Dolly Travels – Franz Josef Glacier, Reefton and Greymouth

Author: , September 28th, 2015

New Zealand - Dolly Goolsby

Kia Ora,

We had stayed overnight in the little town of Fox, very close to Franz Josef. Today, on a beautiful sunny day,me drove to Franz Josef. We were met at the beginning of the nature walk path by Paul, a local guide and expert on the geology and history of this glacier. Paul walked with us for about an hour, telling us about this fast-moving glacier. I had seen this ten years ago, and could not believe how far the glacier had retreated in that time.

Franz Josef Glacier, Dolly GoolsbyAfter visiting the glacier, we boarded our bus again and headed toward Greymouth, where we would stay for the next two nights. Being the pragmatic person that I am, I had thought I would compose my blog posts as we drove along the roads to each destination. Not going to happen! The scenery was so astounding, and so lovely, I just had to look out the window and see the cattle in the fields, the sheep on the hillsides, the deer farms, where they raise this very tasty venison as a market crop. In the background were the icy, snow topped Southern Alps. Wherever we went, the scenery was lovely, relaxing and I simply could not do anything but enjoy the view.

When we got closer to the sea, where the rivers meet the sea, fishermen were netting “whitebait”. This is such a cultural delicacy that I shall not go into it now..this merits its own post.

We arrived at Greymouth in the early evening, got settled into our rooms, then enjoyed a cocktail and dinner with our group at the hotel.

Today we headed further north, still following the Tasman seacoast, until we came to Pancake Rocks, a geological but unique and beautiful natural phenomenon along the coast.
If you can see the layers of rocks, resembling pancakes: layers upon layers of fossilized sea life and minerals. Amazing. These do not exist anywhere else in the world.

New Zealand - Dolly GoolsbyBack on the bus again, we traveled inland to Reeftown, an old gold mining town, but still alive and vibrant. We had a special guide, again, another Paul. (We have learned that most of our guides and/or drivers are named either Paul or Mike). We had lunch at the visitor center, where we were joined by several kids from the schools around Reefton, as well as a few adults, who joined us for lunch and told us about life In their hometown.

After lunch we went to the re-created Bearded Miners’ Camp, where the old guys told us about the miners’ life in early Reeftown.

We finished our day trip with a visit to a dairy farm. There, Nancy, one of our travelers, got to check an item off her bucket list. She got to milk a cow.

We visited with the delightful family that own the farm, and we’re very captivated by Laughlin, the 9 year old grandson, who took over the tour guiding, leading us into the gardens.

Laughlin is either going to be an OAT tour leader in about ten years, or a politician. He was very charismatic, explaining how his artistic aunt had built the garden over the past thirty years.

Eventually, we made our way back to Greymouth. We had the best intentions of going down to the beach for a sunset picnic, but we had some wine and snacks in Margaret and Maureen’s room here in the hotel, and we never got to the beach.

This has been a most awesome trip. The country of New Zealand is so unspoiled..towns are small and separated by miles and miles of open fields, mountains, or just treacherous terrain. The people living here are resilient, able to fix anything with Number 8 wire…they are very friendly and receptive to us, as tourists.

Also, our group of twelve are probably the most compatible group of travelers I have ever had the pleasure of traveling with. All of us have traveled extensively. In fact, Aaron told us, that between the twelve of us, we have done 65 OAT or Grand Circle tours, and we don’t even know how many trips we have each taken independently. This makes a wonderful group experience, when we talk about our travels, as we did tonight, over wine and snacks.

Aaron, our tour leader, is a native New Zealander; he is a real Kiwi. Aaron is so passionate about his country, and he is so knowledgeable. Here is a picture of Aaron, taken in the Redwood Forest in Rotorua, showing us the silver fern, which is the national symbol of New Zealand.

It is hard to believe that tomorrow we will fly to Wellington, and in three days we will have to fly home.

I will try to write more later, but, as I said, I am so busy soaking up the scenery, the culture, the history of this country, I have been remiss in my writing, I know you will forgive me.

After I get home, I plan to write about differences in New Zealand culture from ours, as well as cuisine of this country, other aspects of New Zealand that I just haven’t had the time to write about.

I know, if you come here, once you see those snowy peaks of the Southern Alps, you will understand why I am writing when everyone else is sleeping . This is the only time I am not being distracted by the beauty of New Zealand.

Goodnight for now. Are you booking your Overseas Adventure Travel tour yet? A visit to this country should be on everyone’s bucket list.


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | West Coast New Zealand Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Accommodations: The Burgundy, New Orleans, Louisiana

Author: , September 28th, 2015

The Burgundy

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Your host, Carl Smith, invites you to make his home your home in Gay New Orleans. We are a small and cozy gay Bed & Breakfast in the Marigny District, just a short walk to the French Quarter. Come enjoy Louisiana hospitality at its best, as your host caters to your individual wants and needs! He is a native Louisianan and can guide you to many local sites and attractions, including restaurants, shopping, music clubs and gay bars.

See The Burgundy Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Louisiana

Temple Bar: Dublin’s Cultural Quarter

Author: , September 27th, 2015

Temple Var, Dublin

Dublin is lively enough as it is, but on the streets of Temple Bar, the world-famous Irish craic rules at any time of day. Flowing towards the Irish Sea, the River Liffey marks the district’s northern border; towards the South, Dame Street reigns in Dublin’s cultural quarter.

There may just be an estimated 3,000 people living in the area, but they’re usually very welcoming towards new faces – often up for a chat, most of them are more than happy to make new friends over a pint.

Wandering over via the Ha’penny Bridge – one of the city’s most photographed bridges, named after the toll that had to be paid until 1919 – walking down the cobbled streets and into Temple Bar is like stepping into all the stories ever told about Irish culture.

By Stefanie Gerdes – Full Story at Gay Star News | Ireland Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels: Queenstown and Milford Sound

Author: , September 27th, 2015

Dolly GoolsbyKia Ora,

Time is just flying by. I thought I would write about Queenstown and Milford Sound before now; however, there is so much to tell you, I had to revise again and again, to give you the highlights. This is such a beautiful, unique, majestic area that finding the words to describe it was a task.

First, we flew into Queenstown by way of Christchurch when we left Rotorua. After leaving Christchurch, flying south, these magnificent Southern Alps came into view. The day was brilliantly sunny, and I was constantly looking out the window. I finally had to take a short break, as I felt that I might go snow blind!

It was so interesting. All that vast expanse of land, mountains, lakes and streams, and no sign of human activity. As we neared Queenstown, I did see one isolated farm. One long lonely road leading up to it. The rivers were so interesting. They looked like giant silver braids. The small streams running down the mountainside were children’s scribbling lines. The mountains, with the snow on them, seemed to me that I was looking down and across a meringue pie.

After we collected our bags and started for the town of Queenstown, we stopped on the way to visit Arrowtown, an old gold rush town that has been maintained to still have the 1860’s charm. There is one section that was the Chinese miners camp. Some of those old, tiny buildings have been kept as they were 150 years ago.

After visiting Arrowtown, we made our way through Queenstown, to our hotel, which was situated on a hill overlooking Lake Wakatipu, just about a mile from the city center.
We all walked downtown that evening, had a great dinner in a pub in the city center, then Aaron arranged taxis to take us back up the hill, to the hotel and a good night’s sleep.

Early the next morning, we set off for Milford Sound. This involved a long bus ride through some of the prettiest country I have ever seen. For the first hour, we followed the lake side. Then we went inland, seeing different terrain, fields of sheep, fields of cattle grazing, pastures of farmed deer. We had to stop at one point, and let the farmer herd his cattle down the only road in the area.

It was rather fun, seeing the cattle being herded with a pick-up truck.

We stopped several times. Each time we were looking at another wonderful sight. Here we were, at a clear, pristine creek. We were able to fill our water bottles from the stream. The mountains in the background were so magnificent.

Eventually, we reached Milford Sound. By now we had traveled for over 5 hours, and the scenery had been so astounding. We were ready for a different kind of visual beauty: the lovely Milford Sound.

I hope you will know now why it has taken me so long to write this blog post. It is impossible to try to convey all the beauty, the magnificence of that area in this tiny blog post. (I have this one request: if you have not been to New Zealand, put it on your bucket list.). I think New Zealand is the most pristine, green and beautiful country in the world. I also think I will have to get a new Thesaurus, as I need more words to describe what I am seeing here.

Now Milford Sound. This is a body of water that flows out to Tasman Sea. We boarded a boat for a two-hour cruise of the Sound. We had a most lovely, sunny day to see all the surrounding hills and inlets, and the waterfalls cascading down the mountains.

We had such an adventure. Sadly, the cruise ended, and we had to go back to our hotel in Queenstown. We did travel back the way we came, so once again we were treated to the visual cornicopia. Aaron put on a movie for the last two hours of our trip; a film about a New Zealander and his desire to see how fast his motorcycle would go. If you haven’t seen it already, rent the movie , “World’s Fastest Indian”, starring Anthony Hopkins. It is based on a true story, of a real, genuine New Zealander.

We got back to the hotel late in the evening, a bus load of tired, but happy travelers.

Today was another day of visual, sensory overload. I will try to get today’s adventure onto the blog soon, as tomorrow we will have another adventure.

I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to see New Zealand again, and that I can share it with you. At least a bit of it. You must come see it for yourself.

Until next time,

Good night,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Otago Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Accommodations: Maui Sunseeker, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Author: , September 27th, 2015

Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Step off the plane and the first thing you notice is the warm tropical breeze, full of the scent of plumeria, jasmine and tuberose, wrapping you in a wonderful feeling you’ve really arrived in paradise. And that’s just the first few moments of your escape from the normal. It gets better.

See the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Maui

City Sundays: Auckland, New Zealand

Author: , September 27th, 2015

City Sundays: Auckland

Hey all,

We’re launching a new weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.

Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country. The city has a subtropical climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. It is home to many cultures. The majority of inhabitants claim European – predominantly British and/or Irish – descent, but substantial Māori, Pacific Islander and Asian communities exist as well. (Wikipedia)

Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?

Do you wanna go?

Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:

Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club

Check out our Auckland page here:

And our Auckland articles on the blog here:

Juston McKinney

Author: , September 26th, 2015

Juston McKinney! New Hampshire’s Juston McKinney returns with lots of GH autumn exterior 411new material. Juston McKinney has two Comedy Central Specials to his credit including his own one-hour special and multiple appearances on the Tonight Show, and on Conan O’Brien, but there’s no place like home! No one really “gets” New Hampshire humor like Juston McKinney. He’s been using the state as his comic muse since he was humoring perps as a deputy sheriff on the NH/ME border in the 1990s. Now he’s got TV deals galore and appearances on “The Tonight Show” and Comedy Central.” His Youtube channel has over a million views, which includes NH favorites such as “Live Free or Die” and “Live Freeze then Die!”.  Experience a terrific evening of comedy at the Palace Theatre October 10. 

Book your Palace Theatre accommodation at the romantic Glynn House Inn. Guests enjoy gracious surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is served at separate tables in the Victorian dining room. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Afternoon refreshments and early evening wine and cheese are offered daily. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Pamper yourself and book an in-room massage – available in most guest rooms.

Are you looking for other fall activities during your visit to New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains and Lakes Regions? Venture away from the Inn and enjoy art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, tax free shopping or simply experience the delightful New Hampshire countryside. Inn guests enjoy savings on many local activity fees. View the Glynn House website for additional information about the Inn, special offers  and local activities.

Globetrotter Girls – 5 Reasons Why Cuzco Is Worth A Trip

Author: , September 26th, 2015

Dani - Cuzco

About 99% of people who are visiting Peru are visiting Cuzco – however, most of them are only passing through. Cuzco is the gateway to Machu Picchu, the mystic Inca town that is set high up in Andes Mountains, often referred to as the Lost City Of The Incas. Cuzco is often overlooked as a destination in itself – but it is so worth a visit, even if there was no Machu Picchu nearby! I spent about ten days in Cuzco when I did the Salkantay Trek (I have yet to share the highlights of the trek with you, but I guarantee you, the photos will make you want to hop on the next flight! Luckily LAN has regular sales to Peru – I get emails with their special offers and am always tempted by their promotions), and I could see why other people ended up staying there for months.

So instead of planning to just pass through Cuzco on your way to Machu Picchu, consider spending a few nights here – trust me, you won’t regret it. Here are my top five reasons why Cuzco is worth a trip:

A gem of a city

Because most people have only Machu Picchu on their bucket list they don’t pay too much attention to Cuzco, but let me tell you: Cuzco is actually a gem of a city, with beautiful architecture, an impressive cathedral, a gorgeous Plaza De Armas, fantastic shopping for local handicraft and woolen textiles (there are several markets around town that sell everything from blankets to pottery) and a number of festivals throughout the year. Plus, it is located in a stunning setting, nestled in the Andes Mountains.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Peru Gay Travel Resources

Gay Travel: New York City

Author: , September 26th, 2015

New York

I’m seesawing on a sloop in New York Harbor, its white sail waving like freshly hung linen. Down: the sparkling water laps up on the boat and my mimosa, the color of the early-morning sun, feverishly sloshes. Up: One World Trade Center pokes its silver top above the large sail and an endless blue sky makes Downtown Manhattan look like a professionally painted cityscape sold in a Times Square souvenir shop.

A salt-filled ocean breeze whips between the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and swirls with the fresh orange juice smell from the Champagne flutes of a dozen brunch guests aboard Manhattan by Sails Shearwater ( The boat’s sail turns slightly against the wind, and grants me a full view of the City. From this vantage point, New York seems different and that’s what I’ve been searching for during a whirlwind one-week trip as a New York tourist.

Trying to ditch my existing biases and opinions as a ten-year New Yorker and a life-long New York State resident, I forge a plan to take off work and discover just what New York is like for an average tourist trying to take a bite out of the Big Apple. And while I enjoy seeing attractions that I’ve never actually visited, like the Empire State Building, I try to find new and exciting ways to see this thriving metropolis of eight million people. I also quickly discover that navigating and experiencing New York City is fraught with long lines, overpriced attractions, and endless schemes to take advantage of tourists, but enjoying a quintessential experience is attainable.\

By Joseph Pedro – Full Story at Passport | New York City Gay Travel Resources

Purple Roofs LGBT Travel Round-Up – September 26th

Author: , September 26th, 2015

In addition to our regular travel articles, we’re starting a regular travel round-up, for those stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. Enjoy!

What are The Most Gay-Friendly Destinations? (Travel Pulse)
Thomas Stanley, who has a 40-year history as a tour operator that includes positions with Travcoa, Cox & Kings, Trafalgar, Mountain Travel – Sobek and Lindblad Travel, is also one of the world’s experts on gay and lesbian travel.
full story

6 Totally Unsanitary Tourist Attractions (Shermans Travel)
We’re not germaphobes, but some attractions are just plain gross. Here are six tourist attractions you might want to avoid unless you have a jumbo-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and, in some cases, a strong stomach.
full story

Seattle’s Gum Wall/Flickr/Conrad Olson

Seattle’s Gum Wall/Flickr/Conrad Olson

Benidorm’s Tourist-Takeover Will Never Crush Its Spanish Spirit (Gay Star News)
In the fifty or so years since the fishing industry’s decline in the Alicante region, the landscape of Benidorm has changed beyond recognition. Skyscrapers dominate the skyline as an influx of 5 million tourists per year from around Europe, and particularly the UK, flocks to the area in search of sun loungers and poolside bars.
full story

Dan Beeson

5 Reasons Why Should Check Out Dolores Park (Keep Calm and Wander)
In Spanish, Dolores means “sorrow.” But, at Dolores Park in San Francisco, sorrow is nowhere in sight. Not even a shadow of it.
full story

Dolores Park - Alain

Space Coast Pride Takes Off While Ocala Pride Shines Anew (Watermark)
Though on the scene for eight years, this is a festival of firsts for Space Coast Pride. Expanding to three days for the first time, the festivities kick off with a launch party on Sept. 25 and end with an ocean-view brunch on Sept. 27.
full story

Sarasota Fabulous Film Festival (Watermark)
The 5th annual Sarasota Fabulous Independent Film Festival was held September 18-20 at Burns Court Cinemas and USF Sarasota/Manatee campus.
full story

Your Ultimate Guide To Gay Halloween New Orleans Is Here (
Halloween New Orleans presented by Avita Pharmacy, now in its 32nd year, is known as the best gay Halloween bash in the U.S. for good reason. With 4 days of gay parties (including a black-tie gala, a neon party, a costume party, and the most sacred of all, gay brunch), a spectacular parade, a top notch music festival and a crowd that is equally uproarious and sexy, it’s no wonder gays flock to NOLA come the end of October.
full story

Halloween New Orleans

Newfest Announces Lineup For 27th Annual Film Festival (LGBT Weekly)
NewFest, in partnership with Outfest, today announced the lineup of their 27th annual celebration of the year’s best LGBT films from around the world.
full story