Janise Johnson


Janise Johnson

My husband and I are about to leave on the journey of our life. We are both recently retired and plan to backpack Asia and Australia. Any and all pointers are greatly appreciated.

Asia » Vietnam July 8th 2011

Asia » Macau » Macau July 7th 2011

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- macauAsia » Macau » Macau July 4th 2011 Published: July 7th 2011 « Previous EntryA PRIVATE BLOG ENTRY -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oct 26 Macau Took a catamaran ferry over to here. Fast, but rough. For an hour we all either slept or quietly starred out the window…anything to keep the stomach intact. Not too much in Macau. It is on old Portuguese settlement that has been turned into the Vegas of Asia. 33 casino on this small rock. The downtown core was interesting as it is old, but other than that it was just another long day. Back in Hong Kong our group of six went for a Mexican dinner and desert. Best meal since coming to China. China is quite the country. We were definitely shown what the government wants to show off…the glit... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Whitianga April 6th 2011

April 1-5 Whitianga - another touch of paradise Whitianga easily makes it into my top places to visit on this trip. It is a small, touristy beach community that has not yet been wrecked by tourism. We are staying in another YHA hostel, but this one has apartments rather than dorms. We are in a small private apartment with our own ensuite and kitchen whereas most of the others are two bedroom apartments that are shared like small dorms. Not having to share kitchen and lounge space does make for a nice change. We spent our first full day here going on a 12km hike. We walked the km to the ferry that took us on a quick 5 minute ride across the estuary. From there we started following the bush trails up over the ... read more
Cook Beach
Whitianga Beach
Catherdara Cove Cave

March 24 Lake Tekapo, Today has been primarily a travel day. We left Dunedin around 8 this morning and arrived here in Lake Tekapo in the late afternoon. We did make one interesting stop on the way here to see the Moeraki Boulders. These are huge spherical boulders sitting on the edge of the ocean. They are created from a combination of sandstone and lichen pressed together over the eons. The way they are scattered along the shore looks like the giants were bowling and just left their balls where they stopped rolling. The country side through to here is stunning with the mountains and glacier blue rivers running through the landscape. There are a number of dams that create lakes that add to the local colour schemes. Lake Tekapo itself is equally pretty. We stayed ... read more
Highway in Christchurch
Mr Rotaranga??

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Dunedin March 25th 2011

March 18-20 Queenstown Also known as the ‘Adrenaline Capital of the World’ and for a good reason. If there is a hill, there is a platform on it for jumping, flying, or diving off of. The there is the jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, sliding along cables and swinging over cliffs. You name it, if it creates an adrenaline rush, it is here. Our only attempt at fun was riding the cable car to the top of the hill and then playing around on the luge track. No jumping off of things. Otherwise, another pretty, touristy community in amongst the mountains. We decided to have a few laid back days walking around the area and sitting on the beach. Though I hate to admit it, but the warm sweaters have come out and I ... read more
Luge Track

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Wanaka March 20th 2011

Mar. 15 Wanaka Nelson has a competitor for my favorite NZ community. Wanaka has it all: a beautiful blue mountain lake, hiking trails, friendly community, decent shopping, restaurants, and an overall peaceful attractiveness to it. We spent our first day here doing a lot of walking. We headed out of town about 2km where we started up to the view point on Iron Mountain. This hill is about 260 m high and took a good 40 minutes to climbed to the top. But the views made it all worth while. We had a 360 degree view of Wanaka and the surrounding areas. Lakes, mountains, rivers, and fields. We then headed down the hill on a much steeper incline that took us down the hill to a place called Puzzle World. Now Puzzle World totally lived up ... read more
Wanaka Mar 15-17 047
Wanaka Mar 15-17 007
Wanaka Mar 15-17 017

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago March 15th 2011

March 12 Greymouth Last night was the big earthquake in Japan and New Zealand was under tsunami alert. We took a look at the map and Nelson, which is a coastal city, was potentially in its path. Kind of eerie, especially since there was no information from anyone as to what was happening, or what to do in case of. We followed things on the news, and decided on a plan of action for ourselves, should anything happen. We then went to bed, woke up around 4am and checked the news again. All was well. Guess a wave of a about a foot hit the northern beach where we had done the beach bus trip. Our trip to Greymouth was a long day, hitting the road at 8am. It was uneventful until we stopped for ... read more
views along the way
Pancake Rocks Mar 12  052
Pancake Rocks Mar 12  051

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region » Nelson March 11th 2011

March 5 - 8 Wellington, We headed to Wellington after the National Park and where there for 4 nights. First night was in a Backpackers that’s claim to fame is that royalty stayed there 60 years ago. Since then it has been on a downhill slide. The next couple of nights was in the YHA hostel which was much better. Wellington is the third largest city in NZ. That is changing though as people move out of Christchurch, making Wellington the second largest. This is a place that when the sun shines it is wonderful, but not so when raining. It was raining for the first 3 days we were there. However, the city has a magnificent (free) museum that took us the better part of the three days to get through. Our last day the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves March 7th 2011

Mar. 2 Back in Rotorua Quiet day today. Did take the time to explore the museum here. It was originally build as a thermal/medical spa. The building is very impressive and was well worth the time we spend there. It is currently being restored so half of it was closed. Tomorrow we are off to Taupo. March 3 To Taupo Today is a shorter travel day with our first stop at Wai-O-Tapu, a thermal wonderland. This another of NZ’s many volcanic areas but is a very colorful one. We only had about an hour to take a look, but well worth the run around the grounds. We started with watching a geyser blow its cool. This geyser was enhanced by adding rocks around it to create a cone, and then it is seeded to make it ... read more
Wai-to-mo Geofield 016
geothermal field
Wai-to-mo Geofield 021

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 3rd 2011

Feb. 26 Rotorua We spent our last day in Paihia just enjoying the place. The next day our hop on hop off bus (Magic Bus) picked us up at our hostel and then drove us the scenic route to Auckland. We made stops along the way at a forest to view the world’s 2nd oldest tree - at about 2000years old - and at other pretty view areas. Otherwise, uneventful. Auckland was just an overnight and then a bigger Magic bus picked us up and we headed south. Again, lots of stops as we took the scenic route. Then that afternoon we hopped off our bus at a farmer’s field to take The Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours. It was an afternoon well spent. From there we had to take a smaller bus into Rotorua, ... read more
White Mountain
Totem pole

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