North America, Australia and Oceania · 18 Days · 24 Moments · August 2017

Doug's tour through Australia

20 August 2017

Left New Zealand for Sydney and spent the day at the Barracks museum and the aquarium! Had a nice day using the train system and finished with a ferry ride back seeing the Sydney Opera House at sunset! Ready to get home!

19 August 2017

Last day in New Zealand and we took a cruise in the Auckland harbor, had a great time and got to steer the boat! Visited the Museum which had many interesting items! Later we had our farewell dinner with our new friends! Off to Sydney for a day and than back to Atlanta!

18 August 2017

Hobbiton day! It was awesome to see the set where the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit were filmed! Interesting story behind why they rebuilt it and kept it as a tourist attraction! Fun day and good tour guide through Hobbiton! Had to get the Elf ears!

17 August 2017

Today was all about the Maori culture! We visited a school in the morning and we were greeted with the Haka by the students! Later we had a guide Shalom who gave us great insight into Maori life and some of their customs. One was the huna which is s Maori greeting were you touch noses! The whole group did it and I was selected chief for this event! Later we went out to the geysers which are pretty impressive! After that we had a Maori show and than dinner very nice!
See below

16 August 2017

The leaf is New Zealand symbol!
See below!
Today we got early to fly to Rotorua, two flights as we landed first in Christchurch than onwards to Rotorua! Beautiful mountains were scene from the air, the Southern Alps! Once there we took a short stop at their Redwood forest, very similar to California but still spectacular! Checked into our hotel and had to use two ironing boards under the mattress to firm it up for Nancy! Later we had our home hosted dinner which was very nice. Dawn and Darrell were our hosts, 4 generations Maori and very proud of their heritage! Had chicken and mashed potatoes and salad! Very good and ice cream for desert!

15 August 2017

Today we visited Arrowtown, site of a gold rush in New Zealand! Very quaint little town, the old school house was kind of neat to see in the museum! Housing is a huge issue in New Zealand as people have to pay a lot for not much! The million dollar homes were kind of a joke! Later we went to a winery and had some samples! Very relaxing day! The Catholic Church had a unique Star of David in it!

14 August 2017

Milford Sound!
Can you say waterfalls! Today we went to Milford Sound a three hour ride through a lot of their national forest beautiful snowy mountain peaks, road was closed yesterday because of an avalanche! Saw some beautiful waterfalls all day! Had lunch on board as we cruised out to the Tasman Sea and back! Great day!!

13 August 2017

Today we went on a steamship to the Walker Peak farm. Very relaxing and scenic ride on the lake right in front of our hotel. Once at the farm we got some information from the farmer on how they raise their sheep and other animals! Had tea and snacks and than a demonstration on how they shear the sheep! Once back we went on a shopping spree, to find an All Blacks and a Haka shirt! Success!! We ate dinner at an Irish pub before walking back to the hotel! Nice day!!

12 August 2017

Landed in New Zealand with white capped mountains, beautiful site to see. Cold and rainy first night but had a good steak dinner!

11 August 2017

Last day we went out of Sydney to explore the ancient aboriginal sites! Very impressive drawings and a nice relaxing day on the river! Finished with a great view!

10 August 2017

This day we did the Harbor Cruise,it was great, the narrator gave a lot of interesting information as we went through the many bays in the harbor! Later Nancy and I took a water taxi over to the maritime museum! Went in the submarine and the Endeavor which was Captain Cook's ship that explored Australia! Nice Museum!

9 August 2017

Ate dinner here! Just a Hamburg but good!
Got to Sydney and we toured the Sydney Opera House which is amazing! Later we went to Bondi beach and had to get our feet wet! Funny moment!

8 August 2017

Today we left Cairns and headed for Sydney. We made a quick stop at the botanical garden before we got on the plane ! Check in was a piece off cake! Got to Sydney and checked in to our hotel the Primus it is awesome! Later went out to eat got barrundi again, but prepared different? Very good!

7 August 2017

Today was a very interesting day as we went to an aboriginal culture center. We had Jacob as our guide and he was great! Learned how to throw a boomerang and a spear! Talked about Aboriginal life, the didgeridoo and natural medicines from plants. Later we ride the Sky Rail to the top of the rain forest, beauty scenes on the way up, a nice waterfall on the way! Later we ate dinner at Restaurant that honors their servicemen from the world wars! Had s huge dinner! Crashed again early! As I have been getting up early everyday 5:00!

6 August 2017

Today we went to the Great Barrier Reef for some snorkeling. The excursion was good but it was very crowded with Japanese and Chinese people, it's their vacation spot too! I put on stinger outfit,Nancy chose my to do the snorkeling, we did do the submersible boat so we could see different parts of the Reef! Saw much more fish this way than through snorkeling ! The coral reefs are amazing however! We had lunch onboard, it was good! We got back about 5:30 and freshened up and went out to eat. Ate a Italian restaurant, pasta and seafood, yummy!

5 August 2017

Day 2 I think? Today we started off at a sugar cane farm, very informative about the sugar cane industry also had cocoa plants and produced chocolate, obviously we ha to buy some chocolates! Next we went to Port Douglas for lunch not too much time to shop, almost left my camera! Yikes, next the highlight of the day was Hartley's lagoon! This was great, got to see some huge crocodiles, salt water type! They have signs on our beach area that warn about the crocodiles! Achtung German warning! Also in English! We also got to see how they raise these crocs for commercial use! Got to hold a baby croc. Next we got to feed some kangaroos, and than we got to see the Koala Bears and pet them! They charge to hold them! Next we got to see some of the unique birds in Australia! After that we headed back to get ready for supper at a restaurant off the harbor! I took the plunge and ate kangaroo, not bad!

3 August 2017

We had quite a trip getting to Cairns, with a lay over in LA but after 14 hours to Brisbane and than 3 hours to Cairns! Got to our hotel the Doubletree by Hilton, nice room! We arrived a day ahead so I got to play golf at Paradise Palms! Played with a guy Craig from Melbourne, nice guy! Saw some wallabies on the course! There is a really nice promenade on the beach area very close to the hotel! We ate at Barnacle Bills and I had Barrundi, a local fish, very good! Nancy had a fish and shrimp casserole with potatoes! Back to the hotel and we crashed about 9:30! Early for me!