Blogs from Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington February 23rd 2019

After having been busy with Christmas, New Year, a bit of travel and spending all of our time with the family, we are now getting back into the routine of life at home. We have had a wonderful time right through the festive season with Chris's and Amy's families and then, during the last of the school holidays spending time in Hastings and Taupo with the odd couple of days at home in Wellington. Now back to reality. Hawkes Bay was extremely hot over the last few weeks so energy levels were not high and motivation to go fishing, nil. Long walks on Ocean Beach, wonderful, and climbs up Te Mata peak, exhausting, swimming as much as possible and keeping in the shade. As it should be in holiday time. Idilic days in Taupo with Amy, ... read more
Amy and Holly.
Ella In Charge.
Diane and Amy.

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 23rd 2019

this is my fourth day in sydney and i am at customs house writing to you. it's starting to feel like home here. we had to tender in again, but we will be back beside the opera house tonight around 6 pm for the evening. it is saturday here and much quieter. no loud construction noise and most of the office buildings are closed. the weather is still overcast with showers and around 22 degrees. i was speaking to another passenger and they just heard from their daughter in yorkshire, england, and it is sunny and 18 degrees there! we had an update from the captain this morning. we are now heading out early tomorrow (sunday) morning, but unfortunately we will be heading east instead of north and not stopping in anymore ports in australia. so ... read more
climbing the sydney harbour bridge
path of cyclone Oma along the australian coast

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 22nd 2019

well the cyclone is still messing with our itinerary. we are now in sydney harbour and were supposed to stay for only 2 days, and now it as been changed to 4. captain cook announced the cyclone is now in brisbane, exactly where we were headed. so we are staying sheltered in sydney harbour until it passes. i am still not sure which ports we will be making over he next week. it could all be changed. the cyclones name is cyclone Oma, which is funny because Oma is german for grandmother. my first day in sydney i was booked on a 2 and a half hour walking tour around the city and harbour. the first night we were anchored out in the bay, and had to use a tender to get to shore. i am ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch February 22nd 2019

We arrived at our hotel in Christchurch around 5 pm and walked to the city through it’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. Kiwis are welcoming and friendly people and we chatted with a few that told us about their corner of the world. Christchurch is still very much rebuilding from the destructive eathquacks that devastated the city between 2011-2013... New buildings can’t be built more than 7 stories high. On our way back to our hotel we walked through the Lantern festival.... Tomorrow we head to Queenstown via Mt Cook! ... read more

Doubtful Sound, named by Captain Cook as a doubtful harbour. The westerly roaring forties would have taken him in, but he wasn't sure he'd get any wind to take him out. The Maori name is Patea, meaning ‘place of silence’ and it was, when the skipper of the 36 metre catamaran, switched off everything and asked us all to be quiet and listen to the silence. It was certainly a wilderness full of moss, ferns and undergrowth clinging to the perpendicular rock faces. Yesterday's rain meant the waterfalls were all running and today's sunshine made everything gleam. New Zealand is the cleanest place I have ever been to, and there was no litter anywhere. The flotsam in Doubtful Sound consisted of organic matter only - leaves, twigs and branches from the tree avalanches. Wilmott Pass, the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 20th 2019

New Zealand - arriving in Queenstown was interesting as we swung through the mountains and bounced off the short runway before coming to a halt. First impressions were of a rugged, more varied and cooler country than where we had recently been. Plus it was 3 hours ahead of Brisbane and had much longer evenings - a bit like an English summer. We only had one night in Queenstown so we shot out and went up on the Skyline cable car up to Ben Lomond. Fortunately by the time we got up there the bungee jump was closed but we enjoyed the fantastic views over the scenic reserve and Lake Wakatipu. Eating out that evening we were following the recommendation of our friends from back home Jan and John and visited Fergbuger- which looked from the ... read more
view from top of cable car - Queenstown
on the Jetboat
Doubtful Sound

Oceania February 19th 2019

arrived in australia early this morning. after leaving fiji we had a few very rough days at sea again. i guess we caught the tail end of the cyclone. arrived in noumea on the 16th, a day earlier. the cruise into noumea was sheltered by lots of small islands. very scenic and much calmer. the hills are reddish brown in colour because of the nickel. nickel mining is their main industry here. third in the world, canada being number 1. noumea is the capital of new caledonia, a french overseas territory. french is the spoken language here and they use french francs. i booked a tour to the local aquarium. it was small but nice. lots of colourful fish and sea turtles. all the turtles at the aquarium are rescued and rehabilitated there. then when they ... read more

Oceania February 19th 2019

New Zealand 13th February Twenty hours of flying with a three hour stopover at Singapore, threw us disorientated and exhausted into Christchurch Airport on South Island. Two nights seemingly passed with minimum sleep and maximum film watching. Apparently on the way back the same length of journey will take place all on one day. After queueing for bio-security checks, and waiting for hire car pick up, we arrived on the West side of Hagley Park, a short distance from the centre of town. Ravaged by an earthquake 8 years ago the city is being rebuilt. Meanwhile an A-frame cardboard cathedral is being used while pigeons roost on the rafters of the beautiful stone Victorian original. In a day and a half we visited the Botanical gardens, the Quake museum, the art gallery and library and had ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Barrington Tops February 18th 2019

img= Every camping or hiking trip will have its own list of essentials. While the size, style, and condition of those essentials will vary, the list itself is non-negotiable. If you are new to hiking and looking for a simple and straightforward guide on essentials for typical Australian conditions, here it is. First Aid Kit Camping and hiking involves a fair degree of risk. It may only be a splinter, a grazed knee or a cut. But, this is especially true if you are taking the kids, you can guarantee a few war wounds, bites and scrapes. A first-aid kit is essential. It should be a complete kit able to help you take care of bleeding, breaks, and bites. Matchboxes Where possible, add m... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island February 18th 2019

Greenstone and Kayaking and Who the heck is Queen Charlotte? We left Franz Josef and headed north to the town of Hokitika, known as the Greenstone (Jade) capital of the country. Indeed, there were at least 15 stores plus a couple of street vendors selling jade jewelry of all sorts. More interesting to us was the wool sock store where the woman running it actually makes the socks on old style one person looms. She was operating the cash register today and we had a great talk about her work. From their we went on to Punakaiki and the first stop was the Pancake Rocks. An incredible set of rock formations on the edge of the ocean that look like stacks of grey pancakes (limestone). Along with the rocks were blowholes and natural bridges where the ... read more
Carnegie Library in Hotopika
The sock lady
Miles of fabric to protect grapes from birds

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