence visas for Australia, New Zealand and Canada. You will benefit from the convenience of a complete "one-stop" migration service including professional assistance with residence visa processing, official qualification recognition, business migration, job search and re-settlement. 

 

There are more direct travel links on our connections page