Four virtually amazing days out

You may never have the opportunity to visit these places in person, but you can ‘experience’ them from the comfort of your home. Then you can at least be included in those round-the-table conversations with your more worldly friends and family!

1. Visit a wonder of the world
In times of plenty people fly halfway around the world to see these sites, and it takes a crisis to make us realise they’re a click away. Google Arts & Culture has spent several years quietly accruing walking tours of many of mankind’s greatest architectural achievements, from the massive Moai statues of Easter Island to the desert fortresses of Petra.

Armchair travellers can now visit the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Palace of Versailles, Machu Picchu, the Colosseum … the list goes on.

2. Go caving in New Mexico
You may wish you could spend your virtual Sunday outdoors, but if you can suspend cabin fever momentarily, one of the internet’s most intriguing tours takes place deep beneath the rock formations of New Mexico.

The Carlsbad Caverns tour takes you down into the largest subterranean chamber in North America, the so-called ‘Big Room’ filled with stalagmites and stalactites, and will put you behind the eyes of one of the cave’s more than half a million bats. If tunnels aren’t your thing, try a sister tour: perusing coral reefs in the Dry Tortugas National Park, or stargazing in Bryce Canyon.

3. Enjoy a South African safari
A bucket list item for young and old; we don’t want to meet the person not overcome with excitement at the prospect of an African safari. Luxury travel firm & Beyond and wildlife broadcasting company WildEarth have come together to live stream twice-daily, three-hour tours from South Africa’s Kruger National Park – the largest, oldest, and most prestigious in the land, crawling with lions, leopards, elephants and giraffes.

Led by professional park rangers in jeeps bearing mounted cameras, the tours will be wholly unscripted, and each afternoon drive will begin with 45-minute Q&A, taking questions from viewers around the world.

4. Tour a world-famous gallery
Visual, prestigious, and wholly immobile, no institution is built for the virtual visit quite like the art gallery. Online visitors can now take an 18-room tour around London’s National Gallery, goggle at Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao and delve into the Dutch Masters at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

For an even grander gander, try the Vatican Museums in Rome (complete with Sistine Chapel) or browse the world’s largest collection of impressionist paintings in the Beaux-Arts Musée D’Orsay, Paris. They say that everyone’s a critic, and with these curated experiences they genuinely can be.

Which one will you try first?

– With PA

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Virtual galleries online
Vikings armchair travel channel
Take an unordinary adventure

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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