Back home - holiday over - photos up.
At the airport on my way home. M&C just about to leave Auckland for a 2 night stopover here.
Yesterday I went out on an America's Cup boat for a little sail. Very big sails and very fast despite not a lot of wind.
M&C went to Whangeti Island on the ferry, had a coach trip around and then M went swimming.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Went to Kauri musuem where they had lots of displays of Gum and Gum trees - lots of old furniture; old saw mills; an old school and post office.
Then we went to Whangeri for lunch - bought sandwiches and watched the boats in the harbour while we eat them.
Then on to Paihia - for 3 nights. We were going to go dolphin siaghting on first day - but too wet for us - so postponed till next day.
Instead we went ot the Waitangi site - where the treaty was signed. Had a good look around - they had a 113' 'canoe' (kana) which weighed 12 tons and was made from 3 trees.
In ther afternoon we went swimming - in the sea - and then back to the pool - and in the evening went on Daryall's Dinner cruise - up the river to the local falls. Twas very good. Saw the sunset and had a nice dinner.
The next day we went dolphin watching - but couldn't swim with them as they had their babies with them.
Were dropped off at Russell where we had lunch - a wander and then uyp to flagstaff hill - with good views all around the bay (of islands).
In the evening saw a 111kg Marlin landed - very big - but not the biggest they have caught. Then on to fish and chips and a beer.
Today in Auckland - found hotel, returned car and check flights home.
Location: Orewa, New Zealand
Tried updating yesterday - but couldn't as planet ranger had an outage.
Yesterday we went on a walk with Kiwi Dundee - looking at lots of trees and gold mines, and the remains of the gold presses. Aos went into a cave and saw gloworms.
In the afteroon we went to Captain Cook's beach - but he had left. It was a lovely diserted cove and we went for a swim.
Today we have driven to North of Auckland (where they have motorways with other cars - which is a bit of a suprise!).
We are staying on a lovely bay and have just been for a swim.
Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Left Christchurch on the trans-alpine express travelling to Picton - all l\along the East coast. There were many good views and we saw even more fur seals sleeping on the rocks.
The train was a bit late - about an hour and they held the ferry for us. A very good trip through the sounds above Picton and then a crosswing over the Cook Straights to Wellington.
There were many people in fancy dress because of the rugby sevens.
We went on the Wellington tramway and walked around the Botanical gardens again - and then to the Te Papu museum which was very good. We then walked to the top of a big famous hill (I've temporarily forgotten its name) where we got views across Wellington harbour - and saw our boat returning from its next crossing. This boat used to be called the Pride of Cherborg and sail out of Portsmouth.
We then had a long drive to Taupo - stopping a few times on the way where we saw a windmill, a horse drawn tram, people trying to fly into the river, a ride in a lift and the a 176 step climb to the top of a tower we\here we got a good view of Wanganui.
In Taupo we had a thermal bath outside of the room, and a wander around.
We then drove here, visiting some falls (Hula?), and several thermal areas with gysers, mud pools etc.
Today we have been round a wildlife park, and up in the Gondola for another luge ride.
We are now waiting to go out for a Mauri dinner.
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Now back in Christchurch prior to travelling by train and boat to Wellington in the North Island.
From Te Anau we travelled across the country to Dunedin - where there were several other cars - not what we've been used to.
On arrival, most things were closed - but we walked to the top of Baldwin Street, and back down again. We got a certificate for doing this as it's the steepest street in the world - 1:286 at its steepest. The pavement had steeps.
We then wandered around, through the botanical gardens and through the university and down to the station where we saw the Tia Gorge railway. The station was beautiful. We also saw the Cadbury's factory - but were too late for a tour - as also for the brewery!.
We then went back into the mountains to Lake Tekapo, where we had the most beautiful view from our cottage - that's what they called it!.
We drove to the top of St. John's hill where there is an observatory - with views across the lakes in all directions. The water was a lovely bright blue due to the rock flour disolved in it as it has run down from the glaciers. It was, however, too cold to swim in 8 - 10 degrees.
Today, we have driven to Christchurch, and continued our sight-seeing and shopping.
Location: Te Anau, New Zealand
Arrived here yesterday.
On the way we stopped and saw the Kingston Flyer - an old steam railway. We didn't go on it.
We then went for a walk around Te Anau along the shore and saw some rare birds in a nature reserve. It was very hot.
Today we have been on a coach trip to Milford Sound - and then a cruise up Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. This was supurb - with cliffs 2 km high.
Bit wet and windy.
We saw lots of waterfalls, and snow and went through a 1.2 km tunnel on the way there - right through the middle of the mountain.
Tomorrow off to Dunedin.
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Have been on a cruise (in a 40 kmn launch) to the famous Island in the middle of Lake Wanaka - Mou Wahou. This has a lake in the middle with an island - so it's an island in a lake on an island on a lake on an island in the sea!.
Then we hired bikes and cycled around the shore to Albert Town and back by road - very hot. Met people from Midsomer Norton.
Then went swimming in lake - very cold.Netx we went flying to Mt. Cook Francs Josef and Fox glaciers. Very spectacular - but didn't land.
Then we went to Queens town - went up in the gondola down in the luge. Good views. Then wandered around the town and lake.
Today we have been to Glenorchy where we went on another jet boat ride up the river. We were then given our funyaks to blow up and then paddle down river. We stopped half way and had a picnic lunch; then continued down river and had a lift the final 10 kms back to Glenorchy.
Off to Te Anau tomorrow.
Location: Wanaka, New Zealand
Been out of internet and mobile phone contact for a bit.
Since last entry, on Monday took trans-alpine express across the Southern Alps to Greymouth.
There we picked up a car and went North to Punakaiti where we saw the pancake rocks and blow holes - a very unusual rock formation in the sea.
We then travelled south to Fox Glacier - they have their own mints!.
We were due to go on a Helihike (Tuesday) to Fox Glacier - but the weather was very bad and everything was cancelled. We did everything we could in FOz Glacier - nothing - and went back to the motel where we watched the funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary - the full 2 hours - and very moving it was.
We booked the heli-hike for the afternoon - but this was cancelled again. We drove to the Fox Glacier viewpoint - and just about saw it.
We then went for a 1.5 hour walk around Lake Matheson - very rain forresty - and the rivers were in spate - although it had mostly stopped raining by then.
On getting back to the motel, we were told the road to Wanaka was closed due to a landslide - so were trying to work out what to do - the only way to Wanaka was a 1000 km diversion through Christchurch. Luckily it was open later in the evening.
We got up today - to try the heli-hike again - but cancelled again so drove down to Wanaka overy the Haast Pass alongside lakes Wanaka and Hawea - with lots of photos taken of this and waterfalls.
We have just been for a walk along the beach an had dinner sitting outside. It is very warm - despite being just after 8 p.m.
Wanaka is also a ski resort - but no snow so no runs open!.
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Today we went to Hamner Springs.
On the way we stopped at a sheep station and saw the dogs rounding up the sheep, and then one was sheared.
We then went to the river and went on a 45 minute Jet boat trip. This was really good - very blowey and we must have been going 25 - 30 knots - sometimes with minimal clearance at the sides and bottom of the boat.
We watched some bungee jumping - it looks really good. We turned down the offer to try!
Then into the village for lunch and a bathe in the thermal pools. These are just like a swimming pool - but the temperature is about 40. SOme were sulphur - witch smelt a bit.
It was then back to Christchurch - stopping on the way to try some local wine. We didn't buy any.
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Yesterday we just wandered around Christchurch centre. There is a busking festival going on so we saw lots of that.
We also climber 134 stepts to the top of the cathedral tower and looked out over the city.
Today we did the big 5
We went to the Antartic centre whichy was very good. We went into a blizzard at about -40 C with the wind chill factor.
We then went to a wil life centre with lots of animals - pigs, horses, donkeys, sheel and no cows. There were lots of other rarer animals including the famous kiwi with its long nose.
Then we went throug the wall of a volcano and went on a cruise and saw some dolphins swimming.
Then it was onto the gondalo up to the top of the volcano and then back down for a tram trip around Christchurch - 2.8 km but we can also do it all day tomorrow - but we have something better lined up!
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Arrived at hotel at 12 noon on Friday - really 11 p.m. on Thursday.
Flights OK - but long - managed 1 hour switch in Singapore OK - temp there 28 - temp here 15 and drizzly.
Going to have a shower and then wander - before doing the big 5 sights tomorrow.
Starting to look forward to (and pack for) my forthcoming trip to New Zealand.
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Now safely home - photos loaded - back at work - see you soon!
We are at the airport here waiting for our plane to arrive.
Singapore has been like England all the time - thunderstorms every afternoon for 1 hour - but all the time temperatures of 30+, sunny and humid.
We had one day sightseeing in Singapore - went on a bum-boat trip around the river - drinks on the water front - then on to Raffles for a Singapore Sling - and a look around thir shops.
We then went to the Botanic Gardens - had lunch - then sheltered from the thunderstorm before taking a taxi to the shops.
Every day we have been lazing around the pool and exploring Sentosa Island - where we were staying in a luxury hotel.
Today we went to the Southernmost part of the continent of Asia - 136 km north of the Equator.
Location: Sydney, Australia
On our last day in Oz.
Just before leaviing Melbourne, we went for a walk around the Grand Prix circuit - it took about an hour.
Got to Sydney and the temperature returned to normal - 30.
We went up the Observation tower and had good views of the city and harbour.
The first day we went to Manly beach and went swimming in the surf.
The next day we had a tour of the Opera house - very good and over budget - just like Wembley.
Then we had the bridge climb - which was excellent even though exposed - we tried to avoid the rain - and we did - those coming off were soaked. Fantistic sunset and two rainbows from the bridge - and a cheer from the cruise ship passing underneath.
We then went on a long coach trip to the Blue mountains and wildlife park.
We stroked a Wombat and a Koala - and had photos taken.
Today we have been on a harbour cruise - more of a rush - but good.
Then we climbed the bridge tower. This time we could take cameras so we have some photos.
Then by bus to Bondi beach - and swam in the surf with the posers. Sea 22 - warmer in the water than out - 27 - with the wind chill.
Off to Singapore tomorrow to start the journey home.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
We have now left the warmth of Perth, and are in Melbourne - 19 degress and less (10 when we landed). Are off to Sydney tomorrow - forcast 25 for today.
We went on the Puffin Billy train,through the Dandenong hills to a wild life park - we saw Koalas in the trees - they don't move much.
We went to Phillip island and saw the penguins coming out of the water for a nights sleep - having fed at sea all day. Prior to that we went to a santurary and saw Koalas again - still in the trees. We had tea in Cowes - just along the road from Ventnor.
We then visited Shiela for the day and they took us to the Dandenong Hills - but a different bit.
Yesterday we went to Mebourne market - then on to he museum which was very good - especially the Neighbours set!
Then we went to the Observation deck - 55 floor up an office tower. Had a good view all around - even although a little overcast.
Today we have walked along the prom - to Brighton and had chips on the pier.
Location: Perth, Australia
Now we are in Perth - via
Ayres Rock - better known at Uluru - we saw the sunset - went to bed for a bit and saw the sunrise. We walked around the base and had many Aboriginal stories. Walked up the gorge at the Olgas. Had a supurb hotel out in the bush - but not a lot of time to enjoy it.
We then went on a long coach journey - along a straight road turn left and we got to Alice Springs - about 440 Km.
Lot's to see on the way - all the same - desert with bushes - and the odd camel.
The hotel was a bit of a come down- Butlins with no facilities - but a pool which was cold. So we had camel to eat for our eveining meal.
Went to the Flying Doctors and the School of the AIr - both very good. Had an evening out with Aboriginal dancing - which we were forced to take part in - Good fun.
Now we are in Perth (a very good hotel) - went to Fremantle on a cruise - back on the train. Walked around the harbour and it is a very nice place (voted 2 out of 3). We passed some cheap houses ($55m) or maybe more.
One more day here - going cycling to King's Park - then to cold Melbourne. (temp today 24 here 19 in Melbourne). Sarah and Andy have said it's cold.
Location: Port Douglas, Australia
Well Hello again. We are about to leave Port Douglas to go to Alice Springs via Ayres Rock.
Our time here has been good. We met up with Sarah and Andy and went to the Great Barrier Reef with them. The snorkling was good and the Coral Reef was colourful and amazing with lots of fish - no chips.
Yesterday we went to Karandu Rain Forrest - via sky train (cable car) and down on the train.
We saw lots of trees, creepers, vegitation too numerousto mention by name. There were also kangaroos, kaolas snakes and birds.
We threw boomerangs which almost came back. Didn't get a chance to play a didgeridoo - but had a lesson. Saw the tree that its made from - and the termites what make it.
Weather has been hot fairly humid. Toiday a couple of quick heavy showers.
Location: Hong Kong
We got here - it was raining.
We went out for an exploration and saw the festival of lights - which were lots of lights on the buildings on Hong Kong Island dancing to music.
We are staying at the YMCA which is oposite Hong Kong Island.
Today we went ona coach trip of Hong Kong ISland. We went sam-thing boat around the harbour.
We then went to a jewellers where they had lots of gold and diamond things - and free coffee. That's all we bought!
We then went to Standley Market where everthing was cheap - and bought some presents.
We then went to the peak - where it was too misty to see anything - so we went shopping. Then we cam down in the 100 year old tram.
This afternoon we have been wandering in Kowloon, and have just had our evening meal.
Had lots of offers for fake Rolex watch and suits.
Am getting excited about our trip
Am still at work; still have to clean the car and cut the grass.
Next entry likely to be Hong Kong.