S: Australia and New Zealand 2011
BC: The Down Under Discovery March 4 - 24, 2011
FC: AUSTRALIA | and | NEW ZEALAND
1: On our way! | Pittsburgh to Chicago, to Los Angeles and then on to Auckland, New Zealand. We lose a day in the travel over the South Pacific. Takes 13 and a half hours! I didn't sleep much and it was morning when we arrived....so we hit the ground running. Not so hard since we were full of adrenalin.
3: Auckland is the largest city in NZ. One forth of the population lives in this city! Between two twin harbors is an isthmus dotted with extinct volcanoes. From the Sky City tower you can look out in every direction at the city and the unusual terrain. Many hills and mountains with craters on top, covered in green! (opposite pg top L&R) The Ferry building is one of Auckland's best-known landmarks. Built in 1912, it's the hub for commuter ferries that link Auckland with the North Shore and the islands. (opposite pg bottom R) Highlights of the day were, trying Vegimite, a steak cheese "pie", and passion fruit.... as well as stops at a rose garden and Mount Eden viewing "high" spot.
4: Rotorua | A thermal area, where hot springs, geysers, and boiling mud pools contribute to a distinctive aroma of sulphur that permeates this whole town.
5: "Kia Ora is theMaori greeting. So also is the toungue action. Call Haka, which is a part of formal welcome for distinguished visitors..
6: Our full days included some travel and the Waitomo Glowworm caves (no pics). A Hangi Dinner was served complete with Pavlova, a popular meringue desert. We enjoyed authentic music, dance and songs at a Maori show, Also, a sheep experience, a "working" dog exhibition, and The Kiwi Wildlife Park.
8: Destination...QUEENSTOWN on the south island via Christ's Church airport This town rests on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, with high peaked mountains looming all around and valleys cut deep by flowing rivers. There is a charming mix of history and grandeur in this natural rather brash setting.
9: ready for the Jet Boat! | I was a little nervous before the ride, since I have a history of motion sickness. But even with 360 degree spins, I did pretty well. But a lady beside me got sick and her teeth flew out in the process!
10: Five of us had dinner with locals, Elaine and richard. Lamb on the grill with veggies . A carrot soup gave way to a broken glass bowl. Comfortable conversation and a peak into the "laid back" style of living they enjoy. | milford sound A CRUISE ON THE FIORD
11: This is where we're headed | In the evening, we boarded the 100 year old steamer, The Earnslaw. This "Lady of the Lake" took us on a 40 min journey across the lake for dinner. After dinner,a sheep shearing and "working" dog demo. We passed the time on the ride home with singing Waltzing Matilda and other old well-known songs.
12: Sights on the way to Mt. Cook. Highest point in New Zealand or Australia | The Church of the good shepherd
13: Mirror Lake | Mount Cook | The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Ps. 19:1
14: While at mount Cook, I took an excursion to see the glaciers up close. They said it was a "short walk" Well....it was at least a mile over rough, often uphill trails to the lake. But well worth the effort once we got there. And much easier to return..downhill!!
15: It's been a week in this unique country! the geography is both dramatic and expansive. It's people welcoming and diverse. It's"Kiwi" culture is still evolving. The concept of "mateship" and humor are mixed with a strong tie to the land and naturally "green" living. Much of the Polynesian Maori culture is evident today! But, we're leaving by way of the Christ Church airport and off across the "pond"!...............(so they call the sea between New Zealand and Australia)
16: Some City sites | Melbourne
19: Captin cook's house
20: Colonial Tramcar Restaurant | one of Melbourne's finest
21: Menu Chicken Liver and Pate Duck Risotto Fellet of Beef Australian cheeses w/pear past, fruit bread and crackers | dining experiences while | The Best gourmet meal! complete with singing waiter and everflowing wine. | Great fun afternoon | traveling steets of melbourne.
22: Remembering Those <---- that ----> Died
23: ON THE ROAD AGAIN! | Always time | for tea time
24: The famous freestanding limestone rock formations
25: put my feet in the southern ocean and took my first helicopter ride. | called The twelve Apostles
26: Alice Springs welcomed us to the Great Out Back. We found it much greener than usual because of unseasonal heavy rains during their late summer.
28: A fun evening Bar B Q in the Out Back | Magpie | A billabong
29: Ayers Rock (also called Uluru) That and black flies is about all that is here!
30: Cairns by the Sea
33: Above..leaving cairns for a day at the great barrier reef. Then did a little snorkeling after getting a little sea sick.
34: LAST STOP..Three days in Sydney
37: Saying "Good- By"