Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

August 28, 2013 by David Herd

Welcome to Paradise

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island, the photo above is Joaquina beach which is famous throughout the world for surfing. Florianopolis is a wonderful Brazilian city, on January 11, 2009. Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the “Ten most dynamic cities of the world” list in 2006. Veja magazine, a Brazilian publication, named the city as “the best place to live in Brazil.

Barra da Lagoa Florianopolis.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

This was a great place to stay, close to lots of good beaches.

Barra da Lagoa beach.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

Barra da Lagoais a fishing village, surrounded by nature and a small town with services like restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets, public transportation. Barra da Lagoa Beach has good waves, clear water and a tropical rain-forest, this makes Barra da Lagoa the kind of place you can easily loose track of time! 

Barra da Lagoa

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

You can spend the afternoon fishing with the locals or explore trails that lead to natural pools and stunning sightseeing spots, simply relax and enjoy the sunset from Prainha, an almost private beach just two minutes away.

Barra da Lagoa

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

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Having fun with the friendly locals.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

My friend Antonio in the blue cap is an extraordinary guy who I met in Florianopolis, in 1999 he rode a bicycle around the world representing UNICEF. His unbelievable journey resulted in meeting Pope Paul at the Vatican and Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan.

Jägermeister shots

Jagermeister shots

When in Brazil do as the locals do. 🙂

No dog so he walks his bird.


Reminds me of the song “Come Fly With Me”.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

These buildings remind me very much of Lisbon.

Let the games begin

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island Everywhere in Brazil the beach is everyone’s favorite place.

David Herd living like a king in Paradise.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

Recently, Florianopolis has become one of the most popular destinations in Brazil for people who are looking for superb beaches, beautiful scenery, interesting culture and friendly people. It has also experienced a real estate boom, with Brazilians looking for a better quality of life away from the chaos of the big cities, especially from the states of São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul.

Beautiful beaches everywhere in Flori.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

The city proper currently has an estimated population of 420,000 people. The Greater Florianopolis Metro area is home to about 1 million people. Florianopolis is a wonderful Brazilian city which should go on the bucket list for anyone intending to visit this wonderful country.

Joaquina beach

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

A little slice of paradise.

Does my bum look big in this?

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

My apologies folks but this is a question women have been asking their husbands for years.  😆

Our apartment in Barra da Lagoa.

David Herd Thailand

Only a short 10 minute stroll to the beach.

You don’t mess with these guys.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island  From what I have heard they are as mean as they look.

I would like to inspect the end of that tattoo.



This lovely lady worked on the beach at Barra da Lagoa.

Tall & tanned & young & lovely

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island

Now that’s a girl worth following. 🙂

Joaquina beach

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island Absolutely stunning.

Farewell from Flori.

Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island What a fabulous part of the world. 

Thanks for visiting my Florianopolis wonderful Brazilian Island photo blog.

That’s all folks


David Herd Thailand

                   Here are some more posts to check out
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand


         Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

                                                       Brazil Hotels

                                                     David Herd Thailand



   I remember hearing this great Brazilian band for the first time 1n 1999 walking down the main street of Foz where  the borders of three countries meet, Brazil, Paraguay & Argentina. Click on the photo below for another post on Brazil.


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Sydney harbour best in the world.

August 5, 2013 by David Herd

Sydney, a wonderful harbour, golden beaches & sunshine.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney harbour best in the world, it is as exciting city, I admit to being biased when talking about this great city, I was born & raised here in the middle of the last century. I have flown into Sydney hundreds of times and even now it still takes my breath away. Most of this post will centre around the fabulous harbor because without a doubt it is the best the world has to offer.

View from Drummoyne bay.

sydney harbour

For several years I was fortunate enough to live on the waterfront in Drummoyne, a few miles west of the city, and every day from my balcony I would marvel at the city skyline and Harbour Bridge. My boat was moored in front of my home and every weekend you would find me on the harbour visiting quaint little beaches and wonderful restaurants. The photo above was part of my view.

Here is a stunning view of the Sydney city skyline.

Sydney Opera house

Sydney is rather fragmented due the harbour splitting it between north & south, personally I prefer to stay north of the harbour, but Darling Harbour on the west of the city is a great location, as is the famous Bondi Beach which is located in the eastern suburbs. Make sure you catch a ferry to Manly from the city and you will see why Sydney Harbour is regarded as the best in the world. So do your research and pick the district where you would like to book your hotel.

Circular Quay, the gateway to the city.

Circular Quay Sydney

Grab a seat here and soak up the tremendous view.

Sunset at Sydney Opera House.

Sunset Opera House Circular quay

A huge ship is moored right opposite the Opera House.

Ferries at Circular Quay

sydney harbour

A short trip to Manly across the magnificent harbour should be on the top of your list.

Centrepoint Tower.

Centrepoint tower Sydney

Centrepoint tower which naturally has a revolving restaurant stands 309 m (1,014 ft) above Sydney. 

Anzac Bridge

Anzac bridge Sydney

The ANZAC Bridge, replacing the earlier Glebe Island Bridge, is a large cable-stayed bridge spanning Johnstons Bay between Pyrmont and Glebe Island close to the central business district of Sydney, Australia. Wikipedia

Darling Harbor in Sydney

Darling Harbor old Piermont bridge

The Grand Mercure hotel in Darling Harbour.

The Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay.

The Oaks Hotel

One of my old haunts for many years, the Oaks is one of the best hotels in Australia.

The Oak tree at the Oaks hotel

Oaks hotel

I have so many wonderful memories of enjoying a beer or two with friends at this great hotel.

Mr Wong, good Cantonese restaurant.

Mr Wong cantonese restaurant

Mr Wong’s is a very good Cantonese restaurant off Bridge St in Sydney not far from Circular Quay.

Mr Wong at 3 Bridge St.

Mr Wong sydney harbour

Mr Wong’s has a great atmosphere and very good food, put it on your list.

The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.

sydney harbour

No doubt this is the best harbour in the world.

Please click on Google + to help my ranking. 


Climb the Harbour Bridge.

sydney harbour

My English friend Bill Austin said “lets go climb the bridge”,I said “thank you, but I think at this stage I will decline”, Bill being an ex Para military man had experienced about 500 jumps out of planes, many at night into enemy territory. I on the other hand have a great fear of heights, in fact let me tell you a little story about my brief stint in the fire brigade. I was 22 years of age when I passed the simple entry exam for the NSW fire brigade, everything was fine in the first 2 weeks, I was learning all the riveting information about the contents of a fire extinguisher and driving around Centennial Park in the fire engine.

Suddenly they produced what they claimed was the highest ladder in the country, 130 feet they proudly quoted. All the new recruits had to line up to climb to the top, drop a hook attached to your belt over the top rung of the ladder, then lean backwards trusting the hook would hold you. My turn finally came, I pointed out to the instructor there was nobody up there that needed to be rescued, so if he didn’t mind I would rather decline his request. As you can imagine he wasn’t happy, so after many heated words had passed between us I wandered into the front office and laid my helmet and axe on the counter, resigned and went home. So ended my career as a fearless fire fighter.  😳

This pastime is more my preference.

QLD mud crab david herd

Forget about climbing bridges or jumping out of planes, I prefer to do battle with a wonderful Queensland Mud Crab. OK, so maybe he was dead and posing no threat, but there is no finer meal in Australia than a 1.5 kilo monster washed down with a Margaret River Chardonnay.

 The Manly Ferry.

Manly ferry Sydney harbour

One of the best things to do in Sydney is to catch the ferry from Circular Quay in the city to Manly one of Sydney’s famous beaches. Enjoy some fish & chips by the beach and try to keep the seagulls from stealing your food.

Fish & Chips + Oysters.

fish chips oysters Manly beach

Here I am at Manly with my friend Sue from Shanghai.

The Corso in Manly.

Manly beach Sydney

In 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy left England with a fleet of ships to establish a colony in New South Wales. He was to be it’s first Governor. In January 1788, the fleet arrived at its destination, Botany Bay, which was found to be unsuitable for settlement, So, on 21 January, Phillip with others travelled north and examined Port Jackson, so named by Captain James Cook in 1770. They spent three days exploring Port Jackson and Phillip, impressed by the “confidence and manly behavior” of a group of aborigines in the northern reaches of the harbour, called the place “Manly Cove”.

Doyles at Watson’s Bay.

Doyle's Watson's Bay Sydney

On the opposite side of the harbour from Manly is Watson’s Bay, I have forgotten how many times I ate at this famous Sydney harbour side restaurant throughout the 70’s & 80’s, in fact I could almost drive my boat blindfolded from my waterfront home in Drummoyne about 40 minutes west of here.

Doyles in 1981.

Doyle's 1981 Watson's Bay

This was Doyles 32 years ago in 1981. On this original site, Doyles opened Australia’s first seafood restaurant in 1885. The restaurant has been family owned and operated for over five generations. With both indoor and outdoor dining, Doyles is located right on the foreshore of Watsons Bay overlooking the magnificent panorama of Sydney Harbour.

Flashback, Doyles 1982.

David Herd Helen Burke Doyles 1982

Here I am at Doyles with Helen Burke, my girlfriend at the time, enjoying one of our countless lunches on beautiful Sydney Harbour. Who said nostalgia was a thing of the past?

Did I have any fun in the 80’s?

David Herd Sydney harbor boats

So maybe I am going back a long way, over 30 years in fact, however the fun we had on Sydney’s beautiful harbour will never be forgotten, and you can still live this same great life in Sydney today.

Dining solo (again) at Mr Wong.

David Herd Mr Wong

Check out the super hotel rates from Agoda

Sydney is magnificent

Sydney harbour

Well folks, many thanks for visiting my Sydney Harbour photo blog about the town where I was born. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed growing up there.

Please send the link to your friends

                   Here are some more travel posts.

Chinatown 2014             Adelaide 2014                   Gold Coast

sydney harbour      Largs Pier hotel      Melbourne Cup


Sit back and check out the slide show.

What a wonderful World


                 Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy    

  Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                                   Menton                                 Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                

        Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

           Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                         through these links below.
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses


Pattaya webcam


That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

50 Reasons Why Australians Are The Luckiest People On Earth

 Click here to see my 2010 Sydney post.

Super deals from Agoda
Click on the photo below to see more of Sydney harbour


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Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

July 26, 2013 by David Herd

Giant Humpback whales Pacific Ocean travel north from the Antarctic.

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean at Hervey Bay attracts people from all over the world. The whales have made Hervey Bay a regular stop on their annual migration south. They begin to arrive in Hervey Bay from mid-July, where they remain until late November, before heading south again.. The waters are sheltered by Fraser Island, so the humpbacks usually stop and rest or play – especially with their young  for a few days before heading off again. Hervey Bay is Australia’s most popular location for whale watching.

Whale watching in Hervey Bay on the Queensland coast.

whale watching

The whales are huge.

These two swam right under our boat.

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Such a magnificent sight.

Magnificent Humpback whales

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. An acrobatic animal known for breaching and slapping the water with its tail and pectorals, it is popular with whale watchers off Australia, New Zealand, South America, Canada, and the United States.

Their size is breathtaking

whale watching

These huge whales really put on a show.

Please click on Google + to help my page ranking.

 Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

humpback whales

Truly one of the highlights of our road trip.

Japanese students

David Herd Thailand

I took 3 lovely Japanese students of a 7,300 kilometre “Outback” road trip starting on the gold coast to South Australia, Coober Pedy, Uluru, Airlie Beach and Hervey Bay.

Outback road trip

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Here are two good sites, for more information click here. Or for a comparison click here. Hervey Bay is opposite Fraser Island which stretches over 123 kilometers in length and 22 kilometers at its widest point. With an area of 184 000 hectares it is the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island’s World Heritage listing ranks it with Australia’s Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. Fraser Island is a precious part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, it is protected for all to appreciate and enjoy. Fraser island is a place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly colored sand cliffs, and over 100 freshwater lakes, some tea-coloured and others clear and blue all ringed by white sandy beaches. Ancient rain-forests grow in sand along the banks of fast-flowing, crystal-clear creeks. For more information please click here. Whale watching in Hervey Bay is something special, put it on your bucket list. Finally here is a short slide show showing these wonderful  Humpback whales having the time of their life.



 Travel tips.

If you are travelling south make sure you call into Noosa Heads, a delightful village with a nice beach and lots of great restaurants. If you are traveling north Airlie Beach is a “must do” stop. From here you can travel to all the magnificent Whitsunday islands, my personal favorite is Whitehaven beach.

Danger warning.

The months from October through to May are “stinger” season. You may want to hire/buy a lycra suit if you plan to swim in the ocean during those months for safety reasons (the stingers can kill) Otherwise you can swim in the lagoon at Airlie Beach and be safe from any stingers. 🙂 To know what is dangerous in the Whitsundays please click here.

50 Reasons Why Australians Are The Luckiest People On Earth

Click here for my Phillip Island post.

A few hours south is the fabulous Gold Coast

Try to visit this fantastic Australian monolith

Please check out these fabulous posts
      Gold Coast                              Pattaya                          Cinque Terre
 photo IMG_0913.jpg         Walking St Pattaya          Manarola Cinque Terre
     Rio de Janeiro                      Singapore                       Eastern Europe
Carnivale Rio Di Janeiro         Singapore skyline         David Herd Thailand
     Bangkok Bars                          Tokyo                          Cape Town Safari
Soi Cowboy Bangkok          photo ShabuseninGinza4.jpg          Cape Town Safari
  Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                       through these links below.
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
Pattaya webcam

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge



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