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  • Keef Hellinger

Blog 168 HOLIDAY 2017 ✅USE MENU✅The "Big Trip" with pals, Asia & Southern Hemisphere recreated 21 ❤

Updated: Sep 14

By keef and annie hellinger, Dec 3 2021 15.16 pm

This is a retrospective Blog, we were away between 31st January and 14th June 2017.

We went to Singapore for 2 weeks with family, C&A for 3 days in Hong Kong at the end of the trip, twas so sad parting at the end of a lovely almost 5 months.


We have now reworked the original HOLIDAY2017 site so if you would prefer to see that instead of reading this blog (note the content is the same, but visually they are very different) please click HERE, thanks


MENU

Go to

1. Summary

2. Calendars

3. Diary Part 1, Jan-Feb 2017

4. Diary Part2, March 2017

5. Diary Part3, April - June 2017

5a. Audiobooks of the Diaries if you would prefer

6. Campsites

7. Distances travelled

8. Singapore

9. Australia Overall

10. Western Australia

11. The Indian Pacific Railway

12. South Australia

13. Northern Territory, Alice Springs

14. Victoria, Australia

15. New South Wales, Australia

16. Tasmania, Australia with rellies

17. The Cook Isles, Rarotonga

18. New Zealand Overall

19. North Island, New Zealand

20. South Island, New Zealand

21. Malaysia, Desaru


what a fab holiday, loved every moment of it huge #tick

Suggestion use the BIG TRIP maps to scale in and out if you wish and read the appropriate diary alongside viewing the slideshows. On the diaries each day is labelled so its fairly simple to find the text associated with a particular slideshow #justsayin


Australia is made up of States and Territories on this trip we went to all of them minus Queensland and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) we visited those back in 1995 and 2008 respectively (Blogs 163 & 162), thanks for looking


SUMMARY


Another big trip featuring hired motorhomes but this time including the pleasure of travelling with our dear pals Chris & Allyson, who at the time lived in Alnwick in Northumberland, we had been to their wedding (see Blog 72). For Annie & I this was the 5th time back in Australia, we still have rellies there, I was there as a child and Annie as a teenagers, clearly we didn't know each other out there but both have a true affinity for the place.


image of 4 friends watching carmen , waterfront, sydney
such a lovely BIG TRIP, will always remember it

With our pals Chris & Allyson "If it moves... snap it, if it doesn't... snap it" 😉

In 2017 we explored Singapore, Australia , the Cook Isles & New Zealand with our dear friends Chris & Allyson. At the end of the trip Annie & I spent time in Singapore / Malaysia with our family and Chris & Allyson visited Hong Kong. A lot of planning and pre booking went into this adventure to ensure we had a great time. We flew to Singapore for a stop over of 2 days to break the journey down under. We visited East Coast Park and the wonderful Quentin's restaurant. We arrived in Perth a bit jet lagged but excited and cruised the Swan river to Freo and had a fab day in the Botanic gardens in Kings Park. After a few nights we picked up our Britz motorhomes and after a quick swim off the Indian Ocean Drive we initially explored Monkey Mia (sadly no dolphins due to inclement weather) then onto the tropics of Western Australia Geraldton, Northampton (gallahs and Allyson fear of the clientele 😉 and a spin in Apollo 11 at Carnarvon before doing the loop thru the Wheatbelt and Wave Rock back to Perth via Albany. Esperance and Kalgoolie at this time were off limits due to some massive rains which washed out essential roads. We then took the luxurious Indian Pacific Railway to Adelaide across the Nullarbor Plain. After that its was a quick flight to Alice Springs where we visited the fab Desert Park , ate Roo (Camel was off 😉 ) at the Red Ochre Café , avoided the cockroaches and pondered the insoluble Aboriginal problem. Then it was back to Adelaide to pick up another motorhome to explore some of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) before ending in Sydney for time with families. K&A flew down to Launceston in Tassie to visit rellies before returning to Sydney. From here we touched down in Auckland briefly before spending a fab but somewhat wet and humid week of chillin' in the Cook Isles in the Pacific ocean on the main island of Rarotonga, snorkelling, BBQ-ing or whatever took our fancy, lager at the Rarotonga brewery. Mis planned luggage allowances to Rarotonga meant a somewhat fraught early morning experience trying to retrieve K&As 3rd bag, but all OK in the end 😉. Then its was back to Auckland to pick up another pair of motorhomes to explore both North & South island of New Zealand, crossing between the two via the Interislander ferry. After much Boysenberry ice cream we returned to the UK via 2 weeks with family in Singapore and C&A 3 days in Hong Kong. Saw so much and had such a fun time shared with our pals. What an amazing journey - travel definitely broadens the mind.

NOTE: All photos, videos and slideshow content on this Blog were taken by one of the 4 of us! A much more in depth appreciation of what we did and when can be gleaned from the diaries. I encourage you to use the dropdown menus to fully immerse yourselves in the Big Trip, we also have galleries by person as well as headlines by place visited whether country, island or state, #justsaying 😉 Thanks for looking.



Covers Singapore, Australia (Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territories,Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania), The Cook Isles (Rarotonga), New Zealand (North & South Islands) & Malaysia (Desaru long weekend break with family) #TICK #TheBIGTRIP


This is what our old HOLIDAY2017 home page looked like


image of old HOLIDAY2017 website home page
nostalgic view of the old site, bye bye

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CALENDERS

We show both the before and after plans. Understandable they differ slightly for all manner of reasons, click buttons below to go to each, thanks. History of what the old site pre 2020 looked like is preserved for prosperity, maybe 😉

CALENDARS - BEFORE THE TRIP

Pre trip, calendar of our adventures, i.e. anticipation of where we are going and when, it was our combined plan for the travels


JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2017 Flying to Singapore via Dubai leaving January 31st early in the morning. 2 days stay with Doug and family, maybe the 1* Michelin street hawker food, then onto Perth, WA to have a good look around. Maybe a Swan river trip. Then its pick up the motorhomes at Great Eastern Highway and go off exploring. So much to see in WA - Wave Rocks, The Pinnacles, Dolphins at Monkey Mia.... can't wait! At the end of Feb we catch the Indian Pacific Railway, Gold Star Service.

MARCH 2017

Having got off the train in Adelaide we will stay in a cabin on the beach before flying up to Alice Springs and bathe in the famous Todd River. C&A are off to Uluru (Ayres Rock). We fly back after 3 days and pick up the motorhomes to explore amongst others the Great Ocean Road (GOR), koala's at Kennet River, wine in the Barossa Valley, the 12 apostles, whales at Warrnmbool, Sale, Mallacoota, Tathra, Eden and so much more.

APRIL 2017

In the first week of April we will still be in Sydney, K&A in their apartment with pool in Beacon Hills and C&A off with Laura and Steve having fun. K&A visit John & Diana in Tasmania. We will then stay at the Kiwi Motel in Mangere, Auckland (did the NZ census here in 2013) overnight before jetting off for a relaxing week in the Raina Beach house on Rarotonga. On return its pick up the motorhomes in mangere and off to explore North island.

MAY 2017 Mid may-ish we will leave north island and take the motorhomes across on the interisland ferry from wellington to picton, and see the fab queen charlotte sound. Captain Cook knew it well. Then its off to explore south island. Milford and no doubt(ful) sound plus dunedin and a whole lot more. At the end of the month we fly out of Christchurch together to Sydney where we say our good byes

JUNE 2017 After Sydney C&A are flying off to Hong Kong for a few days before making their ways back to the UK. K&A will visit family for a few weeks in Singapore and then jet back home from Changi airport.


CALENDARS - AFTER THE TRIP

Post trip, calendar of our adventures, i.e. where we went and when #loved every moment of it, such lovely shared memories


FLIGHT DETAILS FOR THE BIG TRIP 2017 Note the only difference is that at the end Chris & Allyson flew to Hong Kong for a few days and we went to Singapore for a couple of weeks before returning to the UK. What is shown in this gallery is the complete booked flight schedule. Luckily no dates or times changed during our 6 months away, unlike in 2013 when our flight from Perth to Changi was bought forward by 3 hours meaning we almost missed it, the company allegedly had no way to contact us to warn us "as if - internet was working!"




ACTUAL CALENDAR FOR THE BIG TRIP 2017 Comparing what was planned against what we actually did, surprisingly there wasn't really that much difference in the schedule, maybe a few days here and there as we hadn't gone to that level of detail. It is worth reading Annie's diary in unison with these calendar views, if you would like to please click HERE

To best view the calendars click on full screen, thanks


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CAMPSITES

This is a pictorial history of all the campsites we stayed at our our Big Trip 2017 in both Australia and New Zealand in our hired Britz / Maui camper vans


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DISTANCES TRAVELLED


To recap we travelled in our hired motorhomes in both Australia and New Zealand on our 2017 Big Trip 9337 Miles or 15026 Kilometres, WOW!

Distances travelled by Keef & Annie. NOTE Here are the distances we drove ourselves whilst on THE BIG TRIP, HOLIDAY 2017 which by implication as Chris & Allyson didn't go to Tasmania and did far more walking than us and drove the west coast of North island, New Zealand whilst we did the east coast means their total distance is likely to be some what less but in reality probably not by that much.


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SINGAPORE

Marine Parade & About in the City

2 Visits, Start of Holiday 31 Jan-3 Feb the End of Hols 30 May - 12 Jun

See Diaries for Annie's write up

"Family Time with Doug, Phoenix & Charlie"

INTRODUCTION - 2 vists at start and end of the holiday

Stay 1 - Sadly just 3 days on route to the southern hemisphere to break the journey but it was a chance to catch up with family and see our lovely grand daughter again. Plus some good eats esp. Quentins Eurasian with family and C&A. The Escher exhibition at Art/ Science was a particular favourite of mine. MRT coming 2023 to a station near you at Marine Parade. Love East Coast Park, helped somewhat in the jet lag stakes.

Stay2 - A much longer stay this time around. 2 glorious weeks with family. National Gallery Biennele kids exhibition, Liao Fan Michelin Hawker centre, Singapore Zoo, Wet Wet Wet (Wild) park, Mustafas, Chinatown, East Coast Park BBQ and walks, Parway Parade, The supercool Library and a fab long weekend in Malaysia at Lotus Desaru Beach Hotel













and now the Singapore "talkies" videos i.e. with speech (no performing rights necessary) 😉






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AUSTRALIA

Aussie Adventures, 4th February - 9th April 2017

"From Carnavon in Northern WA, On the Indian Pacific Railway, Thru the Red Centre and then around the Coast Adelaide to Sydney, Plus Popping over to Tassie & Rellies"

#tshirts

Campsites we stayed at in Australia


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WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Includes Perth (3 days), Freemantle (Freo), Ledge point, Pinnacle National Park, Cervantes, Thirsty Point, Jurien Bay, Indian Ocean drive, Greenhough hanging tree, Geraldton, Northampton, Nerren Nerren, Billabong & Overlander roadhouses, World heritage drive, Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Shell beach, Denham, Carnavon, Nanga, Hamelin Pool (where the desert meet the sea), Space Museum, Gascoyne River, Port Denison, Badgingarra, Moora, Brand Highway, Avon River, Northam, Crossing the flooded road nr Hyden, Wave Rock, Kalgarin farm stay, Wheatbelt, Snake, Blue tounged skinks, Tin Horse highway, Kulin, Dumbleyung, Bluebird, Mens Sheds, Railway, Farming, Boot fences, Kojonup - possibly the best campsite in the world NOT!, Rosellas, Mount Barker, Porongurup, Albany Highway, Castle Rock at the Porongurup National Park, Brig Amity, Princess Royal harbour, Middleton beach , Scenic drive Wilsons bay, Denmark, Greens pool, Elephant Rocks, Parry beach (for lunch) and the hippy in the van, valley of the Giants red tingle trees and tree top walk, Quokka on the path, Northcliffe eco park and roos plus roos jumping across road at dusk,Pemberton, Augusta, Cape Leeuwin and lighthouse, Leeuwin-Naturaliste national park,Margaret river, cape Mentelle winery, Lenton Brae winery plus tour and ladies picture of a family house in Lenton, Nottingham, we will try and find it, cheeky monkey brewery, Cowaramup, Busselton and the pier / jetty, Bunbury and Koombana bay , plus non dolphin watching, although in fairness Chris & Allyson did see one on their walk. Mangrove board walk, sub tropical flowers, Lechenault inlet and estuary, swimming in the site pool, sunbathing, chilling, intersting sub tropical birds, Avalon beach, Mandurah, Rockingham, Penguin island, seals, little blue penguins, board walks, conservation areas, Freemantle or Freo, Ferries, Van bumps, Rottnest island, Quokkas again, cycle rides, swims, guided tours, walks in the sun, history, lunch, cafes, ice creams, friends, fun, rocks, boats , blowholes, blue seas and skies and ice creams , royal perth hotel, lucky shag bar and aqua bar for our 39th wedding anniversary in perth


See the diaries to accompany the videos & slideshows 4th-27th February 2017


SEE THE FULL WESTERN OZ EXPERIENCE, 1hr 19mins



Campsites in Western Australia


imgae of beer being drunk on indian pacific on nullabor
on the indian pacific in western australia, crossing the nullarbor again













and now the western australia videos with speech, the "talkies"



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INDIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY (IPR)

We have now been on 2 of the most significant railways in Australia, this IPR from Perth to Adelaide across the Nullarbor Plain, and in 2007-8 (Blog 162) on the Ghan from Darwin to Alice Springs, on the Indian Pacific we travelled in luxury in Gold Class, on the Ghan #railway we were overnight in Red class, i.e. sleeping in a chair but what an experience in both cases, we are so privileged


Sunday 26th to Tuesday 28th February, Western Australia into South Australia, complete luxury, all inclusive luxury food, wine, beer and spirits plus some fab company along the way ✅



image of indian pacific railway locomotive at perth, western australia
allyson chatting up the driver 😉 🌠 ✅


Very kind of the train's staff to help us celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary


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SOUTH AUSTRALIA


gum nuts battunga park at meadows, south australia
gum nuts battunga park at meadows, south australia

Arrived by Indian Pacific Railway to the Adelaide Parklands station, we to BIG4 campsite, C&A started their cricket ground tour. Pool, beach, swimming, relaxing, reading. Adelaide airport, lockers,off to NT for a few days in Alice springs. Glenelg,Oyster bar, sunset walk, Tram, Fringe, Marina pier, Collect the vans, Tanunda, Barossa Valley, Wolf Blass, Stockwell, Angaston, Rowland Flats, Jacobs Creek, Hahndorf, Pioneers Park, Rubble,Everything Germanic, McLaren Vale, Tintara estate, Hardys, Strathalbyn, Langhorne Creek, Milang, White cockatoos or Corellas, South Australian Light railway museum, Wellington chain ferry, Charles Sturt, Lake Albert, Salt marshes, Meningie, Chinese cigars, Birdman of the Coorong, Kingston SE, Rosetown, Larry the lobster, Cape Jaffa historic lighthosue, Norfolk pines, Robe, 9 mile beach, circular town walk, Customs House, Matt Flinders,Chinese memorial, Flag hill, Harbour, Marina, Ray, Arthur Fennell Way, Pier, The Obelisk, Millicent for lunch, Mount Gambier, Blue Lake, Crater Lakes - leg of mutton (empty), valley (green algae), Hentys Monument, Wildlife park, Centenary Tower,Limestone sculpture, Pukeko or Australian swamphen,Town centre, Cave gardens, Sink Hole, Northumberland point, Port MacDonnell, Border crossing into Victoria

28th Feb - 9th March 2017


SEE THE FULL SOUTH AUSTRALIA EXPERIENCE, 18 mins


Now the other slideshows mostly with text

Campsites we stayed in during our time in south australia, note that when we arrived at Britz to pick up our vans off Sir Don Bradman Way our one was dramatically delayed due to the previous occupant bringing it back late, the company received there fine, but it didn't help us as we lost 1/2 a day so when we returned I claimed it back, they reimbursed us a whole day. The thing I love about all these hired motorhomes is the built in gas BBQs at the rear of the van , just wonderful. Was one hell of a job at Ledge point western australia trying to keep out the wind though, the only downside I could find and cooking fish outside the van on the BBQs is a real blessing, no lingering smells when you are tring to sleep. #hintsandtips


South Oz slideshows, read the diaries alongside

Camping park on the Southern Ocean that we also stayed in in 2013 (Blog 167)

$200 a bottle for the Platinum wine at Wolf Blass but we preferred the Gold version at 1/5th the price. I still haven't washed my hand since Mr Wolf himself shook it way back in 2008 (see Blog 162) #claimtofame #humour



#wineries

we walked out to the headlands, what an incredibly hot day in robe

and now the south australia talkies videos


2 people in aussie cork hats in germanic handorf sout australia
fun in handorf, all things australian #humour

we stayed at Adelaide Shores Big 4 campsite having purchased our site membership back in the UK at a discount #membership


annie swimming in the fab adelaide shores by the campsite
annie swimming in the fab adelaide shores by the campsite


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NORTHERN TERRITORY


1st to 3rd March 2017


image taken from within a small plane overhead near alice springs, northern territory
coming into land in alice from adelaide

aboriginal artwork found in alice springs
my all time favourite aboriginal art by helen mcarthy tyalmuty

Read more about Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty


Flying from Adelaide to Alice Springs over the Simpson desert and the red centre outback, MacDonnell ranges, salt lakes, dirt tracks, Elkira motel, pool, heat, humidity, flies, cockroaches (poor Allyson), Supreme Court house-fab architecture, The residency, Queen & Prince Phillip, Heritage area, RFDS-Royal Flying Doctor Service, Aboriginal Art, Anzac park, Anzac Hill lookout, Red Ochre Grill, Todd River & boat race, Alice springs desert park, Bush Bird display, Nocturnal red centre animals, Dingoes, Many Birds, Great talk from Margaret on bush tucker and medicines, Cinema experience, Roo at the Red Ochre and Pizza , Shuttle to and from airport, Airport displays, Desert scenes and clouds, close up on Adelaide and the shores.... and back in South Australia


SEE THE FULL NORTHERN TERRITORIES EXPERIENCE, 10 mins



we had a fab time at the Alice springs desert park, hot isn't the word for it, sadly Annie had been unwell so we scooted back to the cool interior after a while before she fainted, she really wasn't well enough to go out for the evening meal neither. keef wanted camel at the Red Ochre grill which the chef suggested wasn't a good move back in 2007-8, still not on, only kangerroo so we settled for piazza at an Italian downtown, most amusing. Also sadly the Starlight Theatre was closed and the guy who sold me my didge and taught us a little bit is now driving the hop on hop off bus around Alice, it felt a lot more run down.


keef fills up on bush tukker, eating a wiggety grub
keef fills up on bush tukker

witchetty grub man


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VICTORIA


koala in a tree kennet river victoria
kennet river koala the campsite is the place to see them

we knew from our previous trip here that this was the place to find these cuddly sleepy creatures, well not so cuddly when you see the size and sharpness of their claws (see Blog 2007-8 162)

Entered Victoria from South Australia just after Mount Gambier near Portland, Koalas, Non Fish & Chips, Speeding fines, Frightened waitress, "Kind" man who disconnected my electrics, Cape Breakwater, Discovery bay, Petrified forest, Coastal Walkway, Wind farm, Port Fairy, Poor pies, 41st Folk Festival, busy busy, Flagstaff hill, Warrnambool, Logans beach, no whales but surfers, The Great Ocean Road including Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, The Grotto, London Bridge, 12 Apostles, Apollo Bay, Scenery and then some, bank holiday weekend, Princeton DOC, Giltbrook river, failed campsites then the 5* motorway service station outside Geelong, Echidnas, 3 Koalas at Kennett River, Snakes, Rock wallaby, Mt Macedon, The hump, Hanging rock, Reserve, Summit, Picnic at Hanging rock, Historic Woodend, Coburg, Melbourne, Federation square, Heritage Trams, MCG, Rod Laver arena, Olympic park, Shane Warne, the Don , Dennis Lillee, Greek Quarter, Chinatown, James Squire brewery , Busy drive out of Melbourne, Mornington peninsular, St Kilda, Brighton, Luna Park, Elwood (keefs old home in pine ave),Beach and pier at Mordialloc, Chris for a swim, Lunch at Mornington, Shopping in Frankton, Drive to Traralgon BIG4 on Princes Highway, Historic Port of Sale, White cockatoos, Lakes Entrance lookout, Lakes entrance connecting Gippsland lakes to the Bass Straits, 90 mile beach, Wood carvings, Fishing trawlers, Wood carvings, nice walks, Orbost, Snowy River, Marlo, Sammy the seal, Where the snowy river meets the bass straits, Banjo Paterson, Quirky Hats, Dredging, Sailors grave beach, cape Conran, Steps, MacKenzie river rain forest walk, Gypsy Point, Kangaroos, Boats, Mallacoota, Pelicans, Harbour, Nasty brown snake warning, Koala at campsite, Lucy's for brekkie, Shady Gully walk and nice plants, Tasman sea lookout, boats and more, Double Creek


Victoria 9th to 19th March


SEE THE FULL VICTORIA EXPERIENCE, 22 Mins



Campsites stayed at in Victoria


We revisited Picnic at Hanging Rock, Mount Macedon near Nagambi, this time Keef's knees were not up to climbing so we had a picnic with a guest roo doing a hand break turn 😉 Chris and Allyson did go up to the top, such an eerie place #scary


prehistoric rock formations image victoria australia
we visited this victorian moonscape, cape bridgewater, petrified forest

Bad news we got speeding fines, only found out about them when family back in the UK let us know and they were not cheap... 30+ mph in the equivalent in kph



looking for Greek restaurants in that quarter, mostly depleted although we did find a yummy one, just had to finish with a nice beer or 3



and now for the state of victoria's talkies videos


view of man overlooking a quaint fishing harbour in bright shirt with tropical birds
keef in THAT shirt outside mallacoota

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NEW SOUTH WALES


A Potted History

Entering New South Wales (NSW) from Mallacoota (Victoria), Eden, harbour & whale museum, Old Tom, Ben Boyd , Whale lookout, Twofold bay, Pambula beach, fishing, roos, birds, Rosellas, Brewery (closed), Farm stores, Horse food, Merimbula, Tura beach, Tathra wharf and beach, Catching flatheads, plaice and salmon (well almost), Bermagui, Dalmeny, Central Tilba Historic Village (went there in 2007-8 but had forgotten its name), Borrell, Meeting up with Steve & Laura, Forsters Bay, Wagonga inlet, Narooma, Wagonga princess, Sexist jokes (not good!),Eurobodalla NP, Mill Bay boardwalk, Rays, Rain (lots), Overpriced fish & chips by campsite, Mogo, Batemans Bay, Kings Highway (B52), Great Dividing Range - no pics too scary driving, Braidswood, Bungedore, Bywong, Goulburn, Marulan (what a fab town especially like the current but actually old farming memorabilia), Mittagong, Rural NSW, Balmoral, Buxton, Thirlmere, NSW Railway museum, Cockatoos, Horses, Silverdale, Warragamba dam, visitors centre, Haviland Park, Narabeen Lakes again, Class driving campaigns, Handing van back at Britz in a new area of Mascot by airport , Public transport (bus/train/bus) back to Beacon hill apartment, Chilling, Views, Pool, BBQ, Movies, Food, Wine, Beer, Friends, Family, Bus to Manly, Manly Ferry, Harbour & Manly views, Voyager of the Seas cruise liner (D&P&C were on it 2 months later), Botanic gardens, Picnic, Mrs Macquarie's chair, Sunsets, Opera, Carmen, Voyager of the Seas, last ferry back, Possum in the park in the dark, Sunny pool days around the Bali hut, No 169 bus route & timetable i.e. the Manly bus from our pad in Beacon Hill, if you are NERDY enough look below to see that full bus timetable, anorak's at the ready, Opal cards, Seeing LION at Warringah Mall on a rainy day , C&As time in Sydney with Laura & Steve visiting Blue Mountains & Parkes observatory , Jervis bay, Snakes, Walking, Rain, Hannah and Connor visited and we had a play in the pool, Balgowlah, Lamb dinner (yummy), Lovely seeing David & Hannah again, heavy rain for a day, bright sunshine, day out in Sydney centre, manly ferry, circular quay, barangaroo wharf, cockle bay wharf, darling harbour, harbourside, Hard Rock Café (no surpise there eh Keef over 50 T-shirts now, Circular ferry trip, Pyrmont bridge, History, Milsoms point, MacMahons point, Balmain East, Luna Park, Emerald Princess, Maritime museum, Endeavour, Sunsets, Rained all day so watched goldstone (poor), noctural animals (good) and oz gogglebox, Train trip to Broadmeadow, Newcastle to visit Annie's cousin Susan, Gosford, Wygong, Hawkesbury river, back from Tassie, Ibis budget airport, Crispy Creme Doughnuts for tea (never again), fire alarm, Flight to NZ

#tshirts

we stayed 19th March - 4th April 2017, see the associated diary entries


SEE THE FULL NEW SOUTH WALES EXPERIENCE, 47 mins



The campsites we stayed at in New South Wales


Australian ad campaigns are so much better than ours, they are hard hitting and get the message across, try these for size! 10 years apart but still hits the nerve in true oz style.



image of folk eating a bbq around the swimming pool sydney australia
bbq around the pool, our pad for the week, beacon hill, sydney

Image slideshow coming up


we visited the NSW railway museum , from the outside at least, it was at Thirlmere



We stayed at our place at Beacon Hill Sydney near warringah mall and Chris & Allyson did some stuff with Laura, here is the highlights


love my trad Bob Marley t-shirt which sadly now is a paint rag but I did wear it on the Bob Marley tour to One Love in Jamaica in 2018 see Blog 125

and now for the New South Wales talkies videos


boy with knife filleting fish, tathra, australia
filleting fish tathra pier NSW, careful with that axe / knife eugene

I now have a landscape image of this pool just above my head in the study at home, it was bliss

#GIF

gif

However for the nerds amongst you and I'm happy to be in that classification here is the bus timetable we found years later from Beacon Hill to Manly which we did often, especially as the stop was just up the hill from our residence with the pool. We used Uber Oz on the last day we left peeing with rain v early in the morning and the guy didn't come, as outside Wi-Fi range had to go back in and get a second so we didn't miss our flight to Tasmania, the second was alovely student who got us there in time, we were understandably a little panicky as well as miffed, i still have $5 credit left on Uber Oz #myexcuse2return

NERDSVILLE

169. Manly – City a Sydney bus via Narraweena & Seaforth


map of then 169 bus route sydney suburbs
then 169 bus route sydney suburbs

Our stop Highlighted - full anarak

209541. Belgrave St near Raglan St, 209542. Pittwater Rd near Steinton St, 209543. Pittwater Rd near Pine St,209544. Pittwater Rd near Collingwood St

209545. Pittwater Rd near Balgowlah Rd,209546. Pittwater Rd near Eurobin Av,210030. Pittwater Rd near Queencliff Rd, 210032. IPittwater Rd near Oliver St

210033. Pittwater Rd near Riverview Pde,210034. Pittwater Rd near Western Av,210035. Pittwater Rd near Wakefield St ,210036. Pittwater Rd near Kentwell Rd

210037. Pittwater Rd near Sterland Av,2100111. Pittwater Rd near Warringah Mall,210015. Pittwater Rd near Roger St 210016. Pittwater Rd near Winbourne Rd

210017. Pittwater Rd near Pine Av,210018. Pittwater Rd near Federal Pde,210019. Pittwater Rd near Warringah Rd,209911. Pittwater Rd near May Rd

209912. Pittwater Rd near Pacific Pde,209913. Pittwater St Davids Av ,209996. Fisher Rd near Lewis St,209997. McIntosh Rd near Vale Av,209998. McIntosh Rd near Victor Rd

209999. McIntosh Rd near Beverley Job Park,2099100. McIntosh Rd near Mundara PI,209917. Alfred St near Oceania St,209918. Alfred St near Warringah Rd,

209992. Warringah Rd near Consul Rd,209993. Warringah Rd near Northcliffe Av,210067. Warringah Rd opp McKillop Rd,210068. Warringah Rd near Beacon Hill Rd (see 24-30 March)

210069. Warringah Rd near Willandra Rd,2100141. Warringah Rd near Earl St,210070. Warringah Rd near O'Connors Rd,210071. Warringah Rd near Goverment Rd,

210072. Warringah Rd near Jones St,208642. French Forest Rd near Patanga Rd,208643. Frenchs Forest Rd near Hurdis Av (Annie's old residence),

208644. Frenchs Forest Rd near Skyline PI,208637. Wakehurst Pwy near Frenchs Forest Rd,208674. Warrringah Rd near Bantry Bay Rd 208638. Wakehurst Pwy near Warringah Rd

208655. Wakehurst Pwy,208712. Wakehurst Pwy near Manly Dam Res,208713. Wakehurst Pwy near Kirkwood St,209254. Wakehurst Pwy near Judith St

209246. Wakehurst pwy near Burnt St,209247. Wakehurst Pwy near Armstrong St,209231. Wakehurst Pwy near Lister Av,209232. Wakehurst Pwy near Castle Cct

209233. Clontarf St near Montauban Av,209234. Frenchs Forest Rd near Montauban Av,209235. Frenchs Forest Rd near Baringa Av,209257. Frenchs Forest Rd near Macmillan St

209252. Sydney Rd near Hope St,209335. Manly Rd near Heaton Av,209212. Manly Rd near Avona Cr,208812. Spit Rd near Parriwi Rd,2088186. Spit Rd near Medusa St

2088187. Spit Rd near Parriwi Rd,2088188. Spit Rd near Stanton Rd,2088189. Spit Rd near Awaba St,2088243. Spit Rd at Clifford St,2088190. Spit road near Military Rd

2088192. Military Rd near Wudgong St,2088193. Military Rd near Lang St,2088194. Military Rd near Belmont Rd,209059. Military Rd near Cabramatta Rd

209019. Military Rd near Hampden Av,208944. Military Rd near Rangers Rd,208913. Military Rd near Wycombe Rd,208959. Military Rd at Bydown Lane,208960. Military Rd at Watson St

208912. Military Rd near Watson St,2000133. York St at Lang Park,200035. Wynyard Station, York St - Stand N,208657. Cemtery Front Gate Hakea Av,208671. Forest Way near Warringah Rd

208697. Naree Rd near Rabbett St,208649. Rabbett St near Holland Av,208664. Warrringah Rd near Bantry Bay Rd,200025. Wynyard Station, Carrington St - Stand E,200021. Wynyard Station, Carrington St - Stand A

208947. Military Rd near Watson St,208948. Military Rd near Wycombe Rd,209021. Military Rd near Hampden Av,209058. Military Rd near Cabramatta Rd,2088176. Military Rd near Prince St

2088177. Military Rd near Lang St,2088178. Military Rd near Bond St,2088179, Military Rd near Cowles Rd,2088180. Spit Junction, Spit Rd,2088181. Spit Rd near Awaba St

2088182. Spit Rd near Bickell Rd,2088183. Spit Rd near Quakers Rd, 2088184. Spit Rd near Medusa St,2088185. Spit Rd near Pearl Bay Av,208811. Spit Rd near Parriwi Rd,209213. Battle Bvde near Manly Rd

209214. Battle Bvd near Seaforth Cr,209215. Palmerston PI near Alan Av,209216. Ponsonby Pde near Palmerston PI,209222. Ponsonby Pde near Panorama Pde,209223. Ponsonby Pde near Sydney Rd

209224. Frenchs Forest Rd near Ellery Pde,209225. Frenchs Forest Rd near Macmillan St,209236. Frenchs Forest Rd near Baringa Av 209237. Frenchs Forest near Redman St

209238.Clontarf St near Montauban Av 209239. Wakehurst Pwy near Castle Cct,209240. Wakehurst Pwy near Lister Av, 209241. Wakehurst Pwy near Armstrong St,209242. Wakehurst Pwy near Burnt St

209243. Wakehurst Pwy near Judith St,209253. Wakehurst Pwy near Kirkwood St,208711. Wakehurst Pwy near Manly Dam Res,208630. Wakehurst Pwy,208631, Wakehurst pwy near Warringah Rd

208639. Frenchs Forest Rd near Skyline PI 208640. Frenchs Forest Rd near Romford Rd,208641. Frenchs Forest Rd near Inverness Av,208617. Frenchs Forest Rd near Patanga Rd

2100142. Warringah Rd near Jones St 2100143. Warringah Rd near Ellis Rd 2100144. Warringah Rd near Oxford Falls Rd,2100113. Warringah Rd near Cornish Av,2100114. Warringah Rd near Willandra Rd

2100139. Warringah Rd opp Beacon Hill Rd,us again on the return journey, 2100140. Warringah Rd near McKillop Rd,2099106. Warringah Rd near Princess Mary St 2099107. Warringah Rd near Waratah Pde,2099108. Warringah Rd near Alfred St,2099119. Alfred St near Warringah Rd,2099120. Alfred St near Amaral St,2099122. Alfred St near McIntosh Rd

2099115. McIntosh Rd near Mundara PI 2099116. McIntosh Rd near Victor Rd 2099117. McIntosh Rd near Vale Av 2099118. Fisher Rd near St David Av,209922. Pittwater Rd near Howard Av

209923. Pittwater Rd near Pacific Pde,210021. Pittwater Rd near Harbord Rd,210022. Pittwater Rd near Carter Rd ,210023. Pittwater Rd near Mitchell Av,210025. Pittwater Rd near Chard Rd

210026. Pittwater Rd near Orchard Rd,2100131. Pittwater Rd near Warringah Mall Stand A,210041.Pittwater Rd near Sterland Av 210042. Pittwater Rd near Corrie Rd

210043. Pittwater Rd near Wakefield St,210044. Pittwater Rd near Western Av,210045. Pittwater near Riverview Pde ,210046. Pittwater Rd near Oliver St

210047.Pittwater Rd near Aitken Av 209547. Pittwater Rd near Eurobin Av,209548. Pittwater Rd near Balgowlah Rd 209549. Pittwater Rd near Collingwood St 209550. Pittwater Rd near Pine St 209551. Pittwater Rd near Carlton St,209552. Pittwater Rd near IRagIan St,209553. Belgrave St near Sydney Rd

209554. West Esplanade Stand B - MANLY

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TASMANIA


image of 4 people standing in the sand, coles bay beach, tasmania
on the beach with John & Diana Coles Bay Tassie

Early morning flight from Sydney to Launceston, Car hire, Evendale, Midland Highway, Powranna, Epping Forest, Cleveland, Campbelltown, Convicts and their memorial bricks laid, Nice egg and bacon pies, Wood carvings, Sunshine, Elizabeth river, Loggers, Conara, A4 Esk main road, Avoca, Fingal, St Mary's, Volcanic Mount, Purple possum café, Break O'Day municipality, Cornwall, Gray, Chain of Lagoons, Seymour, Douglas River, Tasman Highway, Bicheno, Picnics, Views, Scuba Divers, whales (if only!), Apslawn, Cranbrook, Swansea, John & Diana - so nice to see them again, wonderful hospitality, 9 mile beach, Mayfield, Rocky hill beach, Spiky bridge & beach, Swansea pier and beach, Freycinet national park, visitors centre, Wine glass bay, Cape Tourville lighthouse, the Road rage guide, Gravel roads, Friendly beaches, sunshine, fun, walks, Surfing, pristine empty beaches, Oyster bay, The Hazards, Coles bay, Triabunna, Maria island, Ferry, Tassie devils, Orford, Prosser estuary, Café, Cricket, Raspins Spit & beach & dunes, Petanque, History, East coast heritage museum @ Swansea, Tarlton, Thylacine (now sadly extinct, lets hope the Tassie Devils and Koalas don't go the same way - please!), Convicts, Family, Up early, Say goodbye, Back to Launceston Airport

SEE THE FULL TASSIE EXPERIENCE, 10 Mins



and now for the Tasmanian slideshows, enjoy


campbeltown wood carvings
campbeltown wood carvings


now for the talkies from Tasmania 2017, when we went in 2007 we hired a car and spent 2 weeks "discovering" tassie, i remember being off road and being confronted by a wallaby


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THE COOK ISLES

We stayed on RAROTONGA, Raina Beach House, 10-17 April 2017

"Paradise Home by the Sea"


infinity pool view the cook islands rarotonga
infinity pool, Little Polynesian Restaurant, Titikaveka, we ate here

jack fruit botanic gardens cafe near our raina beach cottage
jack fruit botanic gardens cafe near our raina beach cottage

for a change lets have the talkies first for rarotonga


our evening out is on here, lovely food, lovely setting, lovely friends




and now for the photo slideshows

featuring the new yes album 2021





I'm getting a collection of pacific island driving licenses , I already have one from Tonga in 2007


cook islands driving license
mugshot & license to go with mine from tonga

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NEW ZEALAND

Kiwi Adventures, 9th April - 30th May 2017

"North & South Island by Interisland Ferry, Wellington to Picton"

INTRODUCTION


NORTH ISLAND

We landed in Auckland back from the Cook Isles and picked up our motorhomes and headed north to Cape Reinga, (don't mention the tyre). Love Northlands. We also visited Orewa & Whangerai together before C&A principally did the west coast and us the east pulling in Coromandel, Port Jackson, Papamoa beach, Gentle Annie pass, Hastings before making our way south to Wellington where we met up before catching the Interisland ferry to south island. We also met up at Whakapapa village en route.


SOUTH ISLAND

We landed at Picton and visited the fabulous Queen Charlotte sound before taking in such places as Nelson (WOW museum of wearable art and classic cars) , Abel Tasman NP , Kaikoura , Christchurch (although sadly still devastated by the 2010 quake), Dunedin & the Otago peninsular, Akaroa, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Te Anau and a whole lot more before returning to Christchurch and a last Lone star meal before flying back via Sydney to Hong Kong & Singapore respectively.



couple by the bungee jump, queenstown new zealand, trying to decide to jump or not
Prior to our Tandem Bungee Jump NOT, Queenstown, South Island

view from top of te mata new zealand
Te Mata from the Top, Hastings, East Coast, North Island

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NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND


top of new zealand image
the fab four at cape reinga northlands

Arrived (1st time) in Auckland from Sydney, Overnight then Cook Isles, Walk, Wait, Agapanthus, Arrived (2nd time) from Rarotonga, Cook Isles. 3 days central area, harbour, wharves, ferries,coast to coast walk (for C&A) , Maritime museum, murals, tepid baths,Britomart, Queens wharf, Quay st, Federal St, Churches, slopes,Hobson west marina, Masters games, Wynyard quarter, amazing architecture,Fish market, Heritage landing, North Wharf, Sarah, Pier 4, Rangitoto, Volcanic explorer tour,Summit views, Motutapu, Lava, Sunshine, Day out in Devonport, The Arcade, Esplanade Hotel,Victoria Road, King & Queens parade, various reserves, Mount Victoria, Clarys, Haircut, Hauraki gulf, Auckland art gallery, Maoiri paintings,The body laid bare exhibition, Joseph at the Civic, Collecting vans at Richard Pearce drive, Mangere, Auckland, Extra hidden costs, Orewa, Beach, Man with tourettes, Orewa beach,Countdown/Pac-N-Save/New World,shells, historic Puhoi, Twin coast highway, Mangawhai heads, Ruakaka beach, Whangerai, Hatea river, Town basin, glassblowing, canopy bridge, Tutikaka, Matapouri, Kawakawa, Ohua, Okiato, Russell, Hundertwasser, Hangi,Clapham clocks, Waterfall , Manawoara, Rawhiti, wetlands, marae, Waimarama bay, Bay of Islands, Historic Russell, pier, boat ramps, ferries, sunshine, exotic sub tropical plants, Tapeka point, Rocky bay reserve, Weka, Paihai, Water taxis, Waitangi, Whangaroa, marlin, wharfs & jetties, Volcanic plus, 90 mile beach, Twilight beach, Tapotupotu bay, DOC, Tyres R Us, Kevin the AAman, Cape Reinga, Lighthouse, Te Paki reserve, Old Kahina tree, Views to die for, Te Paki sand dunes, Broadwood, Kohukohu, Hokianga ferry, Twin coast highway, Rawene, Opononi, Aria-te-aru reserve, South heads, historic Dargaville, meeting up with C&A again in countdown car park, Donelly crossing, loggers, fab kiwi trees, Kaiwaka, farm stay, outside loo with a view, C&A visited lake Kai Iwi on the way to Dargaville, we did east coast, they did west coast, remet Whakapapa village then Wellington, Kaipara coast sculpture park, Helensville, Ginger crunch railway cafe, flat whites, Railways, Thames, Coromandel peninsular & Forest park, Wharf, Ferry, Shelly beach, Colville, Horse, Wahine, Music festival, Buddist retreat, Port Jackson, gravel road,Top of coro, Mercury bay, Tairua, freedom camping, waves, rain (lots),fishing off rocks, Waihi beach, Katikati, murals, Mount Manganui, Pilot bay, Marine parade, Motuotou & Moturiki islands, boysenberry icecream, Papamoa beach, beach street, strelitzia,Maori sculpture, bluebiyou restuarant, chalets, sunshine, relaxing, fun, chatting to guy from england , Pikowai, Pacific coast highway, Te Puke, Thornton, Whakatane, 2 islands, Smokin' volcano, Edgecumbe floods, Mt Edgecombe, Galatea road, sickly horse, Lunch at lake Aniwhenua, autumn colours, Hydro electric dam, Kopuriki, Road only just opened due to floods, Murupara, Maori funeral, Forests, Lake Taupo, Reids Carving, Breweries, Fooderies, Outrigger boats, Tourist info, icecream, Lake lookout, DOC site, Free, Tongariro views, sunsets, fishing boats, great sleep, cold at night - getting so, 5 mile bay site, Motuoapa bay, licorice (spelling haha!) cafe, flat whites, black swans, novelty VW cabins, Desert road, Turangi,National Park, Restuarant (not this time), Tranz Alpine station, Whakapapa village, rain, meeting up with C&A again at the dump station, Visitors centre, Cafe coffee, snow, Chateau Tongariro, Taihape, Gumboots, Spooner hill road, sheep, cows, Gentle annie pass, Moawhango, views to die for, Rangitikei river, Silverdale historic bridge, Valleys, Mountains, Hastings , 1930s architecture,Queens & Railway St, Westermans, Clock tower, Te Mata peak, Ocean beach, Waimarama, Blue cod, Fish & chips St Aubyn st, Surfers, Havelock north, Duart house and gardens, Murals, Wineries, Tukituki river, Kairakau beach, reflections, Paua shells, ice creams at waipawa, Waipukurau, Lake Hatuma, Wanstead, Wallingford bridge, sheep (again), Porangahau, Never finding the beach down the gravel road (cooks tooth), Longest name of place in the world (no don't ask me to spell it ;) ) ,Pacific Ocean, Cape Turnagain, Our hero Capt Cook, Herbertville, Wimbeldon, Route 52, Pongaroa, Eketahuna, Pagans, Hippies, Sacrificing virgins (ok maybe not!), Electricity, Late at night, Kiwi country, Herberts store, Steak & Cheese Pies, Museum, Masterton, Wool shed, Joseph Masters, Queen Elizabeth park, Aratoi, Maori ripoff, Tinui, Anzac church & cross, Castlepoint, Deliverance cove, Riversdale beach, Wairarapa wine region, late night into Martinborough, Memorial square, Pain & Kershaw, lake Ferry, Lake Okone and spit, old motorhomes, Cape Palliser, Paua shells, Palliser bay, Ngawi, Tractors, Rock lobster, Road slips,Putangirua pinnacles , Wellington Top10 campsite (so changed), Harbour from Pencarrow head to Lyall bay, shells, ferries, Ward island, Wellesley college, Eastbourne, Day bay,Wahine disaster,Moa point, Middle earth, Trolley buses, Waterfront at night, Te Papa, Macs Brewery, Curry, up early for Interislander ferry, Traffic jams

SEE THE FULL NORTH ISLAND EXPERIENCE, 1hr 55mins



north island campsites including our all time fave papamoa beach


map of papamoa beach campsite
we always stay on ocean drive #namedrop

now for the north island slideshows, there are a lot of them we were here for quite a while, the first is prior to slipping in and then off to cook isles then back



lake view with campsite behind, new zealand
what a lovely campsite this was, forest area, quiet by a resevoir, own waterside pitch


such fabulous art work at kawakawa


love russell and kiwi's and weka's and weta's if you can find them




fun on the ferry after getting Chris's tyre fixed they returned to Britz in Auckland to get a solid repair before moving on, we took the scenic route down the quiet west coast of northlands, avoiding highway 1

a very different coalville #smile #humour


loving this site Papamoa possibly the best campsite in the world, Darlington beach nsw ain't bad either #campsites #hintsandtips

Met up with C&A again here, chris had his hand down the dunny sluice trying to retrieve the water tank lid I think that had how shall we say "get mislaid"


loving this spelling bee



and now for the north island talkies


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SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

11th -29th May 2017, see the accompanying diaries

mussel restaurant havelock nz
these boys have muscles, havelock, south island, new zealand

A Summary of some of the things we did and saw

Arrived in Picton from Wellington on the Interislander ferry, Early morning start, Very wet day (haha welcome to south island), Shakespeare bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, Queen Charlotte drive, Ngakuta bay, Havelock, Green Mussels (yummy), Read all about mussels opposite (please) its very informative, Lady from Auckland, Freshness, straight from the sea, Long windy wet drive to Nelson, Town centre camp site over a bridge with a stream, nice calming stream noises, WOW museum and classic cars, so many clever costumes (see the slideshows), Lippydeema, Lord Maharajah and the Star bride, Goodbye Versaille starring Mrs Du Barry's monkey, Ishmaelian wingflapper to name but a few... go on look, you wont be disappointed.... What's the line "WOW makes Lady Gaga look like a librarian", Amazing Bras, Cars were Minis , Locomobiles, Vauxhall Vivas, Shaguar and many more, Tahunanui beach reserve , Board walks, Lunch, Winery areas, Pears, Apples, Kaiteriteri, Beach front history, sunsets, Wilsons ferries, Beached Whale pub, Fire, Singing barman, Rugby - Christchurch Vs Wellington, Abel Tasman National Park, The man who emptied his loo in the water area and covered it with leaves (Yuk! Sick!), Abel Tasman boat trip, Totaroa, Awaroa, Medlands, Tonga Quarry, Torrent Bay, Bark Bay, Picnic, Coffee, Wind & Sun, New Zealand fur seal, Adele island and many other islands, kayaking, Solar panels, Tides , Motueka river, Kahurangi National park, Low cloud, Hinetai hops, Tapawera,Railways, Old police stations, Wooden Cow, Eels, Lake Rotoiti, Mr Angry and his boat, St Arnaud, Lake Rotoroa, Wet feet, nature walk, Red toadstools, Trees, colourful leaves, Buller river, Murchison, Heritage area, Fuel fillup, Buller Gorge Swing bridge, Waterfalls, Earthquakes, Floods, 2010,1929,White creek peninsular circular walk, Wagtails, Wekas, Bushline walk, Araki waterfalls, Logging on the buller,Springs junction for a pie lunch, Lewis pass, Waiau river, Kaikoura range, Road to Kaikoura Highway 70 via Rotherham and Waiau as SH1 closed due to Kaikoura earthquake 2016, Kaikoura camp site, Fish & Chips in town at No2, the best one (Tiki Takeaways) was sadly closed, Fyffe Quay, Old House chimney remains, Mountains, Snow covering, Boardwalk, The Point, Seal colony, No fishing, Smells, Views, Seals asleep on boardwalk and rocks, Road back, Many roadslips, Woodchester, Monet autumn views, man with coffee, Rejoin empty SH2 via Waiau, Christchurch, Britz office, Extra bedding, C&As van fixed - brakes/ headlamp bulb, Ours for internal light only, School party and rain at Christchurch Top10 site, Blue route bus into Bus station, Ballantynes department store, Devestation, Sad, Cathedral, Customs House, Chalice sculpture, Vintage trams, New Regent Street, Murals, Container City, Quake museum, Kiwi humour in the face of adversity, Columbo street, Mexican restaurant, Workman everywhere, often playing, Rain, Loosing each other on ring road around the airport, Sheffield pies,West coast road, Lake Lyndon, Castle Hill, snow, mountains, roads, State Highway 73, Kumara Junction, Great alpine way, Grasmere, Lake Pearson, great farming flats, Cass laggon track, Otira gorge and viaduct, Jackson tavern, Arthurs pass, Arthurs pass national park, Waimakariri river, Railways,Tranz alpine, Bridal veil falls and lookout, Visitors centre, Cobb & co stagecoach, Devils punchbowl bridge,Kumara gold town, Theatre, Hokitika, Tasman sea, Old town, Signs and chairs, Glow worms, Rainbows (lots of them), Ross Gold mining town, gaol, Heritage walk, Gold panning, Chinese influence, Jones flats, Museum, De Bakker cottage, Philip Ross May (local hero & Historian),Autumn colours, Mine shaft, Catholic church, Mining Memorabilia, New ross gold mine, Hari Hari, Guy Menzies, 1st solo flight Oz to Nz, Southern cross junior, Lunch, Whataroa river, Glacier flights, Rain, Glacier highway, Franz Josef wet walk, receding glacier, pain in knees , Lake Ianthe, Fox Glacier, Blue lake, Moraine, Haast valley, Bruce Bay, Stones for messages, Lake Matheson walks and views, Cafe, Coffee, Snow cover peaks, Knights point lookout, Whale watching, Mother and calf, Fox Glacier ski village, Pollax point peaks, Haast village, Haast campsite, Sunset, Eeerie colours on the peaks, Having to move pitches as the power didn't work at Haast Top10, Haasy-Jackson Bay road, Oturu, Harbour, Fan tails, Oturu river, Whitebait, Lobsters, Bridges (many), Neils Beach, Shearwaters, Hannahs crossing, Jackson Bay, Wharf (dodgy), Visitors centre, Whalers chimney remains, Whale (sighted by Annie), Pioneers, Fishing community, Return to Haast, Fuel station out, haast pass, Cameron Flat, Lunch, Mt Brewster and others, more snow, Mount Aspiring, Lake Wanaka, The Neck, Lake Hawea, Boundary Creek, Makarora Jack, Albert Town, Hawea, Wanaka, Snow predicted -2 it didnt arrive (hooray), Cold at night, Wanaka shore line, Luggate, Old motor cars, Town hall, Luggate - Cromwell Road, Tannersley estate vineyard, Lake Dunstan, 45th parallel, Lowburn, Mountain reflections, Cool seed pods, The Remarkables,Cromwell town - both new and old, Printing presses, Horses, Cartwheels, Paua art,Fruit town, sunshine, Goldfields, Kawarau gorge, Roaring Meg, Hydro power, A J Hackett bungy jumping, Warm outdoor fires, kawarau bridge, Shotover gorge, Queenstown campsite, Lake Wakatipu, Rainbows, Snow, Lumsden junction, Kingston, Old railway bridge, Garston, Mossburn, Stock crossing, Te Anau, lake Te Anau, Picture drome, Library, Coffee, Float planes, Kelpler track, Layby with Kea, Naughty alpine parrots - Kea, Car stripping trims, Homer Tunnel, waterfalls, Road slips, Rain, Milford sound lodge and camping ground, Milford village, Cruise terminal, Milford Mariner (our nature cruise boat), Nature cruise, NZ fur seals, Heron, Milford Sound is one of the true modern wonders of the world, Sigh loved it and nice to do it with pals, Low clouds, Mitre peak, The footstool, Sindbad gully, Many cruise liners, Massive crowds, Fur seals, Coffee, Warmth, Winds and cold,Tutoko Historic Suspension Bridge , Valley and river, Hollyford river and lookout, The Chasm walk and Kea (again) , Homer tunnel return, Mirroe lakes, such reflections, Ta Anau again, pitch where we camped in a tent in 2008, still there by the roses, Mossburn deer capital of NZ, red tussock grass, Lumsden, Gore, Clock tower and art gallery, Balclutha for a fab fish & chip lunch, Southern scenic highway, Dunedin, Otago peninsular (right hand coast), Taiaroa head scenic reserve, Royal Albatross centre, Prince Charles, Pilots beach, Blue Penguins (see video part 4), Portobello, Company bay, Broad bay, Wycliffe bay, Hooper inlet, Sandfly bay, Cape Saunders, Pilot beach viewing platform, Waiwhakeheke bay, Lighthouse, Dick Road, Allan beach, Sheep branding, Flotsam & jetsam, Lovely beach flowers, Highcliff road (scary and roadslips but great views), Dunedin city, Signal Hill lookot and memorial, University Oval cricket ground Dunedin, Baldwin street (the steepest in the world and I have the t-shirt somewhere to prove it!), Dunedin station lit up, travelling back to Portobello around the peninsular at night spectacular lights, Dunedin Vogel street murals, Blueskin Road, 19 Fathoms Foul memorial, Robert Falcon Scott memorial, Blueskin bay, Quarentine and Rakiriri islands, Waikouaiti and river, Karitane, Seacliff lookout, Pies in Waikouati village, Bushy beach reserve, Hide, Yellow eyed penguins, Oamaru victorian precinct, Jetty, Friendly Bay,Farmers market, Grain stores, Brewery, Distillery, Station, Picture frame, Steam punk (lots of it - class),Fat controller and the steam railway,Rakaia - salmon capital and goal, Banks Peninsular, Hilltop views, Akaroa, French very french, Jetty, Cinema, Passport office, Monet, Bedroom with a view, Churches, Roses, cats, Barrys bay, Little river, Silo stays, Over the hills in the rain, Gebbies pass, Dyers pass,Sugar loaf scenic reserve, Riccarton, Apollo motel (room11), Lone star last supper, Early rise, nice family, Airport off to Singapore (us), Hong Kong (C&A), tears, coffee in Sydney airport airside, Great times SEE THE FULL SOUTH ISLAND EXPERIENCE, 1 hr 57mins



south island campsites


To see the Dunedin Albatross live webcam, click here

Albatross Cam

To see Milford Sounds top 6 waterfalls click here Milford Sound Lodge and Camping was where we stayed

Top 6 Waterfalls

what can I say #wow museum of wearable art near nelson






wow both glaciers had receded in about 10 years #COP26



Queenstown, dangerous and extreme sports watching not doing, some snow around as well especially when we were travelling





time for the steepest street in the world I have the t-shirt already


at the end of this we returned to Singapore and more time with the family, we all 4 flew via Sydney and said our tearful good byes

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Whilst with family in Singapore we had a luxury weekend away in Desaru, Malaysia, pretty close by ferry from Singapore

MALAYSIA, DESARU

Desaru Resort , Bandar Panewar,Johor Coastline 3 Day Weekend Break - 9-11 June 2017

"Family Time with Doug, Phoenix & Charlie"


big pool desaru holiday resort
big pool desaru holiday resort

INTRODUCTION - 3 Day Break

A long weekend away in Desaru, Johor travelling by ferry from Changi ferry port by the MV Falcon 3 to Tanjung Belungkor ferry terminal in malaysia and then transported by people mover provided by hotel 35km to the beach resort. Nice facilities, 2 pools and a waterpark plus really good food and a colonial feel to the lawn and buildings plus charlie loved the old fire engine and bird house. All in all a fab family weekend away.

Lotus desaru, 113 images covering amongst others tangjung belangkor, ferry from changi, the reach, buffet restaurants, paw patrol, early swimming to keep cool, amusements, tigers, block e, last rivers, meals, seafood, mexican, boats, rickshaws, fire engines, parascending, seabass, seaside fun, holiday in the sun, 3 day long weekend, mv falcon 3, fireworks, waterfall, relaxation, palm trees, taxi rides, seaview restaurant, steep down to beach, teratai coffee house, hibiscus, limbongan maju, marina island, love prata, block e room 407


and now the fun slideshows





and now the talkies


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