Last week Getaway
took you along the Music Highway through Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee and Jackson Mississippi in the south of the United States.
Now the journey is heading south to New Orleans in Louisiana. The further south you travel in this part of the United States, the more culturally diverse it gets. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, strongly influenced by 18th-century French, Spanish and African cultures.
Southern Louisiana is known as Cajun country. Cajuns are people of French Canadian descent who were exiled to the bayous in the 18th century. There are around 700,000 French-speaking Cajuns in the area, and the town of Breaux Bridge is known for its traditional Cajun food.
In south-eastern Louisiana, New Orleans straddles the Mississippi River. It was named after Philippe II, Duc d'Orléans, Regent of France, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States.
Cajun Country Swamp Tours will take you on a personalised ride on an open crawfish skiff through a surreal Louisiana cypress swamp. Your guide, Butch Guchereau grew up on a small Cajun farm and by hunting and fishing in the swamps with his father, knows them better than almost anyone. He holds degrees in zoology and botany, he can tell you all about life in the swamps.
They are full of crawfish and alligators and egrets and herons live in the Spanish moss covered cypress trees.
Heading towards New Orleans after the damage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 can make you wonder what to expect. It appears that most of it has recovered, but as summer storms build, it proves again that Mother Nature has the final say.
Rain, hail or shine, Bourbon Street swings 24 hours a day. There are endless jazz clubs in and around the French Quarter, catering for every mood.
When the city was founded in 1718 it was centred around the French Quarter. It has expanded considerably over the years, but the Quarter remains the cultural hub, and Bourbon Street is the one best known by visitors. The eight-block section is home to bars, restaurants, strip clubs and souvenir shops. There is a thriving gay community on the edge of the quarter, referred to as "the Velvet Line".
During the annual Mardi Gras celebration, Bourbon Street teems with hundreds of thousands of tourists. It is a city that thrives on celebrations and festivals and it's highly likely that whenever you visit there will be something fun going on.
The Music Highway between Nashville and New Orleans in the United States.
Vroom Vroom Vroom care hire in the United States starts at around $40 a day.
Air New Zealand has flights to Los Angeles.
- Sydney $2154
- Melbourne $2242
- Brisbane $2260
- Perth $2440
- Adelaide $2455
Available for travel between November 1 and December 9, 2008. Conditions apply. Connections to Nashville are available.
Prices correct at October 30, 2008.
For further information
Cajun Country Swamp Tours
1226 North Berard Street
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana 70517
United States of America
Ph: +1 337 319 0010
Vroom Vroom Vroom
Ph: 1300 722 920 (Australia)
Ph: +1 888 463 8946 (USA)
Air New Zealand
Check out our celebrity Getaway blog or our photo gallery for more Getaway adventure pics.