Mike & Barbara Egan

Mike n Barbara

Mike & Barbara Egan

Here we go again...

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Ninety Mile Beach February 12th 2013

Our stay in Whangarei is, sadly, coming to an end; so we decided for our last excursion to go by coach to Cape Reinga, the most northern point of New Zealand. “The name of the cape comes from the Māori word 'Reinga', meaning the 'Underworld'. Another Māori name is 'Te Rerenga Wairua', meaning the leaping-off place of spirits. Both refer to the Māori belief that the cape is the point where the spirits of the dead enter the after-life.” (I paraphrase from Wikipedia). It is also the place where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea; seen from the lighthouse the overfalls and whirlpools are spectacular as the two seas struggle for dominance. On our way we stopped of at the ancient Kauri forest to hug some 2000-year old trees. Sometimes it's best to let the ... read more
Hug a tree
DSCN0001 (2)
Cape Marie Van Diemen

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Whangarei » Tutukaka February 9th 2013

For our last two weeks of the trip we have based ourselves in Whangarei (pronounced Fong-gar-ay), which is about 100 miles N of Auckland and is the principal town of the Northland Peninsula. For the first few days we just explored the area around Whangarei harbour - which is about 14 miles long - and is indented with dozens of coves and pristine beaches. The whole of the eastern side of Northland is a paradise for anyone into water-based activities; be it sailing, fishing, kayaking or snorkelling. We spent an afternoon on a dolphin-watching trip from the Bay of Islands town of Paihia: after cruising thro' the islands for a couple of hours the skipper was getting anxious as there were no dolphins to be seen; perhaps they had had enough of tourists for the day. ... read more
Paihia bay

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 1st 2013

Spent a few days in Sydney en route to New Zealand; the flight from Perth takes just under 4 hours. Flying over the Great Australian Bight seemed to take ages and made us realise what a challenging trip Jon and Jade had in the car. One stretch of the highway is dead straight for 95 miles, then a bend and another straight for 60 miles. After Perth Sydney seemed to be somewhat chaotic and grubby: caught the ferry to Manly beach to find that it was closed to swimmers because the surf was too rough, so the next day went to the Blue Mountains instead.... read more
That bridge
Blue Mountains

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Donnybrook January 28th 2013

After our spell bush camping we drove down to the South West to spend a few days in an Eco-lodge about 20km from the nearest town, Donnybrook. The lodge is completely self sufficient: 12v electrics powered by a solar array and water deliver by a rainwater catchment system. Sounds basic but it all works; main problem is loo and shower are outside. During our first evening Barbara decided to go and put some food in the bird feeder; as she walked down the slope from the lodge she slipped on pea-gravel and badly twisted her ankle. It was clear she was badly hurt so we took her straight to Donnybrook hospital. Over the weekend the hospital has no x-ray facilities so the doctor patched her up with a temporary plaster and recommended that we go to ... read more
Jon's new best friend
Das Boot

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Pinjarra January 10th 2013

Happy New Year to you all. We spent Christmas in true Australian style by having drinks and nibbles on the beach and a quick dip in the Indian Ocean, (a very appropriate name given the number of curry shops on the waterfront) then home for an extended barbie: scallops, various hand made sausages (not a 'Walls in sight), ribs and, finally, steak & salad with a glass or two of the local wine. On Boxing day , we had a traditional Christmas dinner of roast and all the trimmings. and even managed to do justice to the cheeseboard, once again washed down with a few more bottles. At home we usually go to the boxing day races so, hunting around for something similar, we went to Perth's Ascot racecourse for the New Year's Day meet. It ... read more
Perth's Ascot

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Rockingham December 24th 2012

Good morning. Yesterday Jon decided that it was high time he taught me how to fish. Despite having sailed for more years than I care to remember I have never been into fishing. Anyway, the Indian Ocean is apparently a fisherman's paradise. For the sort we were going to do - beach fishing - the best time is just before sunset when fish come inshore to feed. We drove down to Warnborough Sound beach which is about a 20 minutes walk from where we are staying. When we arrived I noticed that the Freemantle Doctor, a wind that kicks in every afternoon, was blowing onshore at about 15 - 20 knots and was causing quite a swell. No prob said Jon, we shall put a weight just above the hook so we can cast offshore. Havin ... read more
Beer 'o' clock
Beach-casting v.1

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth » Perth City December 20th 2012

G'day! We arrived on time last week to a sunny Perth - 30deg. All things considered the flight wasn't too bad except for the first leg to Singapore when a 2-year-old girl in our cabin decided to sign up to the Frequent Cryer programme; I don't think she stopped for more than half an hour during the flight. By the time we landed in Singapore her poor parents looked as though they had spent two weeks in the jungle with Nadine Dorries. Jon and Jade met us at the airport having spent the last week driving across from New South Wales. Crossing the Nullarbor alone was 2000 miles. Distances take on a whole new meaning in Australia. So we spent the first few days just chilling; took the bus into Perth City where I had my ... read more
First of the Day
Scarboro' Beach

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