Around The World · 93 Days · 142 Moments · January 2018

Australia and New Zealand

2 May 2018

Time to come home. 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️

30 April 2018

As the sunsets over Dubai, it is time for us to get ready to return to the UK after 10 weeks of adventures in the Southern Hemisphere. We still have a few hours left before our flight tomorrow afternoon and time to reflect on the many adventures we have had and memories that will stay with us for a very long time.
A busy day soaking up the rays before heading back to the English springtime. Kelvin is missing the driving and we seem to have an OCD chambermaid🙈

29 April 2018

An early arrival into Dubai this morning, so a day of r&r for us.

28 April 2018

Our final day in Brisbane, which has been a fun and a relaxing few days. Off to our final stop before returning home to the English weather.

27 April 2018

A lot of street art of diffrent kinds, here is just a few. Any new building built in the city today, has to commission a local artist to carry out some art work.
A little walk around the city today, to catch up on some local architecture. The most opulent building is the old Regent Theatre built in 1928, sadly not used as a theatre anymore. We also managed to go to the top of an office block for free to get some amazing views, looking out to the hills and the Gold Coast.

26 April 2018

Another relaxing day, a stroll in the park where we bumped into a few water dragons. Decided to go to the theatre tonight to see Aladdin the musical, a colourful show, just like the south bank.

25 April 2018

A quite day today, we have a lovely apartment with views over the Botanical gardens. It's a national holiday here today, to celebrate Anzac day, which included a military parade though the city. We then hopped on the free water ferry along the river to the Southbank for a stroll with I think the rest of Brisbane! 😎

24 April 2018

24 April - time to say haere rā No photos today, it is time to say haere rā (farewell) to New Zealand. Some great memories made and still plenty to explore here, so will be back one day.

23 April 2018

23 April lazy day Woke full of cold this morning, switched on TV and an old favourite film Sliding doors,was on. What a fix seeing a young John Hannah 😍. I had forgot what a good girly film it was. When we eventually ventured out we took the ferry across to the small town of Devonport, which is known for it's 1930s buildings. After a light lunch we climbed mount Victoria were we had great views back to Auckland and the surrounding islands. It is still school holidays here and it looks like the simple things in life are a hit. A cardboard box, steep hill and a little push power and they are giggling down the hill. It is Anzac day on Wednesday so some very fitting memorials apearing across the city.

22 April 2018

22 April - Auckland As we are in a city, it had to be the obligatory guided walking tour to get our bearings and see areas that we would otherwise miss. As always, learnt new facts and more history and a contrast of old and new arcitecture in a growing city.

21 April 2018

21 April - Coast to City Last day of driving today. Kelvin won't be sorry to see the end of the twisting roads, hairpin bends and driving in the rain. Yes it's raining again. 🌧🌧 Auckland is our destination for our city fix. This was meant to be our shortest drive of the driving schedule, but surprise, surprise  hit the highway and stuck in traffic! Welcome back to civilisation, highly populated areas (well for NZ) and traffic. Eventually arrived into Auckland at lunch time, with a stop off at the sealife centre. A little disappointing after all the natural wildlife/sealife we have seen on our travels but served a purpose as a lunch stop before heading to the city. Sun has finally come out, so hopefully will stay dry while trying to find some where for supper later.

20 April 2018

We were told to wait for 2 hours before or after low tide to go to Hot Water Beach. So a beer at the local micro brewery was in order. We had been given a spade from the apartment reception, saying, we would need it to experience Hot Water Beach properly! We arrived at 2pm to see certain sections of the beach crowded. Once we got closer everyone had dug a pool and was just lounging around in the sand. OMG the water was boiling, and you dug your hole, relaxed in the hot pool you dug and then cool off in the sea. Well never experienced anything like it, even a dog decided to join in. A great day had, which was finished off with fish and chips from the local chippy. Feeling content. 😏
Beaches - 20 April Sun was shining when we woke this morning, so the beach it had to be.There are two famous beaches in this area Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. So off we went, to Cathedral Cove first with a 45 minute walk each way we thought it would be an easy stroll to the cove, no we were wrong, it was an up and down climb  but well worth it. However, we could tell we've done little exercise over the last 8 weeks🙃 Trivia for the day; scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia movies were filmed at Cathedral Cove.

19 April 2018

We passed the northern tip of the Bay of plenty and soon realised the back ground to the name, gold mining, the main growing area for kiwi, plums, feijoa and avacado (a massive bag of avacados for $5(£2.50))! Finally reaching the Coromandel Peninsula with numerous inlets and bays of golden sand. Even have a great sea view from our apartment. Whoops not toad in the hole. 😂😂
Sheep, Garden of Eden & Sand 19 April Travelled North East today heading for the Coromandel Peninsula. Paid a vist to a sheep farm today, where we learnt all about diffrent breads of sheep and what they are best for. There was also a demo of sheep shearing and three gorgeous working dogs.

18 April 2018

Finally decided to have a night out on the town, so went off for a true Māori experience with a traditional Hāngi style dinner, cooked in ground pits on hot stones. Before we could eat we watched a performance, featuring traditional storytelling and entertainment including the Haka. The evening was topped off by a visit to the Te Puia's geothermal valley with a hot chocolate while sitting on hot stones watching the clear night sky.
I did say it was a busy day. It was also very educational.👨‍🎓👩‍🎓
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal pools, so many photos 📷📷
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal pools have been sculptured out of volcanic activity and a uniquel natural landscape. It was a little smelly (rotten eggs😲) but beautiful at the same time.
Then came The Craters of the Moon geothermal walkway through a spooky landscape featuring bubbling craters and steaming vents. This ended up being low-key once stop number three had taken place.
First stop was Huka falls, where 220,000 litres of water pass over the falls every second.
Road to Rotorua 18 April Today looks a bit better on the weather front. Sadly we wont be walking any of the paths in the Tongariro NP as we need to move on. Song 14 today on the iPod is 'I can see clearly now' by Johnny Nash I can see clearly now the rain is gone I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It's gonna be a bright (bright) Bright (bright) sunshiny day It's gonna be a bright (bright) Bright (bright) sunshiny day. A busy day ahead, although our journey is a short one to Rotorua, there is loads to see and do today.

17 April 2018

Tues 17th April - making entertainment. Woke this morning to very thick fog, fine drizzle and advised not to go out on the mountains walking today. We did think about moving on in our journey, but with the fog we decided to stay put and have a relaxing day by the fire reading and having a game of snooker. Kelvin won on the last ball.

16 April 2018

Tongariro National Park is centered around three active volcanoes:Tongariro 1967 m, Ngauruhoe 2287 m, Ruapehu 2797 m which last erupted in 2007, so keeping fingers crossed they all behave for a few days. The idea is to do some walking tommorow, but not holding our breath as not surprising the weather forecast isn't looking too good.
16 April - On the road again Now there should be no surprise that today the rain has come in again!  Apparently the weather we have been experiencing is not common for this time of year!! We are on our way up to the Tongariro National Park, the road follows the ocean at Paraparaumu for a few miles. Kelvin is happy there is no trip across the Cook Strait, there is rather a swell out there today. Chateau Tongariro hotel is our destination for a couple of nights it was built in1929, we are in a time warp. We were greeted with 1930's music in the reception and lounge, thankfully our room has the mod cons like a Jacuzzi bath and under floor heating. It also has the highest golf course in New Zealand and its own cinema, 6 films a day; it is Cinderella, Muppets, Mamma Mia, Starwars, The Sting and Lord of the rings today. Suspense is killing us on whats to be screened tomorrow. 🙊

15 April 2018

Wellington - Day 2 It is rumoured Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand Prime Minister is about to arrive in the UK, so we thought we should check out the NZ parliament to make sure everything is in order. Had a very interesting tour of the three buildings including the debating chamber. We were then off on the cable car for the famous ride up to the Botanical gardens. As the sun was shining and the temperatures reaching a high of 17° the views over the harbour and mountains were great.

14 April 2018

We then visited the Te Papa museum and spent much of our afternoon in the exhibition to commorate Anzacs day called 'Gallipoi the scale of our war' the exhibition tells the story of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Each is captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale – 2.4 times human size. Amazing work carried out by the Weta workshop to create realistic sculptures and the men's tragic stories. Anzac Day is commemorated on 25 April.
Day 1 in Wellington This morning was taken up by a walking tour explaining the history and arcitectuer of the city. The old government buildings constructed from Kauri wood is made to look like stone and is the largest wooden building in the southern hemisphere. The old Cathedral of St Paul also constructed in wood.

13 April 2018

Many unusual statues in the city many having a Maori connection. However the two that stood out for me today were; Katharine Mansfield - a prominent New Zealand modernist short story writer, and Kate Sheppard - the country's most famous suffragette with the signatures of more than 2000 people protesting against domestic violence eteched in the layers of acrylic and has even made the green women on the crossings! Something very diffrent from what we have seen so far in NZ.
Although Kelvin was anxious about the crossing, we did drop lucky with the swell in the Cook Strait being moderate! Just a little rocking for about an hour nothing major so a pleasant crossing had.
Finally got some reflection shots this morning.
Friday 13th! We take the ferry across to Wellington this afternoon. A beautiful journey along Queen Charlotte drive to Picton, where we return our hire car and check in for a three & half hour crossing to Wellington to start our journey on the North Island. Just loving all the street art that we come across on our journies. ❤

12 April 2018

Last day on South island - 12 April A very quite day today. Relaxing in the sunshine with a nice lunch & a beer in a little place called Mapua/Ruby bay.

11 April 2018

Wednesday 11 April Leaving the snow behind today, finally seeing blue skies again. Our accommodation in Nelson is like stepping back into the English countryside, very quaint, if not a little strange hear in New Zealand.

10 April 2018

To help us relax after a tricky journey, we decide to give the hot springs ago. It was well worth the effort the natural thermal pools were so relaxing, we just sat and soaked in the hot pools as the snow fell again.
We had a long journey ahead, but had to make sure we captured some of the most beautiful scenery in the snow. Once done we got underway in clearing skies and sun peaking through the clouds. Must say the best view of the mountains I think we have had all the time we have been in NZ . A day of four seasons, snow, sun, rain, sleet even a blizzard and anything else it decided to throw at us!
Hanmer Springs - 10 April Woke to snow this morning and it wasn't just a little covering. Seeing a town at two ends of weather patterns in less than twelve hours is a photographer's dream.

9 April 2018

The drive then took us in land up the valley to Lake Tekapo, where we were hoping to go star gazing at the Mount John Observatory. However a phone call from the observatory advised that due to low cloud, rain and possible snow the tour would have to be cancelled. So New Zealand bucket list item number three will have to wait for another time. 😢 So a cosy meal and a few glasses of red wine instead. 🍷🥂
Then stopped in Oamaru for coffee. The town is known for Steampunk, bizarre and feels like a time warp of eirey victorian buildings. But fascinating at the same time with a very creative children's play area.
Monday 9 April On the move again inland this time to Lake Tekapo. Firstly followed the East coast for a couple of hours, passing the Moeraki spherical Boulders spread along Koeohe Beach.

8 April 2018

Amazing afternoon.
Bucket list Sunday Was privileged to go onto a private beach today with a group of eight people to get up close and personal to New Zealand Fur seals, Hooker Sealions and Yellow eyed penguins. We still can't believe we were able to see so much at such close quarters. An experience that will stay with us for ever, especially the one penguin that almost tripped over our feet trying to find home and calling out to its partner. Feeling blessed. 😍
Sunday 8 April - Otago peninsula. A beautiful sight seeing the Royal Albertros chicks and many flying over the headland in the wind today.

7 April 2018

Dunedin, is certainty a beautiful city. Great Architecture, street art, botanical gardens with live music and a great vibe.
We paid a visit to the railway station, which remains typical to its original architecture. The booking hall, features a mosaic floor of almost 750,000 tiles of Royal Doulton porcelain, and the one kilometre main platform is the country's longest!
Travel to East coast, Dunedin - Saturday 7 April Up early to travel across to the East coast today. A contrast from a very quite town of Te Anau with its low population to the city Dunedin with a population of 129k and known for its Scottish and Maori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a large student population. 

6 April 2018

We are going to count ourselves lucky today, as the cloud lifted for about ten minutes and was able to get a peak of the spectacular view that is teasing most visitors. Mirror lakes are described as having "beautiful reflections of the surrounding scenery visible in the lakes". We decided to give them a miss, as there was only a chance of getting drenched and cloud clad lakes hiding any reflection.
Milford Sound  6 April The iPod music in the car today was very appt. Every picture tells a story - Rod Stewart and Hold back the river - Ella Henderson, just two to name. Apparently Milford Sound is referred to as the “eighth Wonder of the World” due to the rain fall!!! It is not uncommon for 10 inches of rain to fall in one day, we can vouch for that!! Never seen so much water coming off mountains and the rivers thundering down the valley as we have today. Access to the sound is via the 0.75 mile Homer Tunnel opened in 1953, which is controlled by traffic lights and guarded by the famous mischievous Kia birds who have a habit of moving the road cones to confuse moterists.

5 April 2018

Not sure if we have stayed longer than we thought or someone forgot to tell Te Anau that Christmas was four months ago! Happy Christmas everyone. 🤣😁😂
Doubtful Sound - 5 April Up with the sun again this morning, hoping to have a clear dry morning for our trip on Doubtful Sound. It started out very promising, but those of you who know of the weather patterns in this part of the world will know things can change with a blink of a eye.
The morning consisted of sun, rain, rolling cloud formations and a hint of blue skies. However, it didn't really matter as the scenery was still stunning. Unfortunately no wildlife today, but plenty of hot tea and coffee to keep us going.

4 April 2018

Once settled in it was time to take a short trip on the lake to visit the Glowworms. Now settling down to watch the Commonwealth games opening ceremony.
Te Anau - 4 April Another day, more lakes and mountains. After leaving Wanaka today we decided to take a diversion into Queenstown. Well parking was impossible and the most touristic place we have been so far. So decided to give it a miss. A beautiful drive along more lakes and mountains, but can see the Autumn setting in with the changes in colour. Finally arrived in Te Anau mid afternoon, where we found our personal reg for our Mazda back home. Our room for the next four days has yet another amazing view looking out across Lake Te Anau.

3 April 2018

Arrowtown and the Crown range pass.
Woke to a beautiful morning, so decided to take a little trip to visit Arrowtown an historic gold mining town which has been preserved and renovated to reflect how it would have been in 1860s. The trip took us past the hamlet of Cardrona,   on the Crown range pass. Where we stopped at one of New Zealand's oldest hotels.

2 April 2018

A day for ducks - travel to Wanaka 2 April Well after such a great day yesterday, we woke to dark clouds. These turned into torrential rain for most of our journey across the Aspiring National park to Wanaka. Once the weather eased off and the low cloud lifted, we were treated to yet more spectacular views. A good couple of hours were spent following the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea.
After a little walk along the shores of the lake we made our way to our accommodation. We dropped lucky with a nice apartment overlooking lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.

1 April 2018

And there's more an excellent trip and ticked off another bucket list item. 😃😍
More photos
Happy Easter from Franz Joseph.
Bucket list day 1 April 2018 Yes Kelvin eats the biggest muffin ever and I do a heli hike up on the Franz Josef Glacier.
Easter Sunday - 1 April 2018 A beautiful day today, off to see the Rowi and Haast tokoeka which are the two most endangered kiwi in the world, with only less than 400 of each bird remaining.

31 March 2018

By the time we arrived on Greymouth the rain had passed. We picked up our car for a two hour drive down the coast to Franz Joseph, following the coast for a while before heading inland and passing lakes, mountains and finally seeing the Franz Joseph glacier in the distance. Rather a bazaar thing was that we were diverted onto the railway bridge, as the road was being reconstructed.🙈
More train journey photos. 😍
I am going to remember this journey for the number of rainbows we saw across the valleys. This was the tell tell sign of the weather we were to face once we reached Arthurs pass where the rain came in big time. Thankfully the rain eased off for the rest of the train journey.
Christchurch - Franz Joseph, 31 March Up with the sunrise this morning for our early start on the TranzAlpine rail journey across the Arthur pass to Greymouth.

30 March 2018

We also visited the Antarctic experience at the International Antarctic Programmes working campus where we had an interactive and fun afternoon experiencing  real snow and ice, survived an indoor Antarctic Storm, learnt about life at Scott Base, and  was able to have a ride in an Hägglund.
While heading back to our hotel we came across an amazing bronze collection highlighting dyslexia and how many children struggle in their early years , but excel as they find their way in life.
Christchurch Good Friday Happy Easter Woke this morning to blue skies, so decided to to take a trip on the gondola for some breathtaking views of the Christchurch cityscape, over the Canterbury Plains out to the Southern Alps and the hills of Banks Peninsula.

29 March 2018

We also visited the new Cathedral as the original Cathedral was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011. It is the world’s only cathedral made sustainable cardboard. It was designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and seats around 700 people, an amazing piece of architecture.
Just behind is another crazy, but relevent form of memorial called '185 Empty Chairs', a memorial to the 185 people who lost their lives in the Christchurch earthquake. It is a place of sad reflection and I believe the chairs were donated by the families of those who lost their lives. 😢 Later we had a great supper at 27 Steps, where the following poem was referred too.Halfway down the stairs is a poem written in chalk by A A Milne called 'Where i sit'. There isn't any other stair quite like it. i'm not at the bottom, i'm not at the top; so this is the stair where I always stop. Halfway up the stairs isn't up and it isn't down. It isn't in the nursery, It isn't in town. And all sorts of funny thoughts run round my head. It isn't really Anywhere! It's somewhere else Instead!
More pictures of Christchurch.
Christchurch - 29 March Well yesterday was a day for reflection. I never thought about the after effects of an earthquake before. Christchurch is a town of resilience, 2011 was the last major earthquake and is still trying to rebuild the city as much as it can. We decided to take a city walk to learn more, especially with so much construction work still to be done, but they are getting there and changing the image from an old historical city to an up and coming modern city incorporating old architecture

27 March 2018

In the meantime Kelvin paid a visit to the Botanical gardens, Hobart maritime museum & the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum which is a replica of the historic huts in Cape Denison – Antarctica – constructed in 1911 by the men of the Australian Antarctic Expedition, led by Dr Douglas Mawson. Final night on Tasmania, so after a great meal of Tasmanian sea food it was time to test out the local whisky. I can say it's not bad. 😋
More of Port Arthur.
The second half of the day was spent at Port Arthur Ruins which include the huge penitentiary and the remaining shell of the Convict Church, which was built by inmates. Solitary confinement cells in the Separate Prison building were used to inflict mental punishment in place of floggings.
More shots of Tasman island and rhe coastline.
Tasman island & Port Arthur - 27 March I left Kelvin in Hobart today visiting a few museums while I was off on a little boat trip to Tasman island to see what wildlife was on offer and a visit to Port Arthur. The weather was kind today after a couple of rough wet days. A great trip this morning seeing fantastic and some of the largest cliff formations in Australia, if not the world. Along with a few sightings of dolphins, seacliff eagles Albertros and a couple of diffrent species of seals and penguins.

26 March 2018

Red and yellow and pink and green, Purple and orange and blue, I can sing a rainbow, Sing a rainbow, Sing a rainbow too!
An easy day today, just a little tour of The Cascade Brewery Company, established in 1824, Australia's oldest operating brewery. The tour offered us the opportunity to sample 4 of their ales. 🍺🍺🍺🍺

25 March 2018

Once we had checked into our hotel and returned our car we had a stroll around the harbour before meeting up with family friends for a late lunch, and share our Tasmanian exploits. Then headed off to see Finding your feet at the iconic state cinema.
Full circle complete and back in Hobart - 25 March Another wet morning for traveling. However the journey back to Hobart was all the more pleasant by the beautiful drive. Winding through the low cloud, vineyards, orchards and more amazing coastal views. The weather broke and we were treated to some special views of Hobart coming across the causeway and bridge.

24 March 2018

Last night, before heading back to Hobart. Can't believe we have been away a month already. Beautiful evening sky and a local Gin to round things off.
Wineglass bay - 24 March With the weather forecast not expected to be too good today, we decided to get out early and do the famous Wineglass bay 7k walk. Although the path was well defined, it was still a challenging up hill climb, (with not doing much cardio exercise for the last month) to the lookout. Although we didn't get the bright blue sea, it was still a spectacular & rewarding view when we hit the top. Next was the 50 minute walk down to the beach, knowing we would have to climb back up. A little lunch on the beach before making an earlier than expected return climb back to beat the rain coming in. Thankfully, we had our rain jackets, as the rain was faster than us climbing back up the path. Nice hot shower and now retired to the lounge bar for a little aparetif and read a chapter or two of my book.

23 March 2018

Supper was good too, mussels twice the size of my thumb. 😍
Launceston - Freycient 23 Mar Another day, a diffrent journey. Off we went following goggle maps, well as navigator I got into serious trouble as we had to do twisty unsealed roads today. The bonus was that we saw our first wild eagle. 😁 Once the driver got over the shock of getting the car dirty, we ended up on another scenic drive to our next location. The Freycient national park is so tranquil and idyllic, with the most amazing coastal views and another fantastic lodge with bay views.

22 March 2018

3. Seahorse farm - the world’s first working seahorse farm. We were given a guided tour of the farm, where we saw a selection of seahorses and seadragons. We then moved into the farm where we saw seahorses in all stages of life from tiny fingernail size babies to larger adults. The final surprise, I was given the opportunity to get hands on and hold a seahorse in the palm of my hand.
2. Visit to a Platypus/Echidnas house Both of the above are egg laying mammals (monotremes). We had a guided tour of the house, where our guide explained more about the Platypus and the Echidnas. The platypus is one of the few living mammals to produce venom. Males have a pair of spurs on their hind limbs that secrete venom that is seasonal (breading season).However, the after effects are described as excruciatingly painful, but not lethal to humans. The Echidnas is a common spiny anteater with a long, tube-like mouth with a sticky tongue, and covered in spikes. When there is a fire, the echidna will dig down out of reach of the fire.
Lazy, educational day - 22 March After a lazy morning we decided to explore  the Tamer valley. Amazing what you can learn, just by coming across three different  educational experiences. 1. Gold put Beaconsfield on the map, but when a small earthquake on 25th April 2006 triggered a rock fall it became famous  for something very diffrent. A  miner, Larry Knight died and trapped two other miners in a tiny void a kilometre below the surface for two weeks. The museum gives an excellent detail of the event and an opportunity to get an inside view of the mine area itself.

21 March 2018

Travel to Launceston - 21 March Woke to a very frosty morning, but the sun was shining and reflective views on the fishing lake near our lodge. A perfect day for traveling our short drive to Launceston a small town on the river Tamar. We have a nice little apartment in the town, giving us a few home comforts like a washing machine, sofa and a kitchen to do some home cooking. Beans on toast or cheese and biscuits sounds attractive. 🍛 🧀🍪

20 March 2018

A little luxury needed.😍 In the evening we decide to spoil ourselves with a little  spa sanctuary with views looking over the Pencil Pine River and surrounding forest, with a large outdoor hot tub, sauna, steam room and plunge pool. Pure luxury after three and half weeks on the road.
Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake walk.
Cradle Mtn and Dove Lake - 20 March Woke up to sunshine this morning, but not holding my breath for a dry day, as the forecast predicts showers. It is time to pull on the walking boots for a propper walk today, an amble around  the area, before a 6k walk around Dove lake, shrouded by Cradle mountain. Another marketing promotion shattered no mirror image today with a high wind and waves on the lake, however, still a beautiful remote setting.

19 March 2018

We took a little adventure this evening to learn more about the endangered Tasmainan devil at a conservation, research & breading centre, where they are managing to bread healthy young without the facial tumours, that are threatening the species. We were also introduced to the Eastern  & Spotted-tail Quoll (also known as the tiger cat) which I have not heard of before.These are carnivorous marsupials like Tasmanian devils.
Arrived at Cradle Mountain in the driving rain, just in time for lunch. Another log cabin with a log fire this time, was just what was needed. The good thing about the soggy cold weather is that you see an abundance of wildlife. Not long before we see Pademelons, small marsupials and Wombats grazing.
Strahan - Cradle Mountain 19 March Woke up to a power cut this morning after a really bad storm during the night. Showering by torch light & breakfast by candle light was a new experience. Paid a little visit to Ocean beach, with very dramatic  waves and a lonely seal emerging from the water. Before making our way past Hentry dunes, (that are higher than the trees) to a former silver mining town called Zeehan. Stopped In Rosebery (another very sleepy mining town) for petrol and coffee. Very resourceful petrol station selling everything from spirit levels to tennis balls.

18 March 2018

What a great evening, a play full of laughs, audience participation and history which was amazing. Followed by a great Chicken curry. 😚
Strahan and our hotel for a couple of nights. Off to watch a play set in January 1834. 'The Frederick is the last ship built at the convict settlement of Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour and is about to sail for the new prison at Port Arthur. Ten convict shipwrights have other ideas. So begins the story of an amazing escape, an extraordinary voyage and an intriguing twist in the tale of The Ship That Never Was'.
Gordon River 18 Mar We also visited Sarah island which had a very chequed history with convicts being held there for many years.
More mosses for Laura!
Gordon River 18 Mar Early start this morning for our first trip on a boat. Guess what first day of rain Thankfully we have a comfy seat on the upper deck with drinks, canapés, lunch and afternoon tea all included. 😤 Although the weather didn't play ball, we still had an enjoyable day experiencing a mixture of weather patterns and were able to take some great photos.

17 March 2018

The next part of the journey was a very wiggly road to lake St Claire, across the mountains and the mining region close to Queenstown. Finally arriving in our quaint hotel in Straharn, where we ventured out for dinner at the Risby Cove restuarnt with great food & a seat with sunset view.
Hobart to Straharn 17 March Picked up our nice new hire car today to start our road trip around Tasmania. The first leg is to Straharn with a beautiful sunny drive across the countryside, up into the mountains and a coffee stop at the tiny village of Tarraleah. The settlement was first set up when the £1 poms arrived seeking work and labour was needed to build the hydro power station. Seen our first Tasmanian Devil, sadly it had been knocked over. 😢 Lunch stop was an amazing find 'The Wall' in the Wilderness' by Greg Duncan. Which is a commemoration of those who helped shape the past and present of Tasmania’s central highland and made of Hannu wood. We had an amazing platter, with local Tassi wine and scones with a mountain of jam and cream.

16 March 2018

A busy day today, up early to catch our flight across to Tasmania. Had a great week catching up with the family. Even managed a sneaky coffee with family friends once we arrived in Hobart before heading to the harbour for supper.

15 March 2018

More photos of Melbourne.
Well one day left in Melbourne, so we thought we had better make a trip into the city. First stop was a little tour around Federation square to see the moden architecture As the sun came out we did a little stroll along the Southbank, and the older parts of the city. Finally visiting hosier lane for the wall art and to see where Ed Sheeran did an impromture gig earlier this week.  

14 March 2018

Autumn afternoon in the Seawinds park and Arthurs seat to see the Kangaroos roaming before fish and chip supper and sunset over Mornington Bay.
A little trip out with my cousins to Mornington bay and afternoon tea at Moira's and Oscar the dog.

13 March 2018

Then off to Nobbies Point to see if we could spot some penguins before the penguin parade to watch over a thousand penguins come back in at sunset. Some have been at sea for a number of days.
A trip to Phillip Island today to catch up on the Ozzy wildlife fix.

12 March 2018

A nice couple of rest days catching up with family and friends eating cream teas and roasting marshmallows in the Dandenong Mountains.

11 March 2018

Geelong - Bollard people and a few MGs on display. Final stop Melbourne, home for the week with my Cousin Anne.
Little comfort break at the local choclitere and ice cream factory. Kelvin's kind of heaven.
Apollo Bay - Melbourne Woke up to a typical bank holiday Sunday, cloudy and dull. Surprise, by 11am sun was shining. Last little trip along the Ocean drive still with plenty of beautiful surprises and traditional bank holiday traffic (thankfully going in the right direction) famous Bells beach getting ready for the Surf championships.

10 March 2018

No sunset , but plenty of dessert!
Cape Otway 10 Mar Finally got the feet wet with a little paddle in the  Bass Strait, which forms part of the Indian Ocean, before going back to our place for an afternoon of reading on the terrace. It's Labour day weekend here, so Apollo Bay is exceptionally busy, so have booked Chris's for dinner over looking the bay hopefully with an amazing sunset.
Cape Otway 10 Mar part 2 Then moved onto the Cape Otway national park, where we found wild Koala in the trees, silver ghost trees and the site of the old telegraph office and lighthouse.
Cape Otway 10 Mar A little bit of a lazy day today, a leisurely  breakfast, before heading out to Maits Rest tropical rainforest via Barham beach. Took an interest the trees and mosses (just for you Laura, although photos don't do them justice).

9 March 2018

9 March - Apollo part 2 The big show of the Ocean Road , The Twelve  Apostles. Mobed by Chinese, Japanese, even Korean not the most authentic of experiences and felt short changed as not Twelve Apostles standing! Finally after a 2hrs of a twisty drive we arrived in Apollo Bay. Again great b&b and even found a brewery where i just had to sample the 'Chainsaw'.
9 March - Apollo Bay - part 1 Back to the Ocean Drive. Many sea sculptures today; Bay of islands London Bridge Loch Ard Gorge

8 March 2018

Halls Gap Back online after very poor internet connection in the mountains. Yesterday was another hot day 32° Day of walking, down steps to McKenzie falls, boulders and lake view point. Fish plater (scallops, tuna steak, squid and  barramundi steak) cooked at my table on a hot stone. Wolf Spider in cabin just above the bed. Thank god for spider spray! Sorry not pictures😲

7 March 2018

Another great home for a couple of nights. Apparently with Wallabys, Kangaroos, Emus, Parrots and bats!
A nice easy drive via The Blue Lake at Mount Gambia across to the Grampion mountains via Cape Bridgewater

6 March 2018

A lazy day today, just an afternoon lunch and a wine tasting tour with Simon from Coonawarra experiences. 6 wineries included and I seem to have a liking to the local Riesling and Shiraz. 🥂

5 March 2018

Easy and lonely journey along the Younghusband Peninsula to Robe before heading inland to Penola and our lovely home for a couple of nights. Sausage & mash for tea yum.

4 March 2018

2 March - 4 March Eventful Adelaide part 1 After another six and half flight, with me suffering a severe nose bleed lasting 40 mins about 3 hours into flight didn't bode well. However managed to get into Adelaide about midday, to find that it was their Fringe festival. How excited were we to think we would be able to experience something other than just tourist attractions. What I didn't plan for was another nose bleed which required Kelvin having to call paramedic. So spent night in A&E !!! Dicharged at 9am the following morning. All ok now, but look like I have been in 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. 👃👃
Sunday night Fringe. Pick up car tommorow to start our journey across to Melbourne. Next stop wine region Penola. I might be able to have a drink by Wednesday. 🍷

2 March 2018

Adelaide part 2 So a couple of days low key sightseeing and soaking up the Fringe festival took back seat. However have made up for it today. Little trip to the zoo, trip to the seaside resort of Glenelg Beach for supper and watch the sunset.

1 March 2018

Our final day has come before leaving on an overnight flight to Oz. So it had to be done a trip to the Marina Bay sands hotel, with its infinity pool and observation deck on the 57th floor. Now that was an experience and will leave a lasting impression of Singapore. Checking out Adelaide here we come.

28 February 2018

Singapore part 2 After a full day of fauna and Orchids, it was time for a day of culture visiting Little India and China Town, which was so vibrant with colour still celebrating Chinese New year. An evening spent at the zoo on a night safari, seeing Elephants, tigers, hippos and many other nocturnal animals.

27 February 2018

Laser show

26 February 2018

26 Feb - 1 March part 1 Arrived in Singapore mid afternoon and after a short taxi ride we checked into in our hotel, which will be our home for the next 3 nights. After a couple hours rest we ventured out to see what Singapore had to offer. It was only a short stroll before we hit Marina bay and the imposing site of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Took the hopper bus for the sites of Singapore, where we visited the colonial area and the botanical and orchid gardens. After a Singapore tapas lunch and a siesta it was time to visit the Gardens by the bay which is 101 hectares of reclaimed land with 2 exotic pods & structured trees. We then watched the laser and water light show across Marina Bay.
Dropped off and now settling into our lifestyle for the next 10 weeks.

25 February 2018

A very stressful day yesterday, what to pack for 10 weeks in the Southern Hemisphere. Managed to succeed and was picked up and Heathrow bound by 9.30am. Welcomed on board by Laura with a glass of champagne, very civilised I think I can get used to this business class lark. Pulled back on time at 13.40pm to be told it would be 6hrs 20min before landing in Dubai. After all the hype and awards for 3 Billboards outside Ebbing , Missouri . I thought I would give it ago. Well it was definitely worth a watch. A couple of Vodka Martinis in the on board lounge before some shut eye to help with next stage of jet lag. Now sitting in Dubai waiting for connecting flight to Singapore.

22 February 2018

29 January 2018

Not long to wait now, before our adventure begins.