Blogs from Central, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central February 29th 2020

Leaving Paihia, we dawdled down the beautiful coast back to Auckland. All along the coast are wonderful vistas either at. sea level or from the heights above, and the coast is replete with wide sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. As in all places in New Zealand, tramping trails abound. We took some time working our way back to Auckland, since we had little desire to do anything there other than see the wonderful museum with its Maori treasures. The Auckland Museum surmounts a hill in the large park called the Auckland Domain, occupying an old volcanic crater. The park includes tree-lined drives, walking trails, and a glass-enclosed botanical garden, and occupies 75 hectares (185 acres) just southeast of the main downtown area of Auckland. The park was established in 1843, and the Auckland War Memorial Museum ... read more
Coastland north of Auckland
Maori sailing vessel
Large Maori war canoe

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central December 5th 2019

I've had some emotions yesterday. I arrived, was completely and utterly exhausted, and started thinking about my situation. I already missed my family and friends, and I didn't know what to do with myself. They are half a world and a few timezones away; when I'm awake, they are asleep, and that doesn't make anything easier. I felt very much alone - even though I know it's ridiculous. After all, I'm staying in a room full of people going through the exact same thing as me. Today we had our first workshop, and that rekindled my excitement to be here. After that, we went out for lunch; we went to a pizza place, and I had some beer. I couldn't help but think of the last time I had pizza and beer - Sunday evening before ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central March 12th 2019

Hi everyone Well, I have 3 weeks to go before I set off on my first solo MLCOE (Mid Life Crisis Overseas Experience). Checklist nearly complete: Backback - tick (my first ever backpack and my first backpacking experience...ever...) Boots and sandals - tick Ugly hiking pants and shirt - tick Medicine - tick...last rabies shot this week ...you get the idea. Lots of stuff and I haven't tried packing it all in the backback yet. Many of you are a little worried about how I'll manage and some of you have concern for my safety. I get that and I share your concerns! I probably won't be on the phone much so, here's my blog page to keep you up-to-date with my travels, and a place where you can see (most of) what I'm up to...but ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central November 12th 2018

SC:Internet problems...not convinced that this blog post actually went, so I'm sending it again... Cjwrites: An easy getaway from our Guatemalan hotel at 04:30 on Friday 9th November and a reasonably comfortable flight to Dallas. Fortunately we spotted the need to change terminals before it all got too tight! but there was an anxious wait for seat allocations once at the gate. The flight from Dallas to LA is clearly hugely popular, with a lengthy list of stand-bys. Time in Dallas is as in Guatemala: 7 hours behind the UK. (SC adds: This was a good flight with a fabulous sunset and some great early evening views of LA.) A much longer period hanging around LAX - and no lounge available that will let us in (this Priority Pass isn’t nearly as useful as we’d hoped). ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central January 20th 2018

Before heading to New Zealand we motored north three hours away from the 40 degree heat of Sydney to stay with friend Liz Warne in Salamander Bay. Liz hosted us royally and we enjoyed the local sights including the largest moving beach in the Southern Hemisphere called Birubi. We also watched a magnificent storm roll in and out; wind rain, lightening, it had it all. It was easy to sup the odd glass of wine from Liz’s house with views over the bay. After three days we headed back to Sydney airport, leaving at 06.45, strangely the kick off time of the Sheffield derby, back in Blighty. (0-0 a good result under current circumstances). We flew Qantas on a 737 and the 12 of us in business class were well fed and certainly not left short ... read more
Supper at Liz’s
Storm approaches
Photo lit purely by lightening

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central May 3rd 2017

If you want a quiet pace to have a picnic lunch,or even the more traditional pie and sammies from the local vietnamese bakery, I thoroughly recommend the romatically named wintergarden, one of the most benign remnants of colonialism in new zealand, two sprawling late victorian neo gothic glass -houses, full of verdigris covered statues and carniverous plants,and bierdslyesque wishing wells. Set in the grounds of the domain,surrounding the forbiddingly named war memorial museum, the wintergarden reflects the other sade of the late victorian coin,lushness and exoticism and a faintly eliotian odor of decay... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central April 11th 2017

6th March Embarking Queen Victoria This leg of our trip is going to take us back to Australia via The Bay of Islands calling at Sydney (2 days) and Melbourne. From there, it's back across 'The Ditch' to cruise the Sounds starting with Milford Sound. We then sail around to Dunedin and Christchurch (from Akaroa) before heading to Wellington, from there it's to Apia (Samoa), Honolulu, Hawaii (the Big Island) and finish the leg with a two day stop in San Francisco. Pictures are of us leaving the beautiful 'City of Sails'. Once again Thankyou John & Heather x... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central February 7th 2017

07 février 2017 : Andrew nous dépose à l'aéroport de Sydney pour nous rendre en Nouvelle-Zélande. Nous décollons à bord d'un A380 d'Emirates à 13H05 au lieu des 10H40 prévues à cause de la météo (pluie et brouillard). Nous arrivons enfin à Auckland. Le temps de passer la douane et de récupérer nos bagages il est déjà 17H35. Nous allons prendre la voiture de location que nous avions réservée. Le GPS dont nous avons besoin est en supplément (200 § NZ). Le compteur indique 58 200 kms. Du coup avec tous les retards accumulés, nous arrivons à l'hôtel sans air-conditionné à 20H00, l'agence de location de la voiture, tout près de l'aéroport, est à 16 kms de l'hôtel, en centre-ville d"Auckland. Nous trouvons heureusement un très bon restaurant. Levés depuis 5 heures ce matin, nous commençons ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central November 28th 2016

The flight from Honolulu to Auckland was three Lord of the Rings movies long. My hotel room in Auckland was a pleasant surprise. It took me a while to realize that I was about four blocks from Queen Street, which is the main area for entertainment.... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central October 7th 2016

This was what you could call a real long day and that following a long yesterday as well. The layover day in Los Angeles turned out to be very nice, but with one caviat, we had to leave the hotel at 6.00 PM, whereas our flight was at 11.10 PM. We spent abour 5 hours sitting a lounch at the airport. Although confortable, 5 hours are 5 hours. Leaving on Wednesday at 11.10 turned out well nevertheless; we fell asleep shortly after boarding and we slept about 6 hours, which with a flight of 13 hours is nice, but not great. Watching movies and drifting into sleep every once in a while, we arrived on Friday at 8.00 AM. Thursday never existed! Kind of strange. We were picked up at the airport and taken to our ... read more
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