Ramada by Wyndham

Hi everyone, once again I want to thank you all for stopping by but also your ongoing support to The Wondering Dreamer, I wouldn’t be here today talking about delicious wine, if it wasn’t for you all.

As you may have seen from my stories and posts - I have just come back from a press trip to Istanbul with Ramada Hotel group and a team of talented influencers - London Blogger, NatInstaBlog, Cansudengey, Tadindasyahat and myfoodsteps.

Ramada is without doubt one of the most recognised hotels in the world, with over 800 hotels in over 60 countries - talk about successful! This trip was organised to celebrate Ramada’s new international wine range - the slogan being ‘Say Hello to Red, a colour that has come to symbolise the brand’s warm and welcoming approach to hospitality.

Having teamed up with the well known UK-based wine, journalist and author Jamie Goode, Ramada now have a beautifully crafted wine range that will give you those mouthwatering tastes of just some of the beautiful destinations where the brand can be found.

After losing badly at the Ramada wine competition, I can officially say I am not a wine connoisseur, but a casual red wine lover!

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When arriving in Istanbul, we were greeted by the Ramada hotel staff who were beyond helpful and accommodating. Wonderful rooms, which are fully equipped with all the hotel necessities.

Shortly after our arrival, we decided to whiz into the old town of Istanbul for a quick Instagram photo shoot! The old part of Istanbul is utterly charming with beautiful architecture, coffee shops, and a ray of colourful houses and facades. I absolutely fell in love with Istanbul and am already trying to work out when I can go back!

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Once we got back to Ramada, it was time to change and get ready for dinner on the beautiful roof terrace inside the hotel. We had a menu of seven dishes and a wine perfectly paired and served by a wine sommelier. The evening was absolutely delightful, hearing about the success stories of Ramada and how the heritage of each bottle, was given a place on the exclusive wine list.

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After a wonderful night sleep with a belly full of wine and food, we woke to have a delicious breakfast before taking a car to the wine region of Tekirdag.

The fist vineyard of the day, was called Barbare, and it was set amongst an epic backdrop with panoramic views of vines - it was insta-heaven! We sat down to a 3 course Turkish lunch and tasted not only one of Ramada’s red wine from their list, but also Barbare wine. We had a tour of the land, visited the production factory and barrel room, all with a glass of wine in my hand!

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Shortly after lunch, we went to the next Vineyard a short drive away, called Umurbey Winehouse. It was a family run vineyard and much smaller in size - but had an overwhelming feel of love and hard work. We ate Turkish cheese, sampled their reds and spoke about the heritage of the vineyard before tasting some wine straight from the barrel (wasn’t a fan - too acidic for me, but interesting nonetheless)!

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After an ample amount of wine and food, we headed back to our second Ramada hotel in Tekirdag. This hotel was not dissimilar in style to the first, but the difference was the wonderful views over the countryside. It also had, like the first a lovely pool, gym and spa!

We were lucky enough to be treated to a spa treatment - I had a full body bali massage, which was a dream! After resting and changing, we went down to our last dinner with the Ramada team.

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The evening was full of traditional Turkish cuisine, samples of more delicious wine and a live Turkish band! We ended the our last night with a wine tasting game, and as I mentioned earlier, I came last…(sob, sob).

On our last day in Tekirdag, we visited two more vineyards called Chateau Nuzan and Barel.

The first Vineyard Chateau Nuzan was run by a couple who escaped a busy life, to set up their dream home with a vineyard as their back garden. We sampled four wines, toured their land, production factory and barrel room.

Barel was run by a very charming man with a beautiful set up. This would be the perfect place to visit with friends, and hang out in the garden amongst the vines, sipping on wine and tasting cheese in the sunshine!

Just before our flight, we had an hour to spare, so we visited the famous Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar!

The Grand Bazzaar, is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, covering 61 streets and holding over 4000 shops / market stalls - with up to 400,000 visitors on a daily basis.. yes, I know, CRAZY!

The smells, colours, lights and atmosphere were incredible, could have got lost in there for hours!

Thank you Ramada for such a wonderful trip, had an absolute blast meeting everyone, and tasting wine I will never forget!

Below is the Exclusive Ramada Wine Range:

Pinot Noir - Once you have succumbed to the charms of Pinot Noir, there's no going back. It is lighter in body and colour than many red wines, and good ones have beautiful floral perfume and bright cherry and raspberry fruit.

Lighter Red - While some people love big, burly red wines, there's a new trend to lighter-style reds that emphasis perfume, finesse and delicacy. They also work well with food, because they generally have less tannin and higher acidity.

Big Red - Sometimes we want a big, lush, fruity, delicious red wine. Something that delivers pleasure and power in equal measure. Wines that aren't aiming at sophistication or elegance, but which are just out to deliver pleasure.

Fruity Red - Warm-climate countries make some of the best value reds of all, and when they make them in a young style without too much influence from oak barrels, they capture the warmth of the sun with beautiful direct fruit.

Warm Spicy Red - With lovely sweet fruit, but also intriguing, exotic spicy complexity. Hailing from warm climates, they're the wines to turn to when you are faced with bold, spicy dishes, where the complexity in the wine enables it to take on the strong flavours with ease.

Complex Oak-aged Wines - This is where we turn when we want something a bit special. Wines that have complexity that comes with age, and also through long ageing in oak barrels. These are wines with concentration, depth and structure, and they often repay ageing.

The A team! x


Hi all, thanks for swinging by.

As it was my fifth visit to Marrakech this year, I thought it time to write a destination post on it.

I love everything about Marrakech, the buzz, streets, souks, food, noises - EVERYTHING! Over the years, I have collected so many Moroccan pieces to put into my home and forever have that feeling of wanting more!

Flying to Marrakech is very straight forward from Gatwick Airport, it’s a direct flight lasting 3.5 hours. There is no time difference, no visas needed and the airport is situated a 30 minute drive away from the the center of Marrakech. Their currency is Morrocan dirham and they don’t allow you to bring it into the country, however if you have a currency card like Revolut or a Monza - you can top this up and get cash out once there (cash machines available).

Having stayed in both villas, hotels and Riads over the years, I highly recommend before visiting, working out what your priorities are from your trip. If you’re staying for 5-7 days and want pool, sunbathing, relaxing and a bit of shopping - then I suggest a villa or hotel outside of the wall.

However, if your priority is shopping and wandering with only 2-4 days to spare, then I recommend staying in a Riad inside the wall - making it easy to access the souks in the Medina, night and day!

We stayed in Ksar Kasbah and Riad Dar Ten - both Riads were inside the wall. Ksar Kasbah was a little further away from the souks but it was incredibly beautiful, whilst Riad Dar Ten was situated in the BEST location - but unfortunately didn’t have that same high standard.

Photos below are from Ksar Kasbah Riad

Top things to do in Marrakech

Jemaa el-Fnaa square

Wander the medina - visit souks until your feet hurt

Majorelle Garden

Bahia Palace

Secret Jardin

Saadian Tombs

Restaurants inside the medina

Latitude 31 - £10-20 (main)

PepeNero - £10-20 (main)

La Maison Arabe - £15-20 (main)

La Famille £5-10 (main)

Café Clock £2.50-5 (main)

Nomad £5-10 (main)

Bakchich Cafe £2.50-£5 (main)


Don’t buy from the first stall you see in the Souks, I say this because there will be the same rug or bowl - 100 times over!

Everything you buy you need to barter for. They go in high, you go in low and 10 minutes later, you eventually meet somewhere in the middle! Never go with the first price you get given, make a hard bargain.

The whole souk experience can be exhausting, but it’s an amazing feeling when you walk away with a mud cloth pillow case, worth £50 in the UK and £5 in Marrakech…

Go into a shop knowing what £5 is worth in Moroccan dirham - it’s around 61 dirham. Starting at 50 dirham is a good point for small china.

I often find walking away gets their attention, so make your final price and walk away - they’ll come chasing after you.

If you don’t get the deal you want, move onto the next one.. as I say - they all sell the same thing!

My opinion on DO’S & DON’TS


  • Carry hand gel with you

  • Barter the hell out of everything you buy

  • Wander deep, deep into the souks

  • Download ‘Marrakech’ onto google maps offline and pin your Riad or hotel. Be prepared to get lost!

  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A before travelling - there are lots of ferrel dogs.


  • Apparently tap water is filtered, but I don’t recommend drinking it either way.

  • I got very sick from a salad on Jemaa el-Fnaa square - so I would avoid if you can.

  • Choose where you eat meat carefully, I wouldn’t recommend eating it off the street (again personally view).

  • Don’t expect much alcohol, it’s a Muslim country

Thanks for having a read, only a short one!

Enjoy your time there and make sure you buy LOTS - you’ll regret it when you get home if you don’t. I always go with an empty suitcase, no joke!

See ya soon,

The Wondering Dreamer x


Dominican Republic

Hi lovelies, thank you for stopping by to read my journal about this wonderful tropical island!

Will and I had the pleasure of being on this island for 12 days - and boy, did we take advantage of what this island has to offer! I had absolutely NO idea how large this island was, until we landed and was asked to look at Google maps!

Fortunately. we planned our Dominican experience with 'Getaway Dominican Republic', who were incredible and cannot recommend highly enough. Arianna and Sophia, the co-owners of Getaway, were beyond helpful in making our time on the island the best experience.

After a slightly rough and disheveled journey to Dominican Republic, we rented a car from Punta Cana and drove onto Samana to start our trip in the jungle!

Dominican Tree House Village
DAY 1 - 4
When we arrived to our Ego-lodge, which was set amongst a back drop of beautiful lush trees, we initially felt overwhelmed by the beauty this place had to offer.

The tree houses are connected by rope bridges and jungle paths that are all designed to make you feel immersed and at one with nature; an experience that has to be had. A place like this, really brings you down to earth, and teaches you to value the daily treats we take for granted. Will and I bought local sim cards which cost 200pesos ($3US) - which to us, was a no brainer. We had unlimited data for 5 days, and then when it ran out, we topped up. However, please note that there is NO service at Dominican Tree House Village. I initially found this quite hard to deal with (yes addicted to my phone), but by day two stopped moaning and started to embrace the once in a lifetime experience without technology.

One of our initial thoughts to sleeping in a tree house cabin was 'are we going to get bitten alive?' but surprisingly, the Tree Houses cabins are relatively mosquito/bug free! The cabins are also breezy, offering a cool air throughout the day and night. Due to this being an Eco-lodge, the water in the en-suite bathrooms runs cold, however there are communal showers with hot water. I find cold showers unbelievably refreshing, so rarely had a hot one! The electricity ran from 6am - 9am in the morning and 5-10pm at night. We were very rarely in your tree house throughout the day, so we didn't notice this.


The project has various winding garden paths, that lead you to the pool, yoga studio, hammocks and an outside fire they light and play music around at night. The Dominican Tree House Village really offers you that 'ZEN' feeling. Everyone that works on the project is incredibly accommodating and kind and make it there top priority to make you feel at home in their jungle oasis. 

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This project is located in the heart of the Samaná Peninsula, which is considered to be one of the safest and most beautiful places in all of the Dominican Republic. Samaná is surrounded by lush green mountainous landscapes, waterfalls and beaches, which remarkably seem quite untouched by tourists.

The Tree House Village actually boasts from a waterfall on their property, quite literally a 2 minute walk from our cabin! Even though there is a pool on site, we found the water fall a perfect place to go for a cool afternoon swim.


Having rented a car, it really gave us the freedom to leave Domincian Tree House village and to explore Samaná.

I highly advise having cash on you - US dollar or Pesos at all times. There are lots of toll's on the highways and they can be up to $15 to pass though. We quickly realised there were very few cash machines around, so it's better to feel safe having it on you, or you'll have problems driving around. We had one 'police' experience whilst on the road, a police car pulled us over and said it was his 'bosses' birthday and could we give him money. We thought best not to argue with a copper, so we gave the officer $5. It's unfortunate that this happened, but it's not the only country I can think of where this has happened to me before. It's better to just give a little, and drive on. Although I'm sure they wouldn't have pursued if we'd said no, but we didn't want to find out!

El Limon - waterfall

Getaway Dominican Republic organised ALL of our excursions, and our first one was up to El Limon waterfall by horseback with their local partner Parada La Manzana. We were greeted by our local guides, Oscar and Miguel - who gave us wellies, helmet and a horse. Mine was called Cappachino and Will's horse was called Pampelon.

The ride up to El Limon waterfall was 45 minutes and then a further 20 minute walk. I rode as a child, so am use to horses - however I have never ridden up such a rough and steep track before. The experience wasn't overly comfortable, and the conditions these horses have to walk up, isn't great - however they only do it once a day and get fed and watered once up at the top. Parada La Manzana really look after their horses, they're groomed and well fed, so I didn't feel distressed about the conditions of their everyday living. After our final climb, we reached the top of the waterfall and were blown away by how beautiful and big it was! It was relatively busy, and it did take a while to get that perfect shot, but, as I always say - it's worth waiting!


After our riding excursion, we made our way to the restaurant at Parada La Manzana and had time to rest and enjoy a warm buffet lunch. I can't personally rave about the food in Dominican Republic, I would say it's JUST average. Most days the choice would be fish or chicken with rice and vegetables. If you're a vegetarian or even vegan, I think you may struggle, as a lot of places don't cater to dietary requirements.


Los Haitises National Park Excursion & Cayo Levantado  - organised by Getaway Dominican Republic

On our fourth day, we had a day trip to Los Haitises National Park and then went on for lunch at a beach called Cayo Levantodo beach.

Haitises - which means "mountainous land" in Taino (Indian language), the Park feeds one of the few remaining tropical forests of the islands and is one of the main ecological attractions of the Dominican Republic.

The park constitutes of forests, ancient caves (which include Taino pictographs and are from pre-Columbian era) secluded beaches and untouched mangrove forests which stretch a vast 1,600 square kilometers. The park is also home to over a hundreds different species of birds, many of them endemic!

Boat Trip

Untouched mangroves, beautiful caves and incredible birds.

I found the caves particularly fascinating, and it was incredible to see such old tribe images carved into the rocks.


Taino Tribe

The face of a suffering child was carved into this rock


Cayo Levantado - organised by Getaway Dominican Republic

After Haitises, we took an ongoing boat to a small Island called Cayo Levantado - which hosts only one hotel on called 'Luxury Bahia Principe'. This island was unbelievably picturesque however, packed with boat loads of tourists (we were one of them). The white sand, blue water and cute market stalls were all divine, and it was lovely to spend a few hours on the beach, drinking beers and people watching.

Whale Watching - Organised by Getaway Dominican Republic

Fortunately for us, it was whale season, so when Arianna and Sophia from Getaway asked if we wanted to see some whales, we were jumping with excitement.

We boarded a large boat with a local tour company and set out in search for Humpback Whales. We were on the water for 2-3 hours, I can't remember the exact time frame, but it was quite a long time. There was no guarantee that we were going to see any, however 1h30 minutes into the trip we fortunately saw 2-3  (they could have actually been the same ones) but at one point we had two whales swimming alongside one another, which was beyond incredible. 

I honestly never imagined how hard it would be to take photos of whales! They're not only really far away (had my telephoto lens on me), but you have NO idea when they might pop out. Every moment I put the camera down, a whale would spurt water and I would raise the camera in haste, but the whale would disappear. Not only that, the ocean was quite rough that day and the boat rocked - Will, had to hold me still whilst clutching the rail.

This was an unforgettable experience, these creatures are mind-blowinly large. I really hope everyone sees a while in it's natural habitat, once in their lifetime! 

Santo Domingo, Colonial Experience - Oraganised by Getaway Dominican Republic

Will and I drove from Samana to Santo Domingo, which took 2h45 minutes. We decided, due to the long drive, that we would spend a night in the Colonial zone inside Santo Domingo.


Visiting the Colonial Zone, of Santo Domingo was definitely one of the highlights for me. However much I love beaches and jungles - I absolutely adore architecture and street life. Every corner of the colonial zone was photogenic - it was fortunately in full bloom too!

Will and I met Arianna and Sophia from Getaway, which was lovely - putting a faces to their names after so long of planning our trip. They took us on a tour around the zone, visiting some unbelievably unique and ancient museums.

We visited a handful of museums and monuments and were given an audio guide on admission, which took you through each room. I highly recommend using the audio guide, as most signs inside the museums are in Spanish.

Alcázar de Colón

Alcázar de Colón is the oldest Viceregal residence in America. The Gothic-Mudéjar transitional style, was built in the early-16th-century residence for Christopher Columbus’ son, Diego, and his wife, Doña María de Toledo.


Museo de Las Casas Reales

(Museum of the Royal Houses) is one of the important cultural monuments built during the colonial era in Hispaniola (16th Century), now called the Dominican Republic. This building was the seat of Spanish authority for the Caribbean region, housing the governor’s office and the powerful Audiencia Real (Royal Court).

Cathedral Primada de Las Americas

This beautiful Cathedral is dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation. It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, which begun in 1512 and completed in 1540. It's absolutely stunning inside. I am not a religious person, however I am always intrigued by the inside of church. The beauty of this cathedral blew me away, it's not to be missed!

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Atarazana Resturant. This was a buffet lunch, with live entertainement. We weren't overly impressed with the food, once again chicken or fish but the atmosphere and entertainment was brilliant. It's definitely worth a visit, even for a drink and some dancing.


We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering, visiting a local chocolate shop, stopped at a  beautiful square called Maria de Toledo and then Will and I decided to rent some bicycles from Zona Bici for a further tour around the Colonia Zone. I highly recommend doing this if you're staying in Santo Domingo - we had the bicycles for an hour and loved cruising around the little streets taking photographs.

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Sanoa Island  - Organised by Getaway Dominican Republic

Our last excursion with Getaway was to Sanoa Island -  an exotic island we were incredibly excited to see! This island is one of the largest islands, and it takes part of the Eastern National Park and serves as a sanctuary for several species of migratory birds.

We took a large catamaran along with many other tourists to the island. The boat was more or less a party boat, with all inclusive drinks, live music and dancing and took 1h30 from Bayahibe Port.

Once we arrived at the island, I truly felt that feeling of 'oh YUS. This is true Caribbean style, right here.' Coconuts, palm trees in the water, white sand, Bob Marley playing in the background, hammocks - it had it ALL.


The island is quite big, so it's definitely work an explore - Will and I found some epic palm trees to climb. Unfortunately, many had been damaged by the hurricane - however some had fallen but were still growing.


We had lunch on the island, I'm sure you can guess what it was ;) and then we explored, sunbathed and swam. The afternoon went very quickly as we soon boarded a smaller but faster boat back to mainland. En route back, we stopped at nature reserve to see GIANT starfishes. Unfortunately we weren't allowed out of the boat where the star fishes were, so I didn't get any photos. They were however, beautiful!
This was one of my favourite excursions and I definitely think you should add to your itinerary if you're visiting the DR.

After our busy day, we drove to Punta Cana, which is a 2h30 minute drive from Santo Domingo. 

Secrets Royal Beach - Punta Cana
DAY 8-12

On our last few days in DR, we had the pleasure of staying at one of the Secrets resorts in Punta Cana - honestly, TAKE ME BACK NOW! This resort is all inclusive, as most hotels seem to be in the Caribbean. I haven't spent too much time in all inclusive, but I have to say - it's FABULOUS.
You never have to think about how much money you'll need for your night, because it's all included. 


Will and I were over moon with excitement about the restaurants inside the hotel. After eating only chicken and fish for the last week, we couldn't wait for some vegetables and salads!

Secrets Royal Beach boasts of 6 gourmet restaurants, which serve first class food!

  • Himitsu  - Asian infused food (my cuisine)!
  • La Riviera - International buffet. Very good selection of food.
  • Oceana - Seafood
  • Portofino - Italian
  • Seaside Grill  - Grilled specialties
  • Wine Cellar - Private dining only

We had been booked onto the Unlimited Luxury package and had a lovely Junior Suite Tropical View bedroom with a balcony, large bathroom, and sitting area. However, we rarely had much time in our room - the views outside were too good to be inside!

The hotel is surround by pools, linked by paths and bridges - and there is a vast amount of choice when it comes to choosing a sunbed! You do however get those holiday goers that bagsy the prime spots at 6am, but seriously... who can be bothered to do that (apologies if you do... )!?

There is a convenient swim-up pool bar, a long white sandy beach which caters for hundreds of people, perfect VIP cabana's which you can hire for the day (this is a must) and full on catered service everywhere you go.

We were kindly given a cabana for the day, which was divine. Lunch and champagne on the beach in our own little wooden cube - what more could I ask for!? 
That evening, we went back to our cabana for a romantic meal up on the top platform, where we had the most an insane view of the sunset, setting over the ocean.

The dinner included a 3 course set menu and champagne, which was served to us by our own private waiter. We spent nearly 3 hours at our table that evening, and it was honestly one of the most romantic settings Will and I had ever seen! 


That now brings me to the end of our time in Dominican Republic, so I hope you've enjoyed reading - and if you're planning on visiting, this will hopefully give you an insightful view of what you can do on this island. 

I just want to end, by sending a HUGE thanks to Dominican Tree House Village,  
Getaway Dominican Republic and Secrets Royal for working with us in Dominican Republic. We shared a memorable trip, and utterly adored your beautiful Caribbean country.

The Wondering Dreamer x





Pullmans International Hotel - Cairns

Whilst visiting Australia, my mum and I decided to do a short trip to Cairns to see the amazing Great Barrier Reef. The journey is super easy from Sydney, only a short 2 hour flight.

We had been booked to stay at the wonderful Pullmans International, which was organised through Accor hotels.

Pullmans International is based in the center of Cairns city, a 5 minute walk from the well known esplanade, where all ferry and boats to the islands depart from. The location was super convenient and a fabulous place to wander around at sunset, there are some lovely resturarnts on the water front.


Inside the hotel, we were staying in a large bedroom, with a FANTASTIC balcony over looking the ocean. The room had all the necessities one might need, ironing board/ iron, bathroom cosmetics, kettle, mini bar and a view.



On the 3rd floor of the hotel, is a large outside pool, jacuzzi, sun-deck and 360 views of Cairns City. There is also a gym, if you're one for exercising on holiday (naaat me)!

The hotel boasts of a beautiful restaurant called Coco's, where it serves the scrummiest international dishes, utilising Queensland local produce to create fresh and contemporary flavours. Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how much they had on offer at the morning buffet. Each area was unique with 'make your own fresh juice' 'ACAI granola station', 'hot breakfast', or even a 'bespoke breakfast' cooked by the chef on display. I was only sad not to enjoy the breakfast for longer each morning, we were on such a time restraint with our tours.

The Pullmans kindly hosted one of their exquisite high teas, which we indulged over for 2 hours. Who doesn't love warm scones, cakes and smoked salmon sandwiches - served with a glass of bubbly...


Fitzroy Island

With the little time we had in Cairns, we knew the best option was to book some tours - this seemed the obvious way to see more what the beautiful country had to offer. However, if I was to return to Cairns, I would also rent a car - there are beautiful beaches all down the coast.

Our first day tour was to Fitzroy Island, where boarded a ferry to the island. From there we had a tour around the reef on a glass bottom boat. I have yet to get a PADI diving course under my belt, which seems absurd considering how much I love the water and swimming, however this is  something to do in the new year. As an alternative to diving, my mum and I went snorkeling off the glass bottom boat around Fitzroy Island. Due to it being 'stinger season', we wore stinger suits, which were silky comfy, kept us warm and protected us from the sun. We fortunately didn't see any stingers, but not worth risking it!

We had the most wonderful experience and as you can imagine, the reef is stunning. The bonus was coming across a bale of turtles in the water, which was enough to make me squeal with excitement through my mask.

Cairns Tours

Our second trip was with Cairns Tours, where we visited Cape Tribulation beach, enjoyed a Daintree River cruise and walked through two spectacular Rainforests, which were estimated to be nearly 120 million years old! I could genuinely feel the presence of dinosaurs's there...

I highly recommend either of these tours - they were jam packed and full of exciting adventures, with the most interesting and knowledgeable tour guides in tow.

One fact we were told on the day was - on average, one person dies a year by a shark attack, however 35 people die a year from a fallen coconut! So whatever you do, don't walk under a palm tree with coconuts hanging from it - more lethal than getting bitten by a shark. Who knew ay!


We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Cairns and it was mainly down to Pullmans Hotel who comfortably accommodated all of our needs. Thank you for having us to stay and thank you ALL for stopping by to read journal.

The Wondering Dreamer x


For more information on the hotel, please visit Pullmans International Hotel

or @pullmancairnsinternational