S: Jane and Clive Nickerson September 09, 2012 - January 23, 2013 Rarotonga, Australia & New Zealand
BC: DEPARTED | New Zealand | 23 January 2013 | The End | NZ South Island | Back Home Jan 23, 2013
FC: Jane and Clive do the "Down Under"
1: We Love Australia & New Zealand | Cook Island (Rarontoga) ARRIVED 09 September 2012 Australia ARRIVED 18 September 2012 New Zealand ARRIVED 21 December 2012
9: Impressions of Rarotonga, Cook Islands September 2012 What of the Cook Islands? We arrived 10 September, 2012 and the tourist season was just starting to peter out...the 767 from LA was about 85% filled. Sue Carruthers, the woman who rented us a small ocean side housekeeping apartment happened also to own and run a very posh restaurant called the Tamarind close to the main town of Avurea. Sue, in fact, had just entertained Hilary Clinton at the Tamarind who was in town for the Pacific Summit, and suggested that the American interest in the Pacific had something to do with China's latest moves to spread money around to receptive island nations. Sue was also very knowledgeable about Rarotonga as she had spent the last 30 years building business interests and a second marriage with a native Cook Islander. The 9/11 fallout has impacted tourism (ie the bankruptcy of Canada 3000) and many of the out islands have shrinking populations as youth seek jobs in New Zealand, the Cook Islands' mother ship. The largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga has a 40 km. perimeter road frequented by 3 legged dogs, roosters, and wild eyed New Zealand couples on 125 cc scooters. It truly is a beautiful island, with bougainvillea, and other brightly coloured foliage draping everything. A hike through the middle of the island revealed rampant vegetation, gigantic “king” ferns and older specimens of trees that appeared truly other worldly. A 400 m peak rock formation called the “needle” was beautiful. We had hoped to cool off in a waterfall pool at the end of the trail but a month without rain resulted in a silent muddy pond. Gasoline costs $2.60 per litre, wireless internet $12 per hr., loaf of bread $5, UHT milk $2.60 per litre. Minimum wage is $5, but many hire Philipinos at $8+ as they are reliable and loyal. Local papaya and bananas were delicious, and a local nursery was preparing bedding plants of tomato, broccoli, bok choy, lettuce, eggplant, and herbs for the upcoming growing season.
12: Northern Queensland | Cairns
14: Cairns Population 165,000. Tourism the #1 industry and it shows. I had no preconceived notions about Cairns, and we chose it as a logical point to head down the eastern seaboard as the temperatures looked good this time of year, and indeed the 28 C bright sunshiny days the 2 weeks we were in the area did not disappoint.
19: Tamarillo Solanum betaceum (syn. Cyphomandra betacea) is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae "the nightshade plant". It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. Other names include tree tomato, tomate de árbol, and Dutch eggplant, in Indonesia.
28: Cooktown and Surrounds
33: Cooktown Population 2300. Cooktown has a forgotten feel to it that attracts vagabonds and bohemians like ourselves. To get there, one has to drive 3 hours across a desolate dry inland plain quite unlike the rainforest closer to the Pacific. Kangaroo and wallaby carcases are everywhere, and warnings about loose cattle and flash flooded roads are frequent. Serge Petelin’s place was described to us a 1.5 star on the outside and 2.0 on the inside (see photograph). He been trying to sell the place for 7 years. We slept in his rapidly cleaned out bedroom with a delightful sunbird flying in and out of the open windows and tending his suspended nest in our dining room. Paw paws you could pick from trees just outside the kitchen window and fragipani perfumed the yard. The view was a serendipitous tropical wonder as his lot was high on the hill. Jane suffered a cold during our stay, so she slept after a morning visit to the botanical garden, and I visited the Cook museum, where Serge works part time. 1770 marked the year Captain James Cook limped into the local bay with a makeshift sail covering a hole in the hull gouged out by coral on Endeavour reef. 1872 marked the goldrush into Palmer River, and the usual craziness opened up the area with many Chinese immigrants helping to clear land and feed the newcomers. Today the wide roads of this sparsely populated town echo with all sorts of potential and a stunning landscape. Glad we came!
34: COOKTOWN | Queensland | 26 SEPT 2011
48: Billabong Sanctuary
52: Sugar Cane Industry
56: Queensland | Mackay
60: Leaving Queensland with a Bang We had no idea what to expect when making our way past the Glass House Mountains (They were so called as the shape of the mountains reminded Captain Cook of the huge glass furnaces (glasshouses) back in his native Yorkshire) to David and Rose Hall’s place southwest of Toowoomba. Rose Hall (nee Holbrook) is 7 generations removed from Jane’s Family, but they share 3 brothers that moved to Canada during the potato famine in Ireland. Rose is a granddaughter of Joseph Leslie Holbrook, who was born September 1870 in Brooke Township, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada,and who at about 18-20 years of age, went to Illinois, USA then to Pretoria for a year or two, then to Australia. Leslie worked for a Canadian oil well drilling company, and when he went to Australia used his expertise in drilling water wells. Read more: http://rsscomp.freeyellow.com/Holbrook.html | Toowoomba
63: As it turned out, Rose and David were absolutely delightful as hosts, treating us to road tours of the sheep and cotton industries northwest of them and several gardens in Toowoomba. David is a gregarious retired engineering professor with interests in many fields (see below) and an endearing Australian sense of humour. We had so much fun staying with them, and even had a send off dinner with Rose’s brother and wife who had just sold their lifetime restaurant business. On to Brisbane where we attended a Hillsong service (Hillsong Music has topped Australian charts, with albums having achieved gold and platinum sales status. Hillsong is well-known through its teaching, album sales and annual Hillsong Conference.), which I would describe as an emotional Christian oriented rock show that the under 30 crowd thrives on. As with all megachurches, they are controversial at the best of times, toxic at the worst. (Clive’s comments). South of Brisbane is the “soul less” Gold Coast, the Miami Beach of Australia. Nothing compares to strolling the vast white sands on a stunning springtime day with a breeze on your back, and the salt air percolating in your lungs. | January 2011 flooding
64: TOOWOOMBA AREA
66: SURFERS PARADISE
68: new south wales | Ballina
70: Port McQuarrie, NSW
71: Newcastle, NSW
72: Newcastle | new south wales | 19 OCT 2011 | As of 2009 the two largest single employers are the Hunter New England Area Health Service and the University of Newcastle.
76: New South Wales | SYDNEY
82: With both vessels sailing on an inaugural circumnavigation of Australia, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 took 20 days to complete her voyage, where the Endeavour replica is expected to take 13 months.
84: sydney harbor bridge | THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE is one of the most recognizable symbols of Australia. The Bridge provides a frame for one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and holds a special place in the city's heart. The Sydney Harbor Bridge has connected the Sydney CBD with the North Shore of the harbor since it opened in 1932. It is the worlds largest (but not longest) steel-arch Bridge. It was beaten in length, by New York’s Bayonne Bridge, which is 25 feet longer and opened just four months earlier. On major celebrations in Sydney history, like New Year’s Eve or the announcement of the Sydney Olympic Games, the Bridge has always been the focal point.
88: SYDNEY HARBOUR | new south wales | 24 OCT 2012
92: manley beach | SYDNEY
102: Blue Mountains | SYDNEY
106: BLACKHEATH | new south wales | Blue Mountains
107: Rhododendron (from Ancient Greek rhódon "rose" and déndron "tree") is a genus of over 1000 species of woody plants in the heath family, either evergreen or deciduous. Most species have showy flowers. Azaleas make up two subgenera of Rhododendron. They are distinguished from "true" rhododendrons by having only five anthers per flower. The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal.
110: Australia Capital | CANBERRA
114: EAST VICTORIA | Australia | 10 Nov 2012
116: YARRA VALLEY
124: GIPPSLAND | Victoria | Australia
132: PHILLIP ISLAND | Victoria | Near Melbourne
134: Melbourne smells of promise with a diversified industry base (mining, automotive, IT and tourism), a perfect climate with ADHD and a hip cultural scene. We attended a depressing play about death and regret, explored the downtown streets and botanical gardens, but the highlight was the Phillip Island tour with a mysterious ornithological parade that everyone raves about (and I’m not sure why). This was a full day and evening tour involving wine, chocolate, great scenery, koalas and the world famous “march of the penguins”. These “little” penguins decide religiously at dusk to come ashore, and there are literally hundreds of gawking tourists in bleachers there to greet them. I felt embarrassed for the waddling creatures.
136: VICTORIA WEST
140: Lorne | Great Ocean Road
146: Geelong Bollards
150: Geelong Botanical Gardens
159: The site was known as the Sow and Piglets until 1922 (Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the Sow, and the smaller rock stacks were the Piglets); after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks.
160: Grampians | VICTORIA
166: Perth Kings Park | West Australia
174: The Pinnacles
176: the Pinnacles | West Australia
186: Victor Harbour | South Australia
190: ADELAIDE | South Australia | Dec.15 2012
192: Adelaide | South Australia
200: Adelaide Area
206: New Zealand North Island
207: Pohutukawa Tree - New Zealand Christmas Tree
208: Mount Maunganui | Tauranga
212: North Island | WELLINGTON | New Zealand visual effects houses Weta Workshop and Weta Digital were named after the insect.
218: NEW ZEALAND
222: Napier | new zealand | 17 January 2013
236: muriwai | Auckland
242: Waiheke Island | Auckland | 22 Jan 2013
244: South Island | New Zealand | December 2012
252: South Island | Milford Sound
282: New Zealand Banks Peninsula
286: Abel Tasman Area
288: Abel Tasman
299: Belted Galloway a breed of beef cattle, a variant of the Galloway breed. It is polled and black except for a genetically dominant wide band of white completely encircling its trunk behind the elbow.
300: castle hill | New Zealand