Page 5 of Robert F Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo March 5th 2006

In the center of North Island is New Zealands biggest lake, Lake Taupo. It is fed by Waikato River, a beautiful river with clear turquise water. A few kilometers after the rivers outlet out of Lake Taupo the river flows into a gorge and tumbles down Huka Falls. A free campsite right on the river bank gave us a good opportunity to explore the place. Just a little bit further north we could enjoy a hoot stream. A small river flows over thermal ground in a forrest creek and is heated to about 40 degree. Several steaming pools hidden in the forrest invite for a bath. At the weekend it's popular with the locals, in the daytime families visit and in the night the local youth sets up BBQ and beer right next to a pool. ... read more
Waikato River
Hot Pool
Power Station

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 4th 2006

While New Zealand is famous for great nature in general, the North Island is known for its strong vulcanic and thermal activity. The scenic route, the "Thermal Explorer Highway" passes by Roturua, at Lake Roturua. Here the nature of the underground is omnipresent. Dozens of places have steamy holes, sulphuric smell, mud-bubbles, boiling pools and warm ground. Even in the city center you can smell it everywhere. Many of the locals are Maori and a Christian-Maori community has build an impressively nice church at the lakefront near their traditional assembly hall. Both show lots of traditional wood carvings. The power of the underground is used by the locals in many ways. Not only exist thermal power stations to produce electricity but the steam from drillings into the ground is also used in private households diretly. A ... read more
Bubbling Mud Soup
Ready for a Steam Bath?
Craters of the Moon

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands March 2nd 2006

New Zealand must be beautiful. That's what everybody says. So the level of expectation was pretty high. So when we drove around and just saw green hills and the road in front of us we thought maybe it's not true, maybe they all overstate a bit. But we found them. The places more beautiful than you can imagine. And the first one was some remote bay near the bay of islands. The water was clear and turquise, big rays and sharks could be spotted from the cliffs as huge shadows sliding through the bay. Knobby trees arched their branches over the rocks and the sand of the small coves. We were alone and set up our tent on top of a cliff looking over the bay. The rest of the day we could just marvel...... read more
My Friend, the Tree
The Coconut Cosair
Beach Bird

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland March 1st 2006

Arriving in New Zealand, North Island, Auckland we surely had a good plan. Three weeks is not much for two big islands. Thus, we had a little car, we had brought our tent from the working time near Melbourne, and first thing we did was to drive to "Foodtown" and "Warehouse" to stock up with eatables and buy a small stove. Our first experience with the locals (Kiwis, as they are called in NZ in contrast to Ozzies in Australia) was really good. In "Foodtown" a woman from Auckland gave us her shopping discount card when we asked her about the two different prices stated for most products. She said we could post it back to her before we leave NZ and she could share the card of her husband. So we enjoyed cheep shopping! Now ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Kings Cross February 25th 2006

Sydney was the city I knew most about before I came to Autralia. The famous Sydney Opera House, the harbour with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia's biggest city. Although I just had a few days left before the flight to New Zealand I could have a good look around its center and the harbour bay. For me Sydney will also be forever linked with a late Christmas because it was here that a poste restante Christmas packet from my family reached me. So I enjoyed the home made Christmas cookies and walked around Sydney until I finally met Ira again. It was time to say Good Bye to Australia and to take off for New Zealand.... read more
Circular Quay
Didgeridoo Sound
Down Town

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Great Ocean Road February 21st 2006

As in all the other countries I did not have enough time to explore all the good places in Australia. But before I headed to Sydney to fly out I wanted to see Great Ocean Road, the famous part of Australias south coast near Melbourne. It was a very rewarding trip, I think it's the most beautiful part of Autralia that I have seen. As usual I didn't take any tours but took the bus and hitched around. In this manner I explored a national park of dense coast jungle and traveld along the rugged coastline around the Twelve Apostels, an especially beautiful part of Great Ocean Road. Hitchhiking was not difficult and I met lots of nice people. Sometimes it gets you into things you never would have done on your own or on a ... read more
Stone Arc at Great Ocean Road
Watch Your Step
I Can See You

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Murchison January 28th 2006

Finally I left Melbourne heading north to find fruitpicking work in the country around Shepparton. With me were Ira and Isabel, two strong german girls I had met in Melbourne. Together we wanted to tackle the orchards in order to extend our travel money. One big problem proved to be that we had no car. Most of the fruitpickers drive around in their own car and ask for work in several farms. Like that they are able to reach the remotest farm and find the place where the fruit is ready to pick. Also they can supply themselfs with food during they camp out at the farm. Fortunatelly we came at the right time, peach picking season had started, and from some previous investigation we new where to go. I helpful farmer picked us up from ... read more
Isabel and Ira
Big Sky over Eucalyptus Trees
Moses' Paddock

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne January 9th 2006

A friend back in Germany had first told me about Vipassana meditation. Being notoriously mistrusting against all kinds of esoteric organisations I first was sceptical about attending a Vipassana course. What finally persuaded me besides my curiosity was the fact that all the courses are given for free on a basis of donations from former students. Vipassana centers can be found all over the world with most of them running a more or less continuous course schedule. So it was not to difficult for me to integrate a course into my journey. Since I was traveling for almost six month already I wanted to use it as a short break and a time of reflection and recovery. With the latter I was off the track as I should find out because learning Vipassana can be quite ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne January 7th 2006

The one city in Autralia I liked most was Melbourne. I came back here several times with a break at a Vipassana Meditation Center near Melbourne, some time in the country, and a visit to Great Ocean Road. Since I seldom came back to the same place during this journey it was a good feeling to come somewhere where you know where to go, where the nice places are, and feel a bit more like at home. Melbourne is one of the biggest cities in Autralia and still I didn't have the impressions of all that stress, noise, and crowded streets one often gets from other big cities in the world. It's a relatively widespread city with the bay of Port Phillip in the south and the Yarra River winding through the center. The modern architecture, ... read more
Kite Surfers in MelbourneĀ“s Bay
Old Style Church in CBD
Flinders Street Station

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Adelaide January 6th 2006

Once I had had a ride back to Alice Springs I just had to board the Ghan again to get to the south coast. Unfotunately the tain is only going once a week and was fully booked. After some fighting with the staff at the train station I still hoped on (a train is never fully booked...). Since some running with all the gear in the desert sun had been involved I was glad for the on-train shower. And a good-hearted Japanese traveler feed me with bread and smoked mussels. I didn't have any food or money... three cheers for the japanese traveler in general. He is usualy friendly, social-minded, and he knows all the good cheapies. In Adelaide I just walked the streets for half a day before I traveled on by Firefly bus to ... read more

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