James Bailey and Cat Pollard


James Bailey and Cat Pollard

Follow us on our 3 and a half month sabbatical to Thailand, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.

We'll try not to rub it in too much.....

Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

The Sabbatical 2012-2013

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 20th 2013

Today was the day... our holiday had come to an end and 3.5 months had flown by faster than we'd ever imagined! Our morning consisted mostly of packing and we kept up our regimented approach - plus we were now able to throw a few things away, freeing up some space for last minute souvenirs. We made our way over to the airport via the bus, although James had a slight fall out with the bus driver over the fare, delaying us a little! At 2pm we launched off the runway and bid farewell to New Zealand. At this point James was planning how he would be able to emigrate, he'd fallen in love with the country big time... We had a long way to travel and this included a stop in Sydney, Singapore, London then ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura March 19th 2013

We'd had to plan today down to the tee as we had finished our Kiwi Experience pass and New Zealand's poor public transport system had let us down. The planning was all going to be worth it - to swim with the dusky dolphins. But then the weather played havoc again, and rough sea conditions meant the likelihood of our trip being cancelled was high. We arrived in Kaikoura (in our seriously old rented Nissan Sunny - which we named Sunshine after our Thai tour guide) to find that the trip would go ahead, but as usual we had to sign our lives away with an additional warning that the sea's were dangerous today! By the time we reached the first dolphin pod, the sea's were a bit ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 18th 2013

The Fergburger sat heavy in my stomach all night and I was still full when I woke up! I'd woken up a couple of times in the night and had a good laugh when I saw the Irish boy in my room still fully dressed lying sideways on the bunk somehow fast asleep! I guess he had a good Paddy's day. The bus ride to Christchurch was a long one but as the weather was still being Mr Miserable it was better to be inside than out! We drove through the rolling hills of the Lindis Pass and had lunch at Lake Tekapo. We arrived into Christchurch later that afternoon; the city centre is still a disaster zone, but not having seen it before the earthquake means its ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 17th 2013

Ahhhhh a lie in this morning! The weather gods listened to Lizzie's prayer for sunshine during her week off but unfortunately as she was flying out today... the spell was broken and along came the rain! We had a walk around the park before waving goodbye to Lizzie as she headed off to the airport. We jumped on a bus to Arrowtown - at this point it was raining heavy and we were starting to feel like we'd come home early! Our bellies were rumbling and we headed to Arrowtown Bakery for the most amazing Lamb & Mint sauce pie as well as a Beesting bun for dessert. The museum seemed like a good (warm and dry) place to be for the afternoon and provided us with some ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Milford Sound March 16th 2013

Today was a long one, we hopped on the Jucy tour bus at 8.15am and returned at 9.15pm. However the trip to see Milford Sound was totally worth it! We had a great bus driver called Oz who knew every spot on the route and made the 5 hour drive much more interesting. We stopped on the way for some photo opportunities at lakes, waterfalls and mountain ranges. Our coach even had to fit through a tiny 1km tunnel through the mountain! Our cruise on Milford Sound was really nice, the mountains are huge and they make everything else look tiny! This was the case when the Queen Mary II (the largest ship ever to enter Milford) went past us and it looked tiny on our pictures next to the massive mountains!... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 15th 2013

I made it out of bed to go on our walk to Lake Wanaka before the bus departed! Our first stop was at Puzzle world - a slightly odd attraction on the outskirts of town. We opted against paying the $28 entrance fee and just had a go at the puzzles in the cafe. James and I were pretty successful on the puzzles, Lizzie however was not and left announcing rather loudly 'I hate puzzle world'. As we entered Queenstown we stopped at the original AJ Hackett bungy over the Kawarau river. We watched a little video on the history of bungy jumping and viewed a few victims jumping 43m from the bridge. It looked fun - but we jumped out a plane at 12,000ft so we've done our daredevil activity for this trip at least! ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 14th 2013

Franz Joseph to Wanaka is a fair old distance and to be honest this was the worst travel day so far. A 7.30am departure and five stops later we arrived in Wanaka at 4pm. This part of the South Island is pretty picturesque and each time we stopped there was a fantastic photo opportunity. Our first stop was at Lake Matheson, renowned for its beautiful reflection of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Our other stops included Pleasant flats, Thunder fallsand Blue pools (which weren't actually that blue!). We had serious cabin fever from the bus and even some ice cream didn't seem to help! !We weren't particularly that motivated to go and see the sights of Wanaka that evening but I promised myself I'd get up early for a walk to the lake ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 13th 2013

Lizzie and I treated ourselves to a well-deserved lie-in after yesterday's glacier hike, James treated himself to a nice long run! Franz Joseph is a really nice town with plenty of activities to do so we had no problem filling our spare day. We set off late morning for the walk to the bottom of the glacier, it was a fairly straightforward path and the 14km walk led to some really nice views of the glacier from the bottom. It's highly dangerous and stupid tourists often ignore the ranger signs, go off track and get crushed by falling ice! After the walk we treated ourselves to a dip in the hot pools, although the 40 degrees pool was way too hot to stay in for any length of time. Baileys ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef March 12th 2013

The South Island is renowned for its small population and some people might say its slightly odd locals... this came to light when we stopped at Pukekura and The Bushman's lodge for breakfast. Here they sell Possum pies, Possum fur nipple warmers and all sorts of other weird stuff! Nonetheless Pete the owner seemed pretty nice and cracked a few jokes for us. Our next stop was Lake Mapourika for a brief picture before arriving in the small town of Franz Joseph. We wolfed down our lunch and geared up for our ice explorer adventure on the Franz Joseph glacier. We'd caught a glimpse of the glacier from the road, but only when we were approaching in the helicopter did we get the 'wow' factor. We explored the ice for 3 hours with our guide Rich, ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Lake Mahinapuha March 11th 2013

Our overnight stop in Westport was a brief one and we were back on the road at 9am. Our next stop was Lake Mahinapau, renowned on the kiwi bus for being in the middle of no-where. The only activities here were a group meal and a fancy dress party - Andrea our bus driver announced our theme would be Pimps & Prostitutes. We had a couple of stop-offs on the way; the first at Punakaiki to see the pancake rocks. These are formed by a fast weathering mineral layer in between harder rock forming a pancake stack effect. Our lunch stop at Greymouth provided a chance to get our costumes (and a traditional meat pie for lunch!). This mining town suffered a tragic loss of miners (just days after the Chilean mining disaster), all involved died ... read more

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