ROD C

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ROD C

ROD C

Australia

I'm the Founder of Viator. My friend Peter Fox and I got the company started way back in 1995; it took us a while to get focused on sightseeing, tours and activities, but once we did we managed to revolutionise an industry. I travel pretty constantly, and take the chance to enjoy our offerings whenever my feet touch the ground. It take a lot to impress me, so if I review something, it's because I think its worth your while checking out!

Jan022013

Attraction

Eumundi Market

Noosa & Sunshine Coast

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I visit the Eumundi Market's every time I visit Noosa. I mean, you can't be in this part of the world and NOT go to these markets, if they aren't the most colourful and interesting in the world then I'm sure they hold that honour for the Southern Hemisphere. Be careful of the fresh herbs and spices: stuff that's grown in these parts tends to have much more aroma and taste than what we find in our supermarkets. There's ALWAYS good entertainment here, and the people watching is brilliant. Go Eumundi!

Sep252012

Travel Recommendation

Food Tours!

New York City

My Recommendation Tip

Discovering New York through the perspective of food is a really good alternative to just visiting the various neighbourhoods and wondering what the highlights are. I did two food tours recently and found out more about the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Chinatown and Brooklyn than I had even known before. One of the coolest parts is that you get to meet a bunch of characters you wouldn't otherwise; you get to know places you'll almost certainly return to; and the tour guides give you some history and context for the neighbourhoods that you can only get from a local.

My Photos

  • NY Food Tours #8
  • NY Food Tours #7
  • NY Food Tours #6
  • NY Food Tours #5
  • NY Food Tours #4
  • NY Food Tours #3
  • NY Food Tours #2
  • NY Food Tours #1

Sep202012

Travel Recommendation

Boat tours from Phuket

Phuket

My Recommendation Tip

Phuket is on the Andaman Sea and there a few tours that take you to Phi Phi and other places, they are all AMAZING and well worth doing. The islands here are like nothing else (Ok, Vietnam has them too...) and everything is just so picturesque, it's sublime.

My Photos

  • There ARE beaches!
  • Way home...
  • Lunch!
  • Canoe Ride
  • Casting Off
  • James Bond Island
  • Guide explains James Bond
  • Andaman Sea

Sep202012

Travel Recommendation

Fed Square and Flinders Street Station

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Just near the Arts Centre and Southbank, Flinders Street Station is famous for its clocks and the meeting point on the steps below them. Across the road is a new complex called Federation Square, with ultra-modern buildings and big spaces for buskers to perform.

My Photos

  • Melbourne has trams!
  • Bike rentals at Fed Square
  • Federation Square #2
  • Federation Square
  • Flinders Street Station from Fed Square

Sep202012

Travel Recommendation

Arts Centre and Southbank

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

This is one of the most interesting parts of Melbourne. The Arts Centre is fantastic, when I was there a big Napoleon exhibition was underway, and the Gallery itself is such a great building. Along the river (Southbank) there's good shopping and bars and always tons of people, plus nice views of the city. Walk far enough and you reach Crown Casino, if that's your thing!

My Photos

  • Yarra River Crosswalk
  • Southbank Walk
  • Arts Centre Spire
  • Arts Centre Melbourne

Mar152012

Travel Recommendation

Photography Tours in Venice

Venice

My Photos

  • On the Rialto #2
  • On the Rialto
  • Arty Gondolas
  • Grand Canal
  • Gondolas at Rest
  • Gondolier

Feb272012

Travel Recommendation

Barcelona Graffiti

Barcelona

My Recommendation Tip

There's tons of cool things to see and do in Barcelona, but one of the things I enjoyed most was the amazing street art. Sure you can see Picasso's works at his Museum, and all the great Gaudi buildings, but for me the graffiti was the best. Especially in the old city (the Born) where every corner I turned seemed to offer something new. These pics might all be of pieces that have been covered up now, but that just underlines why it's good to seek out good graf: it might be gone next week!

My Photos

  • CIMG2009
  • Barcelona Graffiti #5
  • Barcelona Graffiti #4
  • Barcelona Graffiti #3
  • Barcelona Graffiti #2
  • Barcelona Graffiti #1

Dec122011

Travel Recommendation

Monterey, The Aquarium and Carmel

California

My Recommendation Tip

I had the chance to do a coach trip to Monterey and Carmel a few weeks ago, and even though I've been this way a dozen times before, I still found it a delightful day.

You couldn't wish for more breathtaking scenery than Coastal Hwy. 1 offers, and the stops we made were excellent; that little bakery at Davenport -- Whale City Bakery -- makes the best croissants I've had outside Paris, no kidding! God knows how long the line there would be if it were on 18th Street in the Mission...

Anyway: this is a trip with lots of highlights, but it's hard to go past the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I've attached some pictures here (if your camera is like mine you'll maybe discover an "Aquarium" shooting mode that you probably didn't know you had!) and it's surprisingly easy to take great shots. Wow, Jellyfish!

At the end of the day the Carmel stop is good for shoppers but even better for finding one of the very cool little bars in the Carmel side streets; you could browse the stores but honestly, you can do that back home too, and a half hour learning a little about local winemakers will stand you in good stead for your future wine buying!

My Photos

  • Jellyfish #3
  • Jellyfish #2
  • Jellyfish #1

Nov092011

Tour/Activity

PIER 39 Attraction Pass

San Francisco, California

My Photos

  • Market
  • Jumping
  • Carousel
  • Sea Lions
  • Sea Lions
  • Boat
  • Pier 39 flags
  • People on the Pier
  • The Aquarium
  • Boats

Oct252011

Travel Recommendation

Where to stay in Singapore

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

It's easy to stay at a big glass and concrete tower in Singapore: the place is full of them and in some ways it makes sense to immerse yourself in the same surroundings that the Singaporeans do each day. But there really is a better alternative: over the last few years, smaller boutique hotels have sprung up -- well, not sprung up so much as emerged from the row houses of Chinatown and Little India.

These hotels are a brilliant way to get closer to what Singapore is really about: a curious mix of cultures and generations that is oddly compelling for all sorts of reaons. The interior design in some of them (Wanderlust and New Majestic come to mind) is mind-blowingly good, and needs to be experienced rather than read about in Dwell magazine!

Next time you're planning to be in Singapore, search for "cool singapore hotels" and see what you find. You've done glass and concrete already!

My Photos

  • Wanderlust Room, Singapore

Oct252011

Travel Recommendation

Singapore Zoo

Singapore

My Recommendation Tip

A lot o people don't like zoos, including me until I visited the Singapore Zoo last week. I worried that locking animals up in cages is just unnatural, and that making people pay money to see them locked up is somehow morally wrong. But Singapore Zoo does a good job of educating you about the animals natural habitats, if and why they are endangered, and what's happening to protect each of their respective homelands.

The Zoo is so well run that you have no doubt the animals are well cared for and humanely treated. Keeping a few of each species in this type of environment in order to educate us humans about them seems a reasonable price to pay, and the delighted looks on the faces of kids suggests that many will grow up to be more thoughtful and caring for animals than they might have been in ignorance.

Singapore Zoo is brilliantly organised, and even though the days are hot there's plenty of shade and refreshments and entertainment. I got some great shots (attached here) and was even a little sad I couldn't make it back for the night safari, which is apparently wonderful. I talked to quite a few visitors while I was there -- it's amazing the number of nationalities you will find at a place like this -- and everyone was enjoying their visit. No negative input at all... that's pretty rare!

My Photos

  • Daytime
  • Take Me I'm Yours: Singapore Zoo
  • Big bird: Singapore Zoo
  • Solo: Singapore Zoo
  • Feed me!: Singapore Zoo
  • Family: Singapore Zoo
  • Showing off: Singapore Zoo
  • Big Cat: Singapore Zoo

Sep262011

Tour/Activity

Sydney Harbour Hop-on Hop-off Cruise

Sydney, Australia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
In any event, this is a cruise well worth taking: it leaves every 45 minutes from both Circular Quay and Darling Harbour, and stops at all the key spots around the harbour: Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour Harbourside (near the Aquarium), Shark Island and Luna Park. Each of those destinations is worth exploring in more depth, perhaps none more so than Watsons Bay, where you can take an hour to walk past Camp Cove and Lady Jane beaches on your way out to South Head, at the entrance to Sydney Harbour.

Note from Viator
This review was written by Rod Cuthbert, who wrote a complete Sydney Harbour Hop-on Hop-off Cruise tour overview on our Viator Travel Blog.

My Photos

  • Sydney Explorer
  • Sydney Explorer
  • Sydney Explorer
  • Sydney Explorer
  • Sydney Explorer

Sep072011

Tour/Activity

Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Sydney, Australia

My Photos

  • Sydney
  • Sydney
  • Sydney
  • Sydney
  • Sydney

Aug182011

Tour/Activity

Honolulu Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Oahu, Hawaii

My Photos

  • Honolulu
  • Honolulu
  • Honolulu
  • Honolulu
  • Honolulu

Aug082011

Travel Recommendation

Traghetto Crossing (Gondola Alternative!)

Venice

My Recommendation Tip

Not everyone can afford the traditional 40-minute Gondola Ride that is so emblematic of Venice. Maybe you've splurged on a grand hotel, some gourmet meals, or your budget just doesn't run to that luxury, at least not on this trip. There's a very cheap alternative, about a dollar per person: the Traghetto, which is a regular Gondola that ferries customers across the Grand Canal, generally locals returning home with their shopping, taking a short-cut. There's a good video here: http://bit.ly/qr6pfU. You can find Traghetti at half a dozen spots along the GC; I took one near the Rialto Fish Market.

My Photos

  • Traghetto #3
  • Traghetto #2
  • Traghetto #2
  • Traghetto #1
  • Traditional Gondola Ride

Aug082011

Travel Recommendation

Aussie Rules Football

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

If you are visiting Melbourne during the winter you would be certifiably insane to miss the chance to see -- live, not on TV -- an Aussie Rules football match. No, it's not like rugby, or American football, or even soccer. It's a whole different sport and has to be seen to be believed. The pace is much, much faster than any of the other forms of football, the players incredibly fit, and the skills, especially "marking" (catching the ball) are just unbelievable. Viator has a tour for newbies; it's definitely worth considering. You go with a local guide who explains the whole thing, buys you a meat pie with sauce and a beer at quarter time (essential, no excuses) and will help you decide which team to barrack for... well, there's no fun unless you are a supporter. Go Magpies!

My Photos

  • What a crowd!
  • Fifty meters out, 45 degree angle...
  • Pies Supporters!
  • Quarter time huddle.
  • Ball-Up!

Jul052011

Tour/Activity

Polynesian Cultural Center Tickets

Laie, Oahu

My Photos

  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Polynesian Cultural Center, drumming

Apr102011

Travel Recommendation

Private Tour of Bangkok Temples

Bangkok

My Recommendation Tip

I'm not usually a great one for religious sites; once you've seen a dozen Cathedrals they all seem to blend together a little. But there's something serene, peaceful and maybe even sublime about the experience of visiting these Buddhist temples in Bangkok. On the private tours that serenity starts with the air-conditioned calm of your ride, a definite plus in the constant Bangkok heat. If you've spent the rest of your time here riding in run of the mill cabs and, tuk-tuks and motorbikes, you'll know what I mean right away.

Once you step onto the grounds of any of these temples you feel a sense of decorum wash over you. Well, I did, anyway. And I noticed the same sense of calmness and peace in everyone else; I think it's the timelessness of these temples, the fact that there's nothing here that speaks of any particular era or century or epoch or anything like that. It's about now and forever.

This feels like a strange recommendation! That's the way these places make you feel; a VERY different feel to the rest of Bangkok, with its chaotic traffic, bulging population, crazy nightlife and searing heat. Take this tour for a dip in a sea of serenity amidst an ocean of madness... you won't regret it.

Mar032011

Tour/Activity

New York Pizza Tour to Brooklyn and Coney Island

New York City, New York

My Photos

  • L&B Spumoni Gardens

Feb252011

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

For first time visitors to Tokyo, there are two things I'd recommend that will truly round out your Japan experience. The Sumo Tournament is one of them; even though they have been dogged by controversy these last few years, the Sumo wrestlers remain a world unto themselves, something you need to see up close in order to understand it, and the country that has created it, a little better. Taking this tour makes sense; finding things in Tokyo can be a real pain, and the Sumo stadium is not the most welcoming venue for non-Japanese speakers. You'll have a million questions about the tournament -- it's impossible to sit and watch without at least that many -- and the guides seem to either know all the answers or make them up pretty quickly.

The other thing I'd recommend: without doubt, an early morning (I mean leave your hotel at 5am) trip to the huge Tokyo Fish Market. This is most definitely NOT a tourist destination -- watch out for fast moving motorized carts hauling just-purchased tuna of enormous proportions -- you may be the only people there who is not working. But it's a sight to behold; and there are great shops within the complex selling kitchen stuff you just won't find at home; and zillions of restaurants for a Japanese style breakfast.

My Photos

  • After The Auction
  • At the Fish Market
  • Facing Off at the Sumo

Feb202011

Travel Recommendation

The High Line

New York City

My Recommendation Tip

Winter is probably not the ideal time to visit the High Line, I'll admit. But I had heard so much about this excellent new "park" that I just had to brave the cold and go see it for myself. In the half mile I walked, there were only a few other souls as crazy as me, but it was still a beautiful thing, and I'll definitely be coming back on my next warm-weather trip! The High Line is a park that runs along a portion of the West Side of Manhattan, around Chelsea and the Meatpacking district, that occupies an abandoned elevated railway line. It's a beautiful thing, wonderful design and construction, offering unique views and perspectives on the world's most interesting city. The area around the High Line is responding and you'll see excellent architecture, great restaurants and brilliant new hotels all nearby. It's not quite Central Park, but it's a really wonderful idea and a new "must-see" for New York. As if there wasn't enough of those already...

My Photos

  • The High Line's Heritage
  • High Line Cityscape Viewer #2
  • High Line Cityscape Viewer #1
  • Great Architecture.
  • New York City Logic

Feb082011

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne's Laneways

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne is often thought of as Australia's second city, and there's certainly a rivalry with its more glamorous northern sister, Sydney. But Melbourne is recognised as having a superior "city-life" with fabulous cafes, restaurants, galleries and street art literally around every corner. One thing that makes that possible is Melbourne's layout, a grid of major streets between which dozens of laneways criss-cross the city. These laneways are home to the best shops, bars and graffiti... you can grab a map and walk them yourself, or take the "Melbourne Lanes and Arcades" tour, either way you'll enjoy a unique city experience.

My Photos

  • Obey Giant
  • Visiting Artist

Jan272011

Travel Recommendation

El Rastro Market, Madrid

Madrid

My Recommendation Tip

Street markets are an important part of the life of Madrid, and the Sunday market called El Rastro is the king of them all. It's easy to get to by Metro and you can spend a great day wandering the blocked-off streets, enjoying the many cafes, and finding the best gifts for the folks at home. Tourists are far outnumbered by locals, always a good sign, and there really are good bargains to be had. A real word of warning though: pickpockets work this market all the time; keep your possessions under your control at all times, and don't leave handbags and purses open or slung over your shoulder. But don't let that caution put you off what really is a great Madrid experience.

My Photos

  • Trading Cards
  • Tons of Locals
  • A Spanish Thing
  • Market Day
  • Backpacks

Jan272011

Travel Recommendation

Beaches of Byron Bay and Surrounds

New South Wales

My Recommendation Tip

Beach lovers never want to leave the Byron area... there are dozens of gorgeous beaches: long ones, short ones, beaches with tons of people, beaches with not a soul around. My favourites are Belongil, just north of the town (catch the early morning yoga enthusiasts around 6am in Summer); Wategos, just under the lighthouse (check out the beautiful houses here, and enjoy long rides on your malibu) and Boulder Beach, just south of Lennox Heads, a half hour drive south of Byron. But there's so many you'll find your own faves pretty fast, and like I said, probably never want to leave!

My Photos

  • After Sunrise
  • Boulder Beach
  • Belongil Life
  • Beach Art

Jan272011

Travel Recommendation

Markets of Byron Bay and Surrounds

New South Wales

My Recommendation Tip

If you aren't at the beach (why not?) then you should be at the market, at the pub, or sleeping...the markets in and around Byron are pretty amazing, but you need to check the local paper for times and places. My favourites are the Thursday produce market in Byron -- get there before 9am or you'll hear "sold out, Mate" too often -- and the Bangalow Market, which is held the 4th Sunday of each month. Bangalow is a cool little town a few miles inland from Byron and well worth the drive. The markets are big and the range of offerings stretches from produce to fashion to natural remedies to a whole range of other stuff. The setting, under the trees, attracts a real hippie crowd as well as locals, and you'll see plenty of good performers, busking or just holding court for the crowd. If you come to Byron, try to time it for this market, it's a beauty! Set aside a whole morning, by the way. You won't be disappointed.

My Photos

  • Just browsin'
  • Just sittin'
  • Toilet Plunger Man
  • Coin-Art Man
  • Great Produce

Jan272011

Travel Recommendation

Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Who knew, not just a party for the Gay population! Definitely Sydney's biggest street party and certainly the most colourful event (except for anything at all on the Harbour, which has some natural advantages) that the city hosts. The parade is held in late Feb / early March (March 5 in 2011) and draws a huge crowd of mostly straight Sydney-siders and tourists to watch a parade that generally features around 1,000 floats. It's big, it's fun, and the after party is well worth the ticket price.

My Photos

  • Another late Ball-goer
  • Not just an LGBT event...
  • Mardi Gras Floats
  • Late for the Ball

Jan222009

Tour/Activity

Oahu Shark Dive

Haleiwa, Oahu

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Besides being surrounded by dozens of sharks, it's pretty cool to be out on the high sea off Oahu's North Shore with this tour. The crew were fantastic, they obviously know heaps about sharks, and they speak about them with plenty of respect. Great boat, and I bought a little underwater camera on board ($15!) so I got some memories to take home as well.

Note from Viator
This review is from Rod Cuthbert, Viator's founder. Click here to read Rod's blog post and check out his YouTube slide show.

My Photos

  • Oahu Shark Dive
  • Oahu Shark Dive
  • Oahu Shark Dive
  • Oahu Shark Dive
  • Oahu Shark Dive
  • Oahu Shark Dive

Dec082008

Tour/Activity

Roman Gladiator School: Learn How to Become a Gladiator

Rome, Italy

My Photos

  • Roman Gladiator School

Nov012008

Tour/Activity

Barcelona Card with Guidebook

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
It was easy to pick up at Barcelona Airport, and I saved money straight away with discounted entrance to Casa Batlo, one of Gaudi's buildings. Great value!

My Photos

  • Casa Battlo
  • Casa Battlo

Jul302008

Tour/Activity

Bangkok Rice Barge Afternoon Cruise

Bangkok, Thailand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Frankly, it was hard to understand the guide's English, but it didn't matter at all. There is so much happening on the river that I think I missed at least half the photo opportunities. Great tour; I am telling all my friends who come to Bangkok to do this.

Jul072008

Jul072008

Tour/Activity

Tokyo Full Day Walking Tour including Tsukiji Fish Market

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
If you love fish - fresh fish - you must visit the Tokyo Fish Market. Simply amazing. If you don't like fish, you really should stay away from this place.

May212008

Tour/Activity

New York City Original Rock 'n' Roll Walking Tour

New York City, New York

My Photos

  • Bobby
  • Joey Ramone Place
  • Joe Strummer mural
  • Bobby Pinn
  • Gem Spa NYC
  • Old CBGBs

Dec212007

Tour/Activity

New York Hip-Hop Tour

New York City, New York

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Anyone who has an interest in modern music or graf or any part of the hip-hop scene will love this great tour. One of the very first NYC rappers, Kurtis Blow, joined our tour in Harlem and it was a blast hearing his stories. Saw parts of New York I would never have visited alone. Fabulous way to spend four hours in New York!

Dec212007

Tour/Activity

Lido de Paris Dinner and Show

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
How could a meal served to so many others at the same time as mine possibly be any good? Cabaret food has to be rubber chicken, doesn't it? Well, that's what I thought, and I had to keep checking with my fellow diners to ensure I wasn't hallucinating... but the fact remains that of all the meals I had in Paris on my last trip, the Lido's three-course banquet stood out. It helps that Michelin-starred Paul Bocuse has consulted on the new menu, and that the Champagne was outstanding. A pleasant shock to encounter quality food in a 'volume' environment.

Note from Viator
This review if from Viator's founder, Rod Cuthbert. You can read more about Rod's experience over on the

Sep202007

Tour/Activity

Ultimate Las Vegas Nightclub Hopping Package

Las Vegas, Nevada

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
When you're in Vegas there are lines, long lines, two hour lines, everywhere you look. Beautiful people, not-so-beautiful people, rich people, wannabe rich people -- all in lines, outside the club you want to get into. Needless to say, I think this pass is a great value and lets you skip the lines at top clubs across Las Vegas.

Note from Viator
Rod C is the founder of Viator. Read more about Rod's experiences in Las Vegas (and learn why he's such a fan of the Las Vegas Nightclub Package) over on the Viator Travel Blog.

Apr092007

Tour/Activity

Monty Python's Spamalot at Wynn Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
My mum and I would stay up late every Friday night to watch Monty Python's Flying Circus, and if she'd been with me in Las Vegas last Wednesday she would have enjoyed this even more. I especially liked how the script stays up to date with references to current events (I won't spoil it for you, though) and I can't think of any better actor than J Peterman (OK, John O'Hurley) to play King Arthur. A definite 'Yes' to the question 'Would you see this again?'

Nov072006

Tour/Activity

London Bike Tour - East, West or Central London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
My son and I did the East tour and loved it. The bikes are great, very comfortable and easy to ride, and besides the whole route is completely flat. Plenty of stops along the way meant we were never tired, and the main break was fantastic, with cafes, bars and shops, totally unlike other parts of London. Our guide was great and jumped from discussing history to culture to architecture to sports, depending on what the group wanted to know. No way would you see this much of this huge city, and this close up, on foot or in a bus.

Mar152006

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Airport Parking

San Francisco, California

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Compared with the airport's own parking facility, these guys are a lot more personalised, their shuttle seems to run more often, and they act like they want your business, which is nice.

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