Briana Lewis and Brian Allen


Briana Lewis and Brian Allen

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney March 9th 2012

I'm not sure if the news in the U.S. is reporting on the flooding in Australia, but there has been a lot of rain here, and some areas are having serious flooding. The damn near Sydney is at capacity and the first day we were here they had a record amount of rainfall. Luckily we haven't been affected by any of the flooding and the city of Sydney has been fine. Someone told us that in the last decade they were actually in a period of drought and their water reserve was below 30%, so now they're experiencing the exact opposite. Rather than spend the day wandering around Sydney in the rain we decided to try our luck and head inland to the Blue Mountains. We went with an organized tour, which was something we wanted ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Uluru March 9th 2012

Our next little trip was out to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which most of you probably know as Ayer's Rock. It's in the middle of the Australian Outback, technically considered "semi-arid" and not desert. It's so far away from any other towns- the nearest "city" is 1,200 kilometers away and the main road west is a dirt road for thousands of miles. They've actually had above average rainfall for a few years, so there is a now a lot of green vegetation- including plants and animals that haven't been seen in the area for decades or maybe ever. That all said, it is a very bizarre place. We flew into a tiny airport close to Ayer's Rock/Uluru, and a shuttle took us to our hotel, which is actually part of a very big resort. It's so ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City March 9th 2012

Sorry we haven't written in awhile...we ran out of time in Cairns, and then we didn't have internet access for awhile. The big excitement in Cairns was that we got our open water scuba diving certification! Woohoo! Australia threw in an extra money-making hoop and we both had to get medical exams (which we had to pay 60 buck each for). Let me tell you, this was the biggest waste of time and money ever. We showed up to a clinic the first morning we arrived, to a waiting room filled with sick and injured people. A nurse took our basic information as soon as we arrived. She got us worried by saying that our spirometer readings (lung capacity) weren't as high as they should be. Then we had to wait 2 AND A HALF HOURS ... read more

We survived the Milford Track! We woke up bright and early to catch our bus from Queenstown to Te Anau. It was pouring the whole ride their and the weather forcast posted at the Fiordland National Park visitor center predicted rain for the next several days. Yuck. We knew it rained a lot in this part of the country (the average annual rainfall in Milford is 276 inches), but it had actually been a pretty dry summer in this part of the country and we were hoping for at least 1 nice day out of the 4 that we were hiking. The trailhead is not accessible by road, so we had to take a boat across Lake Te Anau. By the time we got off the boat the rain had eased up a bit and we ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 22nd 2012

Well, we were a little worried we weren't going to get to go on our helicopter adventure. It was cloudy and raining, and when our flight time approached they informed us that the helicopters wouldn't be able to fly at that time. We chose to wait and see if we could take a later flight, and lucky for us it cleared up enough for us to go! We took our first helicopter ride up to the top of the Franz Josef glacier for a beautiful view of the area, and it dropped us off about 4 km up the glacier. We had a guide take us for an hour and a half hike across the glacier. It was actually pretty easy with the cramp-ons on our boots. The ice is a beautiful blue color. Unfortunately it ... read more

We drove along the northern coast of the south island to get to Abel Tasman National Park. We had some time to kill when we got there, so we decided to go...SKYDIVING! Well, it wasn't a totally spur-of-the-moment decision, we had planned on doing it somewhere in New Zealand. This seemed like the perfect place, with mountains, Carribean-blue coasts, and a overal great views of both the south and even the north islands. It was an awesome experience. The views from the plane were great, and we went up to 16,500 feet. Briana jumped out first- "ladies first", Brian said. The guides were great at making you look at all the cool things and Briana's even let her "steer" the parachute for part of the way. We have photos and a DVD we'll share when we ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Marlborough » Renwick February 15th 2012

Sorry for the delay in this post...I had typed a similar post a few days ago, but it somehow got erased. We didn't spend much longer in Taupo and made the rainy drive to Napier. Because of the rain we decided to do something indoors and went to the National Aquarium in Napier. It was actually pretty small and not that impressive, but they did have som very informative exhibits. There was an earthquake in Napier in 1931 and when it was rebuilt they used the art deco style that was popular at the time. Briana really likes art deco architecture and jewelry, so Brian was very patient while she took lots of pictures of the buildings and shopped around the vintage stores. The buildings have some really cool details, but the city pretty much shut ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo February 12th 2012

So I finally have a little more time to write. The motel we're staying in has free internet on desktop computers and free I'm writing while I'm waiting for our clothes to dry:) The computers we've tried so far don't seem to like the program that travelblog uses to upload photos, but I've been able to (very slooowly) add photos to an album on Facebook. For those of you that don't have Facebook accounts, you should still be able to see the photos if you follow this link: E-mail Briana if you can't see them for any reason and we'll try to figure something else out. I'll give a little more detail on some of our favorit... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua February 10th 2012

Well, we arrived safely in New Zeland without any hiccups. The jet lag wasn't even that bad. We spent our first few days in Auckland, which is the biggest city in New Zealand. The weather has been beautiful- upper 70's and sunny. This is pretty typical weather this time of year, but the locals tell us they've had a terribly cold and rainy spring and summer so far. We'll give kind of a play-by-play of our trip so far, not super detailed yet and spelling may be incorrect- our internet access is limited so I'm typing quickly. Also, we're having an issue with uploading photos but we'll try to put a few up as soon as we can. We rented a little studio apartment in downtown Auckland that had everything we needed. It took us around ... read more
Our little studio in Auckland
Waiheke Island
Casita Miro

North America » United States » Wisconsin » Madison February 1st 2012

We're leaving in a few days for our 5 week adventure to New Zealand and Australia. We will try to post some photos and stories throughout our journey to keep our family and friends updated. Thanks for reading! Love, Briana and Brian... read more

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