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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington October 24th 2019

We are now back in Wellington after enjoying our trip to catch up with the kids in Norway. Always such a special time. We had a very relaxing time with Chris, Hege, Lilly and Stella. So very special to be part of their lives, 24/7. We enjoy the busy life of the two girls with their sport and social times. I enjoy listening to both Lilly and Stella playing the piano and singing. Both very talented, with Lilly in a band that practices every week and does the odd concert. I'm very proud of them both. Chris is enjoying his new job with the Hotel Norge and when he was on weekend duty we were able to stay in the hotel as well, so were a bit spoiled, enjoying being in the middle of the city ... read more
Magic Sunset.
Relaxing.
Bergen At Night.

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 21st 2019

It was sad saying farewell to Chris, Natalie and Mikey before they left for school at about 8.15. Our family is so scattered around the world, so these times together have made our holiday really special. We packed our cases, tidyed up and finished writing our diary/blog. Wendy was working from home so was there to wish us farewell when our taxi arrived. We used an Uber taxi to get us to the airport, in good time, for our Quantas flight at 16.50. We are much better at working out how to use the high tec self service units and bag check. We had time for a tasty lunch before boarding out Airbus 380, a huge double decker aircraft. There is a staircase Nancy! We stopped over in Singapore for about an hour and a half. ... read more
Airbus 380 at Sydney airport
Selfie at Departures
Last look at this lovely city

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales October 20th 2019

After a tasty bearkfast of fruit plus Graeme's special scrambled egg and bacon, we got organised for a trip to Manly. Wendy drove us to nearby Gordon train station, where we caught a smart double decker train into Wynyard Station. We had a short walk througt the city, past Graeme's offie, to Circular Quay to catch the fast ferry to Manly. Once again we had a sunshiny day to view the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. We could see brave people walking over the top of the bridge! Georges Head As it was such a beautiful day in Manly, so many other people were there too. We wandered down to Shelly Beach, which was a little quieter, but all the restaurants were extremely busy. We decided to head home to St Ives to relax by the ... read more
Ibis and sea gulls battling for food in City centre
Mikey and geraffe at Circular Quay
Another view of the Opra House from the fast ferry to Manly

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 19th 2019

18 - 19th October Family days and relaxing at St Ives We needed to take some time out to relax and get our minds around all we have seen in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, so Friday was spent doing things around the home and catching up on the blog until the family returned from work/ school. Saturday was cricket day for Mikey and Natalie. We missed going to see Mikey play as it was earlier and in a different place from Natalie's mtch. They both did really well for their first cricket games with Natalie taking a catch and bowling well to take a wicket on a catch. Unfortunately she and her friend Jamie were seconded to the other team as they were short. We dined at home, outside by the pool, although too chilly ... read more
Winks in the spacious, modern kitchen and living area
Living area looking towards the kitchen
Getting ready for cricket with Natalie

Oceania » Australia October 18th 2019

After a relatively short drive from Leliyn, we arrived in Cooinda on 27th with much excitement as we looked forward to Bird week, seeing our friends Luke and Sarah and as we think Kakadu is such an amazing place. Surpisingly, one of Merlin's friends, Alec, and his family were also in Kakadu and had decided to stay in Cooinda as well- we ended up camping next to each other for about 5 days which was fabulous for the kids to hang out together. Sat morning we were booked on the sunrise cruise of Yellow Waters with Luke. We were really keen to see, and get shots of, many of the special creatures up here but in particular, the Little Kingfisher, the Black Bittern and the Golden Tree Snake. The mist across the water as we took ... read more
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27th August - 31st August 2019 After a surprising comfortable first five days at Taupo we were ready to pack up the van and move on to our next destination at Whakapapa. This was the North facing ski field on the Ruepehu volcano. It is a pretty epic site with several volcanos around - Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from Lord of the rings) and Mt Tongariro. These make up the stunning Tongariro national park. We had the added treat of being joined by our old colleague Tommy who was popping down from Auckland to join us on the slopes. And the jammy buggar brought the beautiful sunshine and perfect skiing conditions with him. In the evening over a few craft beers we also got to teach him our new favourtite card game (Thanks to Vicky and ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 17th 2019

We went to Chris, Natalie and Mikey's school this morning leaving the house at 7.10, so the Natalie was in time to try for a place in the Soft Ball team. We heard later that she had been selected. We popped home for a quick breakfast before setting off for the Blue Mountains. It took about 2 hours, through the busy traffic, for Graeme to drive us to Katoomba. We started our tour of the Blue Mountains at Echo Point with magnificent views over the extensive forests, stretching into the far distance. The iconic Three Sisters were lit by the sun. We took the 30 minute scenic walk to Katoomba Cascades and Falls, which included quite a number of steps up and down! But we were rewarded with spectacular views. Graeme kindly walked back to collect ... read more
View from Echo Point
An Echidna in the path
Katoomba Cascades

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney October 16th 2019

Hi, my readers….as I mentioned in this blog before that Sydney is one of the cities in Australia I want to move to and yes, I just spent a week there (how cool?). It was a trip full of fun, good food and great friendships. I can’t wait to share this with you guys!! Sydney Australia is one of the oldest city in this great nation. The city is found in the New South Wales region. Sydney is a harbour city located on the Tasman Sea, and home to two most famous buildings, namely the Sydney Opera house and Harbour Bridge. The city is one of the nation’s most cosmopolitan city. Each year, millions of tourists flock this city for a fun pact vacation. There are many tourist places in New South Wales, and whether you ... read more
Sydney Australia
Australia Gems and Arts Gallery
Fortune of War

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland October 16th 2019

18th August 2019 So we landed back in Auckland after spending 12 days in Australia, celebrating quitting our jobs with no next job in sight!! We decided that we didn't want to pay for a camp site as we wouldn't be arriving until after midnight and wouldn't be able to get our moneys worth (already getting into the tight traveller mindset). Luckily we found a "freedom" campsite about 40 minutes from the airport at Onewhero domain. This proves difficult when you are not self contained in NZ and because our van is so tiny, and we didn't want to sacrifice bed space for a portable toilet, we need to find campsites with toilet facilities..... This was going to be a limitation over the next 5 months but i still stand by our design! The next challenge ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato October 16th 2019

19th August 2019 Despite the freezing weather and the fact it was the middle of winter, Charlie insisted on catching some waves! So we drove over to the beautiful Port Waikato to give him a chance to get cold and wet... There were some dog owners there letting their excitable puppies run around and burn off some energy, which is essentially what i felt i was doing... He didn't last too long in the water but seemed to enjoy it all the same.... read more
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