S: New Zealand and Australia 2011
BC: DEPARTED | AUSTRALIA | 1/31/2011
FC: New Zealand and Australia
1: January 12, 2011 - Jim and Imogen Stapleton picked us up and took us to the Traverse City Airport. No problems until we got to Los Angeles, CA. They won't let us on the airplane because we needed proof that we had flights to Australia and Kyle had all this information. Eventually they got permission from someone in New Zealand and let us on the plane.
2: January 14 - We made it to New Zealand and it was good to see Kyle. We relaxed at Kyle's house and rested up a little. Then we were off touring Auckland. We went to Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill (beautiful view from the hill). Went to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and spent a couple hours in the museum. Kyle droves us around and showed us both AUT campus'. Went swimming in the ocean. There are no screens on the windows or doors, they just keep everything open. There are a few flies but basically no bugs.
4: Kyle's rental house | View from the house
5: This bus is one of many in NZ that you can rent and live out of while traveling. We chose to live in hotels, but the young people use these vans.
7: Cornwall Park in Auckland
8: View of Auckland from One Tree Hill
10: War Memorial Musuem | 30 meter (98 foot) war canoe carved in 1836 from a single giant totara tree
12: Auckland, NZ | January 15 We went downtown Auckland today. First we went to Kelly Tareton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World. Then we went to the Sky Tower and did a lot of walking from there. We went down by the waterfront most the time. Had kabob sandwich for lunch, and went to a flee market | Bums of Auckland
14: Auckland Waterfront | January 15, 2011
15: Auckland Harbour Bridge
16: January 16 - 3 hour drive to Coromandel Peninsula. We went to the Hot Water Beach. Amazing thing; there are 5 small areas in the beach where volcanic activity still exist. At low tide you can dig a hole or even just dig your foot into the sand and it is so hot you can't stand it.
18: On Coromandel Peninsula we went to Cathedral Cove, probably one of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand. However Sandy got heat exhaustion there and was really sick so we ended the day at the Cove. Rusty drove for about 2 hours today and did a good job (remember they drive on the opposite side of the road from what we do in the USA.)
21: January 17 - Warkworth, home of 2 giant Kauri trees, one is 800 years old and the other is 600 years old. Kauri trees are the largest trees in NZ and second largest trees in the world, redwoods of California being the largest.
22: Whangarei Falls | Kawakawa, NZ - Sleepy little town with the most famous bathroom in the world, designed by artist Frederick Hundertwasser.
24: January 18 - We arrived in Paihia or the Bay of Islands last night. Today is a bus trip to the top of New Zealand, Cape Reinga. Along the way we stopped at several places, but the big stop was Cape Reinga where the weather was windy and rainy. After a 15 minute walk to the lighthouse we could see through the wind and rain were the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. | Our walk through Puketi Kauri Forest in Manginangina
25: Oyster Catcher You had to be there!
26: Sandbaoarding | 90 Mile Beach | After Cape Reinga we were driven down the west coast of NZ on the 90 Mile Beach were we stopped at Te Paki to sandboard and then shopped at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom shop that sold items including furniture made from ancient Kauri trees (very expensive) | Kyle in orange
27: Ancient Kauri Kingdom
28: January 19 Back in Auckland, we took the day off from sightseeing. We had lunch with one of Kyle's advisers from school and his wife, and daughter, Andy, Helen & Ella Kilding.
29: Cesar Meylan Switzerland Michael Rumpf Germany | Filip Maric Serbia/Germany | Travis McMaster Canada | Kyle Barnes United States | Albert Chang Taiwan/Canada | Kyle's Roommates
30: We finished the north island with an evening trip to the Sky Tower to see the city of Auckland at night.
32: January 20 - We fly to the south island to Christchurch. We took a small tour tram around town and saw some sites. We stayed at the Hereford St. YMCA Youth Hostel. Kyle wakes us up during the night because he felt an earthquake tremor. There were several while we were in Christchurch. | The Cathedral built in 1864
33: Cathedral Square | Trolley
34: Christchurch Museum
35: First stop is at Geraldine and we went through a vintage car & machine museum | We rented a car and are off to Queenstown
36: On our drive to Queenstown we see lots of beautiful scenery of mountains and lakes, cows and sheep, and red deer farms.
37: Church of the Good Shepherd on Lake Tekapo
38: Kawarau Bridge
39: Today, January 21 is Kyle's birthday and his request is to have a Fergburger for dinner in Queenstown
40: Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu | Kiwi statue | Our favorite city in NZ
41: The bird in the center is a Kea or wild parrot. The birds will damage a car very quickly by picking at any rubber or plastic part on the car and tearing it right off.
42: Tunnel through the Mountain on the way to Milford Sound
43: January 22 - We drive to Milford Sound and went on a boat ride through the sound.
44: Shotover jet boat ride | Rusty with some drunks
45: January 23 Duppelmayr Skyline Gondola Views of Queensland | Bungy jumping
49: On our way to Fox Glacier we stopped at this beach were thousands of people have written their name and where they are from on these white stones After we had gotten home someone found our stone and actually knew where Eastport was. They found us through the internet. Small world!
50: Mt. Cook and Fox Glacier
52: On our way back to Christchurch we came across the Ottra Gorge waterfall that goes over the road
53: This street painter from France painted this picture of Elvis, upside down in about 5 minutes. | There is a Buster's Convention in Christchurch. A Buster Convention is sidewalk acts from all over the world and they get paid with donations. We saw 4 acts on an outside stage in the evening and several other acts throughout the day in town. Below is one the best we saw.
54: officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent as well as the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighboring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. | AUSTRALIA
55: At the Christchurch Airport we found that we had to have visa's to get into Australia. We were directed to the airline for Dubai were we could purchase visas. Then when we got to Australia they took some of Rusty's bark that he had collected in NZ. Our home away from home in Brisbane for the next 4 days was at the Skyline Court Apartments. Kyle was SO thankful to have his own bedroom so he didn't have to hear all the snoring. | January 25
57: Before we came is Brisbane they had really bad floods. You can see how dirty the river still is. | Bamboo
58: January 26 Australian Zoo - Beewah, Sunshine Coast, QLD Home of Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin | Echidnas
59: Wombat | Emus | Red Panda | Kangaroo | Koala
61: January 29 Sydney
63: Bondi Beach
64: In Sydney we stayed at the Devere Hotel in Kings Cross. On our bus tour of the city we found out that Kings Cross is the red light district at night!! Oh my!!
65: January 31 we head home to the USA and Kyle heads home to New Zealand. We had a wonderful time, THANK YOU KYLE! | The Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. There are over one million tiles on the sails of the Opera House.