Ross Family


Ross Family

Mum, Dad & two girls from New Zealand

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” - Pat Conroy

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga September 23rd 2012

For this year's holiday we decided to stay relatively close and visit one of the Pacific Islands. Rarotonga seemed to be our best option even tho' we had reservations about the often dodgy weather and wondered if there would be enough to entertain us for nearly two weeks. We decided to stay in private accommodation booked via the internet rather than in a resort and even tho' we were booking more than six months out, we found that it wasn't possible to stay in one place for the entire 12 days. Rarotonga is apparently VERY popular for weddings and is booked out over a year in advance. We booked 6 nights at the Cooks Bay Villas followed by 5 nights at Makayla Palms just down the road. Both were great choices, but the Cooks Bay Villa ... read more
Bliss is a hammock overlooking a blue lagoon
Looking back at Muri from Motu
View from hospital hill

We spent our last morning in Koh Samui packing the bags, dashing down the street to get some last minute goodies and relaxing by the pool. So nice! We've all really enjoyed Samui and all it has to offer. Maybe we'll be back one day. Just a short taxi ride to the airport (albeit a rip off @ B400 considering it only takes 5 minutes) and we are checking in just as a massive thunder storm erupts around us. The rain and wind came out of nowhere and was severe enough to cut power and drive water right into the check in area. Glad we weren't just arriving! The airport is probably the cutest we've ever been to. Just a little departure lounge, complete with free refreshments and wifi. No walls again - so I'm not ... read more
Hop on Hop off bus
Look at all those handbags!!

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Samui July 20th 2011

On Wednesday after we enjoyed another massive breakfast at the Park Royal, we packed our bags and chilled out by the pool for most of the morning as absolutely NOTHING happens in KL for tourists before 11am. Then it was a super quick trip across to Sengei Wang for some last minute shopping before catching a taxi out to Subang Airport for our Firefly flight to Koh Samui. Traffic was horrendous right near the hotel and we were stuck in a traffic jam for what seemed like an eternity. Funny tho', when I told the driver that we were probably going to be late for our flight at the rate we were going, he was suddenly able to change lanes and duck and dive thru the traffic and we were on our way. It took about ... read more
Amari Palm Reef
Aothong National Park

Of course, nothing, and I mean nothing happens in Asia before 11am. So with no shops or attractions to visit we grab our togs and head for the hotel's pool for a swim for a couple of hours to pass the time. Fortunately The Park Royal has quite a pleasant pool area and it was lovely to just sit and enjoy the beautiful warm weather. After that, it was all shopping, shopping, shopping. Sengei Wang first, which was similar to MBK in Bangkok and bargaining was the way to go. It was great fun and the girls didn't take long to get into the swing of things. Best buys of the day were the ipod covers and some first aid supplies from Watsons. After a few hours the kids faded and just wanted to hang out ... read more
Petronas Towers
KL Tower
Batu Caves

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur July 17th 2011

Day 1: Tauranga ->Wellington->Christchurch->Kuala Lumpur: Last December Air Asia announced that they would begin their new route, Christchurch to Kuala Lumpur. Their opening fares were unbelievably cheap and were also available during the school holidays. This was a deal too good to pass by, so despite many uncertainties we grabbed the deal of the century and started to make plans. We decided to spend a short time in KL at either end of our trip, but for the most part our holiday this year would be in Koh Samui, Thailand. Talk about going the long way tho'. When we checked in at ChCh we found that we had been extremely lucky and had scored an upgrade to Premium seats - flippen AMAZING! The 10.5 hr long haul flight was an absolute breeze. The kids slept practically ... read more
Air Asia Premium Class
"Lay Flat" seats

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Northern Beaches July 12th 2010

Following our day out on the Great Barrier Reef, we headed back towards Cairns again only this time we had 8 days at the Marlin Cove Resort at Trinity Beach. We followed three massive coaches from the Quicksilver company all the way down the highway - boy that is one big operation! Marlin Cove turned out to be a fantastic resort and we'd been lucky enough to score a primo room overlooking the lagoon pool complete with white sandy beaches. Although not as close to the beach as our previous places, the lovely apartment and outlook more than made up for it. After a day lazing around taking it easy, enjoying the pool and playing a few games of tennis we were back into being tourists and went on a trip up to Kuranda on the ... read more
Trinity Beach
Marlin Cove Resort
Our little mermaids

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Port Douglas July 8th 2010

After enjoying 5 nights at pretty Clifton Beach we headed north along the Captain Cook Highway for about an hour to Port Douglas. Our home for the next 4 nights was called "At the Mango Tree Holiday Apartments" - not sure why it's not just called "Mango Tree" but anyway... Not the flashest of establishments and only selected because there wasn't a lot of other options available. Turned out to be quite good, with a tennis court, nice pool and across the road to the beach. It looked like half of Australia is in town for the school holidays - Port Douglas was just humming with people. The main Street, Macrossan St was very pretty and packed with lots of shops, tour offices, cafes and restaurants. The kids favourite was the bright green icecream shop selling ... read more
Combined Club Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Mango Tree pool

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Northern Beaches July 3rd 2010

This year to escape the cold we tossed up between Rarotonga (never been there) and Tropical North Queenland (last visit 1998). Both had the prerequisite minimum temperature, but TNQ won this time due to the many attractions and things to do to keep everyone happy. Pacific Blue had the cheapest fares available - albeit no frills much to the kids disappointment. Ashleigh was gutted that she wasn't going to have inseat entertainment nor gourmet food for almost 6 hours! What was she going to do for THAT long? We did hire them a dvd player and supplied pot noodles to pass the time... Arrived into Cairns the dark and immediately dispensed with the jersey - Ahhhh, I'm already enjoying this holiday. Picked up our hire car from Avis (a near new Corolla) and found our way ... read more
Enjoying Breakfast at Palm Cove
Palm Cove
What the...!

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney April 17th 2010

Ashleigh and I had a short stay in Sydney either side of a youth conference held for teenagers suffering from Crohn's, and we both absolutely loved it! I was last in Sydney 18 years ago and have to say I enjoyed it much more this time around - in fact I couldn't find fault. It was beautiful, easy to get around and there is lots for all ages to see and do. We arrived late afternoon from Hamilton on Pacific Blue, caught the train into Wynyard Station (very easy - follow the signs at the airport arrival hall and purchase a ticket from the booth by the escalators), walked across the street to our hotel, the Travelodge Wynyard on York St right in the CBD. We didn't bother to unpack, just dumped our bags and headed ... read more
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Opera House
Opera House

Day 1 & 2: MARAHAU TO ANCHORAGE HUT 12.4km - So the day we've all be looking forward to (or not) has arrived and we're all up early making final preparations to our gear and packing up the cars which we'll leave at the backpackers. It's amazing how difficult the decision about the number tee-shirts required, how much food will we eat and do we really need the duct tape is when you've never done anything like this before. We had a bit of leeway as we had the luxury of being able to put some bags on the aqua-taxi which most of us took avantage of to some degree. By 10am we were all packed up and leaving Marahau on the first of three legs of the Abel Tasman Coastal Walkway. The walk took us ... read more
The "Kids" all geared up
Beautiful Vista's at every turn
Stillwell Bay

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