Midlife Madness photo

MIDLIFE MADNESS TOURS

HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs.

They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe & the Mediterranean … the UK … Singapore … Vanuatu … the USA … Israel … Egypt … Jordan … Dubai … East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania) … China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam … Scandinavia & St Petersburg … Australia (the Ghan) … Alaska … Canada … South America (Chile, Argentina, Peru) … India …

John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity.

Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!

OKAY, SO WHO’S INVITED?

These MIDLIFE MADNESS adventures (as the name suggests) are a little different to most. And the Cooneys are keen to attract likeminded, fun-loving, young-at-heart people in midlife (or thereabouts).

So: if you’re in your middle years or retired … and you’re fit and healthy and able to keep up … and you’re slightly mad … and you’re keen to kick up your heels, and go mildly wild, and laugh yourself silly with a bunch of fellow-Kiwis – then you’ll fit in just fine!

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Click on any of these upcoming MIDLIFE MADNESS tours … to find out more! And if you’d like to be kept up-to-date, email jc@johncooney.co.nz to receive the Cooney's regular TOUR TEASERS!

BOOKING AGENT

Glen Armstrong and his team at House of Travel Ellerslie bring to Midlife Madness Tours extensive experience with group travel, plus a commitment to helping the Cooneys provide the very best by way of hassle-free adventures – so you can enjoy every minute and not worry about a thing! House of Travel is an IATA-bonded company (New Zealand owned and operated) established in 1987, with 65 outlets nationwide. Glen and his team look forward to talking with you about your booking arrangements … travel insurance … and any other touring queries or requirements.

Phone: tollfree 0800 323 333
Email: midlifemadnesstours@hot.co.nz.

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TRAVEL BLOG

Sample a little of the Cooneys’ next adventure in September 2017 - MIDLIFE MADNESS IN ITALY & CROATIA - by clicking here and reading their BLOG.

When the Cooneys are overseas on a cruise or tour, they post these updates and photos so friends and family of tour members can sample a slice of the fun!

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FEEDBACK

Here's what people have said about previous Midlife Madness cruises & tours:

Midlife Madness logo

TRAVEL BLOG


Check out the Cooney’s

TOUR BLOG

(posted each time they’re on a Mad Midlife adventure)


TOUR TEASERS

FRANCE

Chateaux-Gardens-Food-Wine

CHATEAUX-GARDENS
FOOD-WINE

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Paris: A Moveable Feast

PARIS:
A MOVEABLE FEAST

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France’s Loire: Valley of a Thousand Chateaux

FRANCE’S LOIRE: VALLEY OF A
THOUSAND CHATEAUX


TOUR TEASERS

SOUTH AMERICA

Nature Lovers Dream

NATURE-LOVER'S
DREAM!

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Chiles Spectacular Fjords

CHILE'S SPECTACULAR
FJORDS

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Iguazu: down the Devils throat

IGUAZU: DOWN THE
DEVIL'S THROAT

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The Lost City of Machu Picchu

THE LOST CITY OF
MACHU PICCHU

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Happy Feet in the Falklands

HAPPY FEET
IN THE FALKLANDS

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TOUR TEASERS

SAFARI

Lion Hunt

WE'RE GOING ON A
LION HUNT!

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Feathers and Armour-Plate

FEATHERS &
ARMOUR-PLATE

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Round, Roly-Ploy and Dangerous

ROUND, ROLY-POLY &
DANGEROUS

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Elephantastic!

ELEPHANTASTIC!
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TRAVEL
ARTICLES


CHILLING OUT IN THE CINQUE TERRE

(Grapevine 3 2014)

We were in Europe, wanting a dose of La Dolce Vita … the good life: scrummy food, unlimited sunshine, soul-thrilling views. And the Cinque Terre on the northwest coast of Italy had come highly recommended. ‘Cinque terre’ is Latin for ‘five lands’ – which meant we had three days to explore five villages …

Cinque Terre

Read more … (pdf reader required)


MAKING TRACKS

(Grapevine 2 2014)

Travel, for most people, is all about speed. It’s about getting from point-A to point-B as fast as poss. But a long train journey gives you views you can’t see from the road, sights you don’t get out the window of a plane, and a sense of romance that you miss when you’re in a mad, screaming hurry …

Train

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TOMBS, GRAVES & MAUSOLEUMS!

(Grapevine 1 2014)

Travelling abroad wouldn’t be half as much fun if it wasn’t for dead people. If long-ago emperors, rulers and pharaohs hadn’t built themselves massive tombs, monuments and burial sites, we would’ve had far fewer touristy things to point our cameras at …

India

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IRRESISTIBLE ITALY

(Grapevine 4 2013)

Travel. We Kiwis do it for all kinds of reasons. But there are some places where the best thing to do is find a shady umbrella, order a cappuccino, and, well, just SIT. Sit and feel the magic as the world goes by around you …

Italy

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DUBROVNIK: MEDIEVAL MAGIC

(Grapevine 3 2013)

Dubrovnik. Not so long ago, I’d never heard of the place. I wouldn’t have bothered to go there. And I would’ve been the loser. Because the massive, walled, sea-battered city of Dubrovnik, trust me, is pure, sensational, medieval magic …

Dubrovnik

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O SOLE MIO!

(Grapevine 2 2013)

Getting lost in a big city is not normally a good idea. But Venice is one place where it doesn’t hurt to forget your map. In fact, one of the nicest things you can do in this most romantic old town is go wandering, meandering, sauntering and strolling …

Venice

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ASTONISHING ANGKOR

(Grapevine 1 2013)

It was hard to believe what I was seeing: towering moss-smothered stone-work … vast terraces, moats and spires … endless sculptures of deities and royals … wall-to-wall murals recording Hindu battles and Buddhist lifestyles. The centuries have taken their toll, of course, but 1000 years ago, Angkor Wat was a royal capital populated by more than a million people …

Angkor Wat

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GLACIERS, GARDENS & GABLES

(Grapevine 4 2012)

Tuesdays, on the whole, are just like any other day in my experience. Nothing special. Nothing stand-out. But on a recent adventure in the north of North America, three Tuesdays in a row left me with some special, stand-out memories. Tuesday #1 featured GLACIERS … monster glaciers … cracking, crunching, grinding their way to the sea …

Glaciers

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MEDIEVAL BERGS & BURGS

(Grapevine 3 2012)

If you’ve ever had a halfway-decent look around Germany, you’re bound to have found yourself in a ‘berg’ or ‘burg’. Back in the Middle Ages, it seems, every German town worth its salt was given a name that ended with one or the other – and the country is littered with them …

Medieval Bergs

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FAIRYTALE CASTLES OF THE RHINE

(Grapevine 2 2012)

There are some destinations that really stand out from the rest. And a uniquely gorgeous stretch of river running through the middle of Germany is one of those. That river is the Rhine … and this particular stretch, the Rhine Valley, is strewn with fairytale castles, postcard-pretty villages, and landscapes that ache your eyeballs …

Rhine

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MAGICAL MACHU PICCHU

(Grapevine 1 2012)

Do you like mysteries and secrets? Who-dunnits and what-ifs? Long-ago history, far-away places, and spooky, goosebumpy legends? Well, you’ve gotta come with us to Machu Picchu. This 600-year-old ‘Lost City of the Incas’, perched on a mountaintop in the Peruvian Andes, has got it all …

Macchu Picchu

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HAPPY FEET IN THE FALKLANDS

(Grapevine 4 2011)

I knew they were somewhere south on the underside of the world. And I knew there’d been a war. But I didn’t know these rugged, rocky, wind-swept islands on the edge of the tempestuous Southern Ocean are home to more than a few British, Scottish and Kiwi expats – and penguins …

Falklands

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ST PETERSBURG’S GOLDEN, GUSHING FOUNTAINS

(Grapevine 3 2011)

Tsar Peter the Great chose a swamp in Russia’s northwest corner as the location for what some still regard as the most beautiful city in the world: St Petersburg …

St Petersburg

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THE NEVER-CHANGING NILE

(Grapevine 2 2011)

Imagine gliding silently, hour after hour, on the wide, still waters of this famous river, while scenes unchanged in thousands of years slip past in slow motion …

Nile

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GOEDE MORGEN AMSTERDAM!

(Grapevine 1 2011)

With its picturesque canals, lumbering windmills, steep-gabled mansions and cosy Dutch cafes, the Netherland’s capital is one of the most captivating haunts in Europe …

Amsterdam

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SICILY: SIGHT FOR SORE EYES

(Grapevine 4 2010)

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and one of the region’s best-kept secrets. It’s been hanging there off the toe of Italy’s boot for as long as anyone can remember, and was invaded throughout history by all the usual culprits …

Sicily

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AROUND CAPE HORN

(Grapevine 3 2010 - by Sue McIlroy)

Having seen New Zealand’s Fiordland – plus the spectacular Norwegian Fjords and Alaska – I really didn’t expect too much from the fjords of South America. How wrong I was! The Chilean Fjords have to be one of the world’s best kept secrets ...

Cape Horn

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GALLIPOLI PILGRIMS

(Grapevine 2/2010)

There’s a date in history and a place in Turkey that hold special significance for Kiwis. On April 25, 1915, New Zealand and Australian soldiers plunged ashore onto what would become known as Anzac Cove. And the Battle for Gallipoli had begun …

Gallipoli

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JUST LOVING VANCOUVER

(Grapevine 1/2010)

Big cities rarely excite me. See one – you’ve seen them all! (as the tired cliché says). And when we touched-down in Vancouver I fully expected to be ho-hummed again. But no, far from it! Vancouver quickly proved to be a worthy exception. And I just as quickly fell in love …

Vancouver

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ALASKA’S FROZEN JURASSIC PARK

(Grapevine 4/2009)

Staggering! There’s no other word for it. And silent! Utterly, awesomely silent. A shh-don’t-talk, other-worldly kind of silence that’s broken only by an occasional sound the Tlingit Indians call “white thunder”. A massive rolling, rumbling sound. Followed by a gunshot-like crack that tells you a glacier is calving …

Alaska

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NUREMBURG: WRAPPED IN MEDIEVAL WALLS

(Grapevine 3/2009 – by Ian Dunwoodie)

Central Europe buzzes in the memory. Everywhere are names that ring a bell – even though you may have no idea at all what the actual place is like. But when you visit, suddenly it leaps into focus, lodging itself in your memory for the rest of your life. Nuremburg is one of those places...

Nuremburg

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VIENNA IN YOUR SOUL

(Grapevine 2/2009 – by Ian Dunwoodie)

You may not know this – but you have Vienna in your blood. Me too, as I found out when I finally visited the grand old city. Although I was distracted at first by the glories of the place. Noble palaces, towering churches, spacious squares, statues, parks, the Danube River …

Vienna

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WHEN IN ROME

(Grapevine 1/2009)

It’s hard to know where to start with Rome. This dusty old city, founded centuries before Christ, was once the hub of history, the cornerstone of the Roman Empire, the centre of Christendom. I mean, this is where Popes were elected, and basilicas got built, and Da Vinci came up with his secret code (if you believe Dan Brown).

Rome

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ANCIENT RUINS & BURIED TOWNS

(Grapevine 4/2008)

There’s a part of me that’s always wanted to be an archaeologist. (True, there’s another part of me that thinks that’s a stupid idea. Because of the jokes, mainly. Like “An archaeologist is someone whose career lies in ruins!” and “An archaeologist will date any old thing!”) But, all joking aside, there’s something seriously irresistible about ancient ruins …

Ephesus

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SAN GIMIGNANO

(Grapevine 3/2008)

If one day you happen to be in Italy, and you find yourself surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and cypress trees and meandering lanes and medieval hilltop towns, you’re probably in Tuscany. And if one of those hilltop towns dominates the skyline and bristles with towers and looks vaguely famous, it’s probably San Gimignano …

San Gimignano

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MEDIEVAL TALLINN

(Grapevine 2/2008)

Estonia (if you want to go) is on the right as you head up the map, just past Lithuania and before you hit Finland. And Tallinn (don’t miss it, whatever you do) is small, old, walled-in and beautiful – a stunningly-preserved medieval gem that was largely untouched by the battles of the tsars and the bombs of WWII …

Tallinn

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IN LOVA WITH ST PETERSBURG

(Grapevine 1/2008)

It was weird waking up that first morning in St Petersburg. I mean, the cruise ship didn’t feel weird. Far from it! We’d been having a fabulous time aboard our floating hotel. But we’d docked overnight in Russia (gulp), and I was on full alert …

St Petersburg

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NORWEGIAN FJORDS

(Grapevine 4/2007)

If you’re ever out on a Sunday afternoon and you find yourself in the North Sea, take a right turn once you’ve gone past England and Scotland, and you should end up in Norway. You probably won’t see any Vikings, because no Vikings have been seen on Sunday afternoons for almost 1000 years. But you probably will see some of the most mouth-wateringly gorgeous landscapes in the world …

Norwegian Fjords

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COLOURFULLY CANADA

(Grapevine 4/2007 – by Toby Saltzman)

Sudden ripples and a surge of spray preceded the dorsal fin of a 10-metre minke whale, and our serene enclave in Eastern The minke nosed upward, showing her gentle face, before arching through the water once, and then again, flaunting her body and claiming her domain …

Canada

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ISTANBUL: TURKISH DELIGHT

(Grapevine 3/2007)

When you spot a forest of spiky minarets thrusting above the skyline … when you hear the cry of muezzins, calling Muslim devotees to prayer … when you pick up the tangy aroma of spice markets, and the smell of lamb-kebab roasting at kerbside rotisseries … you know you’re in Istanbul!

Istanbul

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THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

(Grapevine 3/2007 – by Kate Pocock)

There are train trips, and then there are rail journeys. There’s the weekend chug-a-lug to visit Aunt Lucy, and then there’s the Rocky Mountaineer – “the most spectacular rail journey in the world” …

Canadian Rockies

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ALASKA’S ICY INSIDE PASSAGE

(Grapevine 2/2007 – by Jacqueline Unsworth)

Giant icebergs drift slowly past, some so close I feel I could touch them. A sunbathing otter does backstroke for my camera, flapping its tiny paws. And all around, in every direction, the sheer basalt cliffs and snow-topped mountains keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger …

Inside Passage

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ROUND, ROLY-POLY & DANGEROUS

(Grapevine 2/2007)

I’d been looking forward to this moment for ages, and kept thinking: “Pinch me – I’m dreaming!” Here we were, in the largest zoo on earth: the Ngorongoro Crater. And awaiting us was an animal population so used to humans that you can almost “reach out and touch …”

Hippopotamus

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WE’RE GOING ON A
LION HUNT

(Grapevine 1/2007)

It is 5:45am when the wake-up call comes. We lie there for a few minutes longer, struggling to get our bearings. Then, suddenly, it registers: we’re in the Masai Mara, the most densely populated wildlife reserve in Africa. And we’re about to head off for an early morning game-drive …

Lions

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THE SUNSET ISLES
OF GREECE

(Grapevine 1/2007)

If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself on either Santorini or Mykonos, sit is what you must do. Because these two small islands in the Aegean Sea can only really be enjoyed if you put your feet up. They’re in no hurry, you see. They’ve been waiting out there for centuries. And they’re drop-dead gorgeous …

Greece

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PARIS:
A MOVEABLE FEAST

(Grapevine 4/2006)

Somebody (probably a Frenchman) once called Paris “le deuxième pays de tout le monde” – everybody’s second country. And somebody else (Ernest Hemmingway) once wrote: “If you’re lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Paris

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FLAMENCO
FUN IN BARCELONA

(Grapevine 3/2006)

Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun. Her face looked for all the world like she was being tortured. Accompanied by much hand-clapping, shouting, strumming of guitars, she stomped her feet and snapped her fingers and swirled her truffled dress around her legs in a colourful blur ...

Flamenco Dancer

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WONDERFUL
WONDERFUL
COPENHAGEN

(Grapevine 2/2006 – by Ian Dunwoodie)

Are you feeling all up the Skagerrak? Then take a generous dose of Scandinavia! Today we’re going to the Baltic Sea, so listen carefully. To enter it, first you sail up the Skagerrak, then you sail down the Kattegat, through the harbour and up to the quay …

Copenhagen

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LONDON:
POP, POMP & PAGEANTRY

(Grapevine 1/2006)

Seconds before the doors hissed shut and the train moved out, a couple of scruffy buskers lunged into our carriage. One had a strange mouth-organ thingy, plus a beat-up set of bongos which he gripped between his knobbly knees. The other had a tired guitar.

London

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ELEPHANTASTIC!

(Grapevine 4/2005)

There’s only one word for them: huge! Huge bodies, huge ears, huge appetites (eating 200kg of greenage per day). And huge football-sized doos ...

Elephant

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DUBROVNIK
Medieval Magic

(Grapevine 3/2005)

Soaring battlements, towering cathedrals, cobblestoned alleyways … the stuff good fairytales are made of!

Dubrovnik

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WATERWAYS OF INDO-CHINA

(Grapevine 1/2005)

If you really hate boats, don’t bother sightseeing in Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam. Because, if you want to get up-close with the PEOPLE … sorry, you’re gonna have to get your feet wet!

Indo-China

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OUT OF AFRICA

(Grapevine 2/2005)

Imagine, suddenly, in the silence, a roar. A short, sharp, close, explosive roar. And imagine the hair standing up on the back of your neck as you realise (gulp!) it’s a lion …

Africa

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