Monthly Archives: January 2019

Eureka: UNSW makes breakthrough thanks to research from 1998

Researchers delving deeply into their fields routinely risk overlooking a vital connection staring them in the face. If you’re a scientist dealing at the scale of billionths of metres, that danger is perhaps greater than usual.
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So it was in May 2015, that a trio of researchers at the University of NSW stumbled across the idea of making more room on a silicon atom to squeeze in quantum computer bits – known as qubits – by pulling electrons away from the nucleus.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications on Wednesday, the scientists including Guilherme Tosi??? unveil the theoretical potential of this novel approach. They predict it will remove a hurdle that threatened to stall progress on scaling up the number of qubits on silicon chips needed to make quantum computing viable.

Unlike the discrete zeros and ones now used in so-called “classical” computing, qubits can be either a one, a zero or both at the same time, opening the way for an exponential increase in computing speeds using these “superpositions”. Many problems now limited by computing power, from medicine to climate modelling, would be more easily solved with quantum computing.

Another property of quantum objects is that they operate in a type of pairing known as entanglement. However, this property – whereby switching one instantly switches its pair – appeared to be limited for silicon qubits, requiring them to be only 10-20 nanometres or just 50 atoms apart.

“If they’re too close, or too far apart, the ‘entanglement’ between quantum bits – which is what makes quantum computers so special – doesn’t occur,” Dr Tosi said. “This new idea allows us to fabricate multi-qubit processes with current technology.”

Andrea Morello, program manager of the UNSW-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology and one of the paper’s authors, said the concept of pulling electrons from the nucleus builds on concepts raised by an earlier UNSW scientists Bruce Kane in a landmark 1998 Nature paper – just nobody had seen it.

“I looked at that paper for 15 years,” Dr Morello said. “It was basically already there but nobody saw it.”

Dr Morello recalls running to his computer to make early calculations before his colleagues Dr Tosi and Fahd Mohiyaddin – another of the paper’s authors – worked to confirm the potential.

The results is what the team dubs a “flip-flop” qubit. The new type is defined as in “zero” state when the electron spin is up, while a “1” state is when the electron spin is up, and the nuclear spin is down.

By tugging the electron from the nucleus, the qubit can be controlled by electric signals rather than magnetic ones because an electrical difference – or dipole – is created in the process.

“These electric dipoles interact with each other over fairly large distances, a good fraction of a micron, or 1000 nanometres,” Dr Morello said, or far more than the 10-20 nanometre limit of a more standard approach.

The scientists said that although the paper was theoretical, the UNSW team had already begun to make devices based on the approach with “impressive results” that will be submitted in future papers.

“It really allows us to scale up to multi-qubit architectures now,” Dr Tosi said.

One advantage of using single-atom silicon was that it was very similar to what existing large-scale chip-making foundaries do, he said.

David Reilly, a physicist who heads Sydney University’s rival Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory, said the field of quantum computing was evolving and the UNSW-led research was an example of identifying an issue and how the industry might solve it.

“The challenge is to test those ideas and to carry out experiments that will take many years,” Professor Reilly said.

He noted the paper outlined how the silicon-based quantum approach may be married to the superconductor path favoured by industry giants.

“The super conducting system that’s being pursued by IBM and Google, for instance, is quite far ahead of the silicon effort,” Professor Reilly said.

That effort “is still at a phase where science is happening, new approaches are being proposed, problems are surfacing and they’re coming up with clever approaches to get around them”, he said.

‘Grand bargain’: Turnbull puts all options on the table for coal

The Turnbull government is prepared to take a stake in AGL’s giant Liddell coal-fired power station to keep it open five more years as a last resort move to avoid a crippling post-2022 power shortage.
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The dramatic move was publicly backed by former resources minister Matt Canavan on Wednesday, who suggested the Coalition should consider taking a partial stake in the plant, but government sources cautioned such a move was unlikely.

Instead, those sources argued a private sector buyer would likely be found, a suggestion backed by energy market experts and Delta Electricity flagging interest in Liddell, while government could assist by helping upgrade the plant to keep it running.

Conservative MPs are now openly discussing the need for a “grand bargain” with moderates in the Coalition that would ensure coal remained a part of ‘s electricity market for as long as possible, in exchange for agreeing to a Clean Energy Target.

The future of coal and the Clean Energy Target were discussed at length during a weekly lunch meeting of conservatives in parliament’s so-called “Monkey Pod” room. The government has indicated it hopes to finalise plans for the politically contentious post-2020 Clean Energy Target by year’s end.

Mr Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will meet AGL chief executive Andy Vesey next Monday to discuss the future of the Liddell plant.

That meeting comes after Mr Vesey had on Tuesday dismissed Mr Turnbull’s suggestion the company could keep Liddell and insisted the company was getting out of coal; the company backed up the comments in a statement to the n Stock Exchange Wednesday.

But Mr Turnbull said keeping Liddell open was “clearly an option” and it was “too early to speculate” on whether the government would give tax or other incentives to a potential buyer of the plant.

Delta Electricity, which has previously purchased an old coal plant at Vales Point, indicated Wednesday it could buy Liddell, subject to the price and the cost of upgrading the station, as it was a good fit for their portfolio of electricity assets; company secretary Steve Gurney said Delta was prepared to undertake the due diligence required.

Mr Turnbull has said his preference is for the private sector to own generators but has not ruled out more dramatic intervention.

“Our responsibility is to look after the n people. What they need is to have affordable and reliable electricity and so we look at all options,” he said.

Senator Canavan said buying a partial stake in the Liddell power plant, in partnership with a private entity, was something government should look at.

“There is a role for government to ensure those settings [in the electricity market] are predictable, certain and provide investment certainty.”

Mr Turnbull said a new coal plant would take a long time to build and involve large capital costs. Keeping Liddell open would avoid a 1000 megawatt energy shortfall in 2022 forecast by the n Energy Market Operator in the short term.

He rejected suggestions the n Energy Market Operator believed building new coal-fired power plants was not economically viable.

Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said it was possible to extend the life of an old coal plant like Liddell, but his organisation’s members, ‘s largest generators, would not invest in a new coal plant because of the risk associated with a 50 year, high polluting asset.

“You aren’t going to fix the grid by running Liddell five years longer, you are going to fix it by having a clear, durable plan which we can invest against,” he said.

ACIL Allen chief executive Paul Hyslop, an expert on energy policy, told Fairfax Media it could cost as much as $500 million to extend the Liddell plant’s life if a buyer could be found.

“It might well be, in some views of the world, a very profitable plant in future if you extended its life … if a clean energy target was implemented you might be able to justify extending the life of the power station, for example,” he said.

AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman on Wednesday told Fairfax Media that building a coal-fired power plants was “very difficult ??? in a market environment”.

“What we are seeing throughout the world is a tendency for investors to be looking at units that are faster to build and are less capital-intensive,” she said.

Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler said it was important to ensure reliable, affordable power supply of electricity across the system as ageing power plants closed, including a Clean Energy Target to encourage new investment.

“Yet the Prime Minister continues to sit on his hands and pretend that the solution is building new coal-fired power stations, or an extension of the Snowy Hydro scheme, that won’t come on train, if at all, before the mid-2020s,” he said.

Twenty-five of the world’s ultimate bucket-list journeys

With escorted journeys an increasingly popular segment of the travel market, getting from A to B in all corners of the world has never been more achievable and, for that matter, easier. Better run, better organised and better curated tours mean that journeys that were once only for the most adventurous are now available to more travellers than ever, without the regimentation of the tours of the past.
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And, along with more free time, bespoke and signature experiences such as exclusive private concerts, backstage tours and the opportunity to dine in the homes of locals, travellers are better able to truly immerse themselves in a culture and to do things that the so-called “free and independent tourist” would likely be unable to access.

From snorkelling the Galapagos Islands to photographing seal lions off the remote islands of Far East Russia, from a luxury train journey in Japan to hiking in Antarctica, the following journeys, which all travellers should try and do in a lifetime, are all remarkably within our reach. Traveller, aided by some of the leading experts in the escorted journeys industry, has chosen some of the world’s most inspiring guided journeys to add to your wish list.

Sandy desert Wahiba, Oman. Photo: Shutterstock EXPLORE THE DESERTS, MOUNTAINS AND SEAS OF OMAN

A comprehensive tour of Oman, this journey begins with a four-wheel-drive to Jebel Harim, the tallest peak in the region. There are stops in a Bedouin village and the opportunity to snorkel among giant sea turtles in the Arabian Ocean. View the grand mosques of Muscat, the souks of Nizwa and the garden city of Salalah to take in the aromas from the frankincense tree. Bring your best camera to snap shots of the frescoes, painted ceilings and secret passageways of Oman’s architectural treasures; and behold the colours of the palm-lined oases against rocky landscapes. See secretsofoman苏州夜网.auJOURNEY TO JAPAN’S NORTH BY LUXURY RAIL

Sometimes it’s as much about the immediate surrounds as the journey itself which is definitely the case on board the new 34-passenger Shiki-shima train travelling from Tokyo across the northern Tohoku region as well as Hokkaido. This journey takes luxury train travel to new lengths with two suites offering an aromatic cypress wood bath and split-level living. Designed by industrial designer Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama, who worked with Ferrari and Maserati, the thoroughly modern observatory car affords spectacular views of rice fields, mountains, and the coast. The train stops to visit ancient temples as well as working farms and vineyards along the way. See jr east苏州夜生活.jp

Famous church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Shutterstock SAIL THE WATERWAYS OF RUSSIA, SCANDINAVIA AND THE BALTICS

Beginning in Moscow, then venturing via Russian waterways to St Petersburg, this journey stops at villages such as Kizhi, home to the World Heritage-listed wooden Transfiguration Church. Signature experiences include a before-hours visit to the gilded State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg to take in the Hermitage Peacock Clock Ceremony, an automaton featuring three life-sized mechanical birds. There is also the chance to take morning tea with a Russian family. The Russian journey is complemented with land touring throughout Scandinavia and the Baltics, finishing up in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. See aptouring苏州夜网.au EXPLORE THE HISTORIC HOTELS AND ARCHITECTURE OF MID-ATLANTIC US

Those who appreciate the stories behind notable hotels and architecture will enjoy this US coach tour. Between checking into presidential suites in historic hotels, there’s the opportunity to visit presidential museums and former residences (Trump Hotels don’t feature). There are breweries and distilleries to see, you can soak in hot springs, and you can visitarchitect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous residential creation, Fallingwater, which is suspended over a waterfall in south-western Pennsylvania. See gocollette苏州夜网

Bicycle touring near Chambord Castle in France’s Loire Valley. Photo: ShutterstockSADDLE UP FOR A FOOD AND WINE CYCLING TOUR OF THE LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE

Take in the scenery off-road following the rivers Loire and Cher, stopping in for wine tastings and meals while cycling the Loire Valley. The tour rambles through verdant villages, imposing chateaus (including Sleeping Beauty castle), and includes a stop at Leonardo da Vinci’s former home in Amboise. Potential stragglers should note that the tour runs at an easy pace and for those nervous about ability, there’s a support vehicle ready to help finish the day’s journey if you’ve gone a bit heavy on the sancerre, brie and baguettes. See tourdevines苏州夜网.au MEANDER THE MIGHTY MEKONG RIVER

It’s hard to understate the importance of the Mekong River to those who live along the snaking waterway. A colonial-style river steamer takes passengers directly to villages between Saigon and Siem Reap, giving the opportunity to learn about daily lives from the markets in Sa Dec, where hawkers spruik their wares, to Buddhist monasteries. The journey ends (or begins, depending on the direction taken) among the grand, crumbling temples of Angkor Wat. See cruising苏州夜网.au GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF ITALY’S GREAT CHURCHES AND PALACES

Beginning in Rome, this leisurely adventure through Italy has the added bonus of exclusive experiences including a private tour of the Sistine Chapel, a walk with a local expert through Pompeii, and a cruise around the isle of Capri as well as the coast of Cinque Terre. Discover the secrets of the Venetian Republic on a private evening tour of the Doge’s Palace and in San Gimignano savour the taste of the world’s finest gelato from world champion maestro Sergio Dondoli. See luxurygoldvacations苏州夜网

Szechenyi Baths in Budapest, Hungary on a sunny day.Photo: ShutterstockCRUISE THROUGH EUROPE’S HEART FROM AMSTERDAM TO BUDAPEST

There’s a reason why river cruise aficionados name this the one to try for a maiden voyage. On this 15-day Jewels of Europe journey from Amsterdam to Budapest, passengers will feast among the medieval ambience of Marksburg Castle and attend a private Viennese evening concert. Lazily cruise down the Danube and sip a sundowner while taking in the scenery of the Wachau Valley. Expect vistas of gothic spires, verdant forest and vineyards as the journey winds from Amsterdam through Germany and Austria to Budapest. See scenic苏州夜网.au SAIL THE GLITTERING WATERS OF THE GREEK ISLANDS

Sure, ships are commonly docking in the ports of Mykonos and Santorini but this new route aboard the luxury all-balcony 150-guest ship, Le Laperouse, adds lesser visited isles such as Knossos, Rhodes and Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Apollo’s birthplace. Another bonus is a private visit to an organic farm in Crete for a cooking demonstration straight from the source, and evening events in Athens and Rhodes featuring Greek cuisine and entertainment. See abercrombiekent苏州夜网.au

Rwanda’s magnificent gorillas. Photo: Intrepid TravelHIKE TO OBSERVE THE MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN RWANDA

See some the world’s last remaining gorillas by hiking through Rwanda’s dense jungles in Volcanoes National Park. This tour begins is the small town of Ruhengeri before heading to the national park. The trek through bamboo forest, alpine moorland, grassland and marshland can take up to four hours, but you will be rewarded with an hour-long viewing of one of the 10 gorilla families. Another option for the tour is the Dian Fossey Trek, where you follow in the Gorillas in the Mist author’s footsteps, and pay respects at her grave. See intrepidtravel苏州夜网 EXPLORE RUSSIA’S FAR EAST ABOARD A LUXURY SMALL SHIP

Done Antarctica and the Canadian Arctic? Consider taking an expedition cruise to the wilds of Far East Russia to spy brown bears and arctic foxes among the tundra and volcanoes. Bring the zoom lens; Tyuleniy Island is home to tens of thousands of seals and sea lions. Along the way you’ll spy slaty-backed gulls, tufted puffins, common murres and pelagic cormorants. A cruise through the Sea of Okhotsk not only highlights nature, an on-board historian introduces passengers to the local history and culture. See silversea苏州夜网

Sphinx and the Great Pyramid, Egypt. Photo: ShutterstockEXPERIENCE ANCIENT EGYPT AND JORDAN

Beginning in Amman, the capital of Jordan, this journey starts with a float and mud treatment in the Dead Sea before continuing on to Petra. At night the rock is lit by 1000 candles, making the entrance to the Treasury, carved directly into vibrant red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, all the more dramatic. The Egyptian portion of the trip starts with a tour in Cairo, then to the Great Pyramids of Giza before continuing on to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. Also included is a visit to World War Two battlefields and to the Commonwealth War Cemetery associated with the battle of El Alamein. See bunniktours苏州夜网.au WALK THE MOUNTAINS, GLACIERS AND VOLCANOES OF ICELAND

Spot puffins, bathe in hot springs and witness Iceland’s incredible natural phenomena including bubbling volcanic solfataras, glacial lakes and geothermal lagoons on this comprehensive highlights tour. From Skaftafell, you’ll drive through fields of lava created by Laki’s famous volcanic eruption of 1783, and in the Hvolsvollur Valley local guides will give insight into how the much more recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano has affected the area. See peregrineadventures苏州夜网EMBARK ON AN ABRIDGED PILGRIMAGE IN JAPAN

Not everyone has the time or stamina to tackle the renowned 1200-kilometre 88 Temple Pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku, so fortunately there is a tour which takes in the highlights. Twenty-seven of the temples can be experienced on this 11-day day walk, which takes in cliff-lined shores, and deep valleys around the Seto Inland Sea. Each temple is different; at one you may ring a bell, at another you may throw coins or wash your hands in holy water. See walkjapan苏州夜网

Take in the majestic Andes by rail. Photo: belmond苏州夜网EXPLORE THE AWE-INSPIRING ANDES BY LUXURY TRAIN

A train journey on the new and luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer journeys from Cusco to Arequipa visiting Puno and Lake Titicaca. Tours on land each day include a visit to the Raqch’i Inca archaeological site, a boat ride out to the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island. A private lunch is offered on Collata Beach, with traditional dancing demonstrations. There is also a visit to Sumbay Caves to see cave paintings before heading back on the train. If you somehow tire of the monumental scenery, head to the spa car for a pampering session. See belmond苏州夜网FOLLOW THE EXPLORERS’ PATH TO ANTARCTICA

The number of expedition ships cruising Antarctica has risen due to demand, and as it grows, so does the standard of expedition vessels. One such leader is Le Lyrical, where passengers embark on a luxury journey in the footsteps of those who conquered the territories of the far south. The itinerary takes in the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula and there’s a visit to Elephant Island where the crew of the Endurance, led by Shackleton, managed to survive for 129 days in 1916. See ponant苏州夜网.au

Samarkand mosque, Uzbekistan.Photo: ShutterstockTRAVEL THE SILK ROAD FROM MOSCOW TO TEHRAN

Trace the ancient trade route, where textiles, spices and grains were exchanged, on this bespoke tour from Moscow to Tehran. Onboard the steam locomotive, the Golden Eagle, the journey of almost 10,000 kilometres takes in the intersection of the Silk Road where traders from Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia once exchanged wares. On offer is a private viewing of the Kremlin Armoury before it opens including its Faberge egg collection. See captainschoice苏州夜网.auEXPLORE THE NATIONAL PARKS OF MADAGASCAR

Known for its abundant wildlife, this island off Africa is home to lemurs and endemic varieties of baobab trees, plus nearly one-quarter of all the flowering plants in Africa. A top adventure in Madagascar explores the collection of the island’s national parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tsingy de Bemaraha. It’s an action-packed itinerary including canoeing and beach camping along the Manambolo River, traversing the limestone pinnacles of Tsingy de Bemaraha, hiking the sandstone canyons and swimming in natural pools. See worldexpeditions苏州夜网.au

Rocky Mountaineer train near Exshaw in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.TAKE A LUXURY NORTH AMERICAN COAST TO PEAKS TRAIN JOURNEY

A trip on the Rocky Mountaineer from Seattle through to the Canadian Rockies takes in the sea and mountains. Along the Coastal Passage, the train passes Puget Sound over waterside rail trestle bridges. It’s a daylight journey revealing scenic surprises around every bend before arriving in Vancouver. Continue on to see Canada’s incredible inland scenery and spot a bear along the way in luxury in the spectacular glass domed carriages. Opt for the Goldleaf service to feast on meals in the luxury dining cart (there’s a chef on board). See rockymountaineer苏州夜网 GO ON SAFARI IN STYLE IN TANZANIA

Observe Africa’s big five – elephant, leopard, lion, rhinoceros, and buffalo – in their natural habitats. As well as viewing the wildlife from open-top safari vehicles, the tour includes a dawn hot-air balloon flight over the Serengeti, to see zebras racing and hippos submerged in the Mara River from another perspective. Following the safari, the journey concludes on the archipelago of Zanzibar to sail in a dhow. Overnight stays are in luxury safari lodges, tented camps and in Zanzibar, a seaside resort. See tauck苏州夜网.au

Pandas at Chengdu.COMMUNE WITH PANDAS ON A GRAND TOUR OF CHINA

Panda lovers know that Chengdu in China is the holy grail, but the city, and even the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, can be difficult to navigate without a guide. This tour takes in a visit to the research base to see baby pandas and adults in spacious leafy habitats playfully wrestling and chomping on bamboo. It’s just one of the highlights of the In Pursuit of Pandas tour which also includes a visit to the Terracotta Warriors, the Giant Buddha of Leshan and the Great Wall. See wendywutours苏州夜网.au SEE SRI LANKA’S SCENIC TEA COUNTRY BY TRAIN

Take a train ride from Kandy to the heart of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country on one of the world’s most scenic train rides as part of a nine-day cultural journey. The tour includes a visit to a tea plantation followed by lunch on the verandah of the Tea Trails. There’s also a visit to Colombo’s Royal Botanical Gardens, guided by a professor of botany, and a visit to Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Buddhists.See lightfoottravel苏州夜网

Iguana endemic to the Galapagos islands, Ecuador. Photo: ShutterstockSAIL THE WILDLIFE-RICH ISLANDS OF THE GALAPAGOS

Find out why Charles Darwin called the Galapagos Islands “a little world within itself” by sailing on a mega yacht to this archipelago of 20 islands almost 1000 kilometres west of Ecuador. Roam and paddle among the giant tortoises, marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies. Most of these creatures have never learned to fear humans, so you’ll get some close encounters. The scenery is as diverse as the wildlife with lava fields, lava tubes, lagoons, sandy beaches, coral reef-lined bays and cactus forests. See chimuadventures苏州夜网EXPERIENCE HISTORIC CASTLES AND BUILDINGS OF BRITAIN

Beginning with visiting the best of London, this journey then heads to the hallowed halls of Oxford and to Lacock in rural Wiltshire to see Harry Potter’s house and other historic buildings used as locations in films. You’ll tour the university city of Oxford, then stay in a Welsh castle before venturing further north to discover the home of the Beatles in Liverpool. The tour ends with a two-day visit to the castles and the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. See trafalgar苏州夜网 GO ADVENTURING IN ECO-FRIENDLY COSTA RICA

Adventurous types keen to learn about local sustainable enterprise can combine zip-lining through a jungle canopy, wildlife viewing (including sloths) with the opportunity to be involved in a reforestation project and a sea turtle conservancy program on this 14-day tour. There is also a visit to a coffee co-operative and the opportunity to learn to make tortillas from scratch in a family home. Surfing and horseback riding are also on offer as is the chance to relax in therapeutic waters in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano. See gadventures苏州夜网.auQ + A TO B DEBRA FOX, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER, APT TRAVEL GROUP

THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT JOURNEY IS … signature experiences. They’re the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you just could not do if you were by yourself.

THE ONE JOURNEY FROM MY COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD TAKE IS ??? a river cruise, such as Amsterdam to Budapest. It’s a great way to experience the history and cultures of Europe and meet local people.

THE NEWEST JOURNEY BY MY COMPANY WHICH I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT IS ??? Russia. We’ve been out for a few years because of the local situation there, so going back in 2018. It’s your time in the smaller regional and rural areas that you really learn a lot about Russia. We’ll have a historian on board and specialists who conduct the tours – they just bring it to life.

THE GREATEST JOURNEY I’VE EVER UNDERTAKEN WAS ??? walking the Milford Track in New Zealand with a small group of people. You have to push yourself but it’s extraordinarily beautiful and there is the sense of accomplishment at the end.

THE ONE JOURNEY I STILL WANT TO DO IS ??? Antarctica, and I’m finally going next February. It’s been a life-long dream. I did an Alaskan cruise and seeing whales just breach off the front of the ship or an iceberg calve in front of you just brings tears to your eyes. DENNIS BUNNIK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BUNNIK TOURS

THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT JOURNEY IS … Making connections – connections with your fellow traveller, the destination, its history and its people. To achieve this the itinerary must be well designed and well balanced with enough free time to allow for independent exploration.

THE ONE JOURNEY FROM MY COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD TAKE IS ??? Egypt and Jordan in Depth. There is something very humbling about standing in front of the monuments and treasures of ancient civilisations – it makes you appreciate how time is the great leveler and how fleeting our time is in the history of the world.

THE NEWEST JOURNEY FROM MY COMPANY WHICH I’M MOST EXCITED ABOUT IS ??? our Italy and France tour, newly revamped this year. We take a more leisurely pace taking time to linger in Tuscany, Italian Lake District and the Cinque Terre before spending three nights in the French Riviera. From here the leisurely pace continues through Avignon, Lyon and the Loire Valley to the city of love, Paris. Along the way we savour the wines, the food and the beauty of the various regions.

THE GREATEST JOURNEY I’VE EVER UNDERTAKEN WAS … at the age of 17 when I finished high school I took a gap year to go backpacking through Europe. This ignited my passion for travelling. I also learned the best way to connect with a destination was to slow down and join the locals.

THE ONE JOURNEY I STILL WANT TO DO IS ??? Iceland – it’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember but I still haven’t made it – hopefully in 2018. ALISON MEAD, GENERAL MANAGER, COLLETTE

THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT JOURNEY IS … a journey that offers immersion into different cultures to meet locals and experience cuisine and music. Tour managers and local experts are invaluable to give inside knowledge of local gems.

THE ONE JOURNEY FROM MY COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD TAKE IS ??? our American Music Cities tour where you see a jazz revue, take a cooking lesson and go on a swamp tour in New Orleans.

THE NEWEST JOURNEY BY OUR COMPANY WHICH I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT IS ??? Northern Lights of Finland where you stay in glass igloos. It’s a great itinerary, though of course there are no guarantees you’ll see the northern lights.

THE GREATEST JOURNEY I’VE EVER UNDERTAKEN WAS … India. When you arrive the first time, it’s a culture shock. I loved taking the train from Agra to Varanasi. I’d stay around the river and watch the dawn rituals. They say you haven’t been to India if you haven’t been to Varanasi.

THE ONE JOURNEY I STILL WANT TO DO IS … Namibia and Botswana and see the amazing wildlife. LIZ GLOVER, SCENIC ACTING GENERAL MANAGER SALES AND MARKETING

THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT JOURNEY IS … Who you travel with and making sure you have enough free time to do everything – or nothing. And then there are the authentic experiences you stumble across and the knowledgeable guides who show you the way – and, of course, the food.

THE ONE JOURNEY FROM MY COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD TAKE IS ??? Our iconic 15-day Jewels of Europe, from Amsterdam to Budapest, or the other way around. It’s really the best introduction to Europe River Cruising, four countries, three rivers, choice of 21 included on shore activities, four exclusive Enrich activities, 41 meals and more.

THE NEWEST JOURNEY BY MY COMPANY WHICH I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT IS ??? Scenic Eclipse’s first voyage to South Georgia and Antarctica, which departs Buenos Aires on December 17, 2018. This itinerary offers our guests the opportunity to become modern-day explorers on the world’s first “discovery yacht”.

THE GREATEST JOURNEY I’VE EVER UNDERTAKEN WAS ??? Africa. There was the thrill of heading out on a safari to spot one of the big five and the sense of achievement from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

THE ONE JOURNEY I STILL WANT TO DO IS … Egypt, but I can’t stop at one. The list is so long. JAMES THORNTON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, INTREPID TRAVEL

THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT JOURNEY IS … Feeling that sense of adventure and getting under the skin of a destination. Trying the local food, meeting the local people, and experiencing different types of local transport.

THE ONE JOURNEY FROM MY COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD TAKE IS ??? trek to see the gorillas in either Rwanda or Uganda deep inside the Volcanoes National Park. Nothing can prepare you for the majesty of coming face to face with a gorilla in the wild.

THE NEWEST JOURNEY BY MY COMPANY WHICH I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT IS ??? Peregrine Adventures’ new range of Adventure Cruises to Croatia, Greece, Cuba and more. Adventure cruising is more about the destination; stopping at little islands that the big ships can’t reach, exploring local markets and trying fresh produce.

THE GREATEST JOURNEY I’VE EVER UNDERTAKEN WAS ??? my first visit to India as an independent backpacker. I landed in Mumbai, without anything organised, and was faced with complete culture shock. I had some of my most challenging and interesting experiences as I journeyed through southern India.

THE ONE JOURNEY I STILL WANT TO DO IS … The Trans-Siberian railway. I’ve been to Moscow, I’ve been to Beijing – but I’m craving the ultimate train trip that links the two cities, through the heartland of Siberia and the vast grassy steppe of Mongolia.

Venice canals. Photo: SuppliedFIVE CLASSIC JOURNEYS OF THE WORLD ROUTE 66

It’s the highway that symbolised America’s mobility, and while these days it’s more a byway, Route 66 still kicks. Begin in Chicago with a breakfast of pancakes at Lou Mitchell’s and motor west to Los Angeles stopping into mum-and-pop-run motels and diners along the way. See visittheusa苏州夜网VENICE-SIMPLON ORIENT EXPRESS

The grande dame of luxury trains is a moving museum piece of art deco. On board, guests dress in tuxedos and gowns, feast on lobster and drink vintage champagne at a dedicated bar. This London to Venice service could be the finest rail journey in the world. See belmond苏州夜网 CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

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“Cunardists” will tell you this is not merely a cruise, it’s a crossing. Cunard lines have been making the seven-night trip from Southampton to New York (and vice versa) since 1847. Expect Veuve Clicquot Champagne, tea, cucumber sandwiches and scones with lashings of buttery cream and jam, and the chance to see animals at sea; there are dog and cat kennels of board. See cunard苏州夜网

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‘Don’t want to get bashed’: residents light up to save towers

From the street, there is little sign of the ongoing battle to save the Waterloo public housing development – but a project launching this weekend aims to change that.
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Thousands of people who call the sprawling development home will be moved on under a state government plan to demolish the public housing to make way for higher-density apartments and the Waterloo metro station.

The project has attracted opposition from the development’s 2630 residents, who live in the 30-storey Matavai and Turanga towers, other smaller apartment blocks, and several flats.

Henry Wilson, 73, has lived in the development for three months, after being homeless for “quite a while”.

“I was sleeping at Central Station when the Department of Housing came, and I said ‘I can’t handle this, I don’t want to get bashed and robbed’,” Mr Wilson said.

“I’m worried about getting kicked out, but I’ll try just to not think about it. I’m happy here.”

Mr Wilson’s TV is propped up on the box it came in, backlit by a purple LED strip he has placed in his window.

He is one of hundreds of residents who have installed the light strips to show the stories in each window are as colourful as the lights – and the residents should not be forgotten.

The lights have been organised by creative producer Clare Lewis, for a project dubbed We Live Here.

On Saturday, the lights will be officially switched on at 5pm, at a gathering with food trucks and live music designed to bring the community together. The nightly light display will continue until October 1.

Ms Lewis said it was important that the residents, some of whom were recently moved from the Martin Place tent city, are not forgotten.

“This is about making Waterloo visible to wider Sydney, [and] letting people know something major is going to be happening here very soon,” she said.

Wazza, who has been living in the development for eight years, is an aspiring artist who poses against a colourful backdrop of his works.

He says his favourite artist is Salvador Dali, but he’s still trying to work out his own style. Wazza likes the lights illuminating the buildings, which some residents call the Twin Towers.

“At least someone is trying to help us,” he said. “I guess the government will just go and do what they are going to do.”

Edward Grant, 73, is a former model who worked for the Ford Agency in New York in the 1970s – just one of just six black men they represented.

He has lived at Waterloo for nine years, and in for 30 years, saying “fate and destiny” brought him here.

“This is not the Sydney I knew 30 years ago,” he said. “Now the dog house costs $1,000,000. There is nothing for the regular man.”

Mr Grant is on dialysis three days a week and said the department of housing will “never” move him somewhere else.

“They are going to have to carry me out in a black plastic bag when all is done and dusted,” he said.

Another resident is Clive, a 67-year-old medicated schizophrenic, who was formerly in the Army and worked as an engineer on the Snowy Hydro project before struggling to find work.

“I’m happy here,” he said. “It’s better than on the streets or at the Matthew Talbot centre where I have spent a fair bit of time. Life has been up and down for me.”

Terry Hadaway, 64, has lived in the development for 14 years and cares for 86 birds, including 50 chicks.

“They probably think I’m God,” he said. “But all the time, I tell them the reality – I’m their servant.”

John Noriega used to be a boiler maker, but he hurt his back 20 years ago and could no longer afford to rent.

Since then, the 70-year-old has lived at the Waterloo development. He says he likes the lights in the windows, because they look like Christmas.

“They reckon the government aren’t going to do anything for the next seven years,” he said. “I’ll probably be dead by then.

“Politicians are all the same … it’s all just money, money. They don’t care about me.”