I will be adding more in depth retrospectives of the individual places we traveled once time permits. Keep a look out for the latest posts on the right.
Wednesday 23rd October Heathrow 22.30 to Dubai, arrived Thursday 24th 09.30
Thursday 24th October Metro to Mall of the Emirates. Up Berj Khalifa, world's tallest building at sunset. Meal in Mall at Social Cafe. Watched son et fountain display.
Friday 25th October The Palm. Looked round aquarium and water park, monorail back down the trunk then to Bur Dubai, the old original port on the creek. Museum, the souk, water taxi to other side, Deira.
Saturday 26th October Flight to Melbourne. Arrived on .....
Sunday 27th October ..in Melbourne. Staying in St. Kilda, wander round Ackland St.
Monday 28th October Melbourne mostly using the free tram in the centre, Federation Square, State Library, docklands area.
Tuesday 29th October Drove over to Chelsea Heights, Mornington Peninsula, Dromana, Phillip Island to watch the Little Penguins coming out of the ocean.
Wednesday 30th October Great Ocean Road as far as Apollo Bay then Cape Otway lighthouse.
Thursday 31st October Flew from Melbourne to Brisbane., Cootha viewpoint
Friday 1st November Golf club at Indooroopilly. purple Jacaranda and brilliant red Poinciana trees in the park by the River Brisbane. Castlemaine 4x (xxxx) brewery, Citycat river boat all through the city, The Power House, an arts center, pub & cafe in an old power station, taxi back into the South Bank.
Saturday 2nd November Flight to Cairns, wander around the town.
Sunday 3rd November Boat to Green Island, the only coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef with a tropical rainforest on it. glass-bottom boat ride, snorkeling, walk through the rainforest along the boardwalk. Monday 4th November Freshwater Station on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, up the Barron River gorge to Kuranda shops & markets, Jimrun walk through the rainforest, across the Barron River, down on the skyrail over the rainforest canopy, getting off at Barron's River viewpoint then at Red Peak, second skyrail down to Caravonica.
Tuesday 5th November Port Douglas via scenic Cook Highway & Mossman Gorge in South Daintree Forest
Wednesday 6th November Early flight to Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).
Thursday 7th November Sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock), Mutitjulu waterhole then Lungkata Walk at the base, Cultural Centre.
Friday 8th November Kings Canyon Resort via Kings Creek Station, Kings Canyon base walk, sunset over the West McDonell Range.
Saturday 9th November Drove from Kings Canyon along the Mareenie Loop dirt track for 200km, further 200km on tarmac to Alice Springs. Anzak Hill to view the sunset over the McDonell Range.
Sunday 10th November Flight to Sydney, Glebe district
Monday 11th November Walked round the center of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, botanical gardens, Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pitt Street, to Haymarket & Paddy's Market.
Tuesday 12th November Day rover tickets, bus to Circular Quay, ferry across to the other side of the harbour to Manley, Darling Harbour then up the inlet to the Olympic Village
Wednesday 13th November Day tickets Central Station scenic train into the Blue Mountains, Wentworth Falls, Charles Darwin path to the waterfall.
Thursday 14th November Taxi at 7am to the airport for flight to Christchurch arrived about 4pm, staying Aalton Motel, walk to the park then local shops & supermarket.
Friday 15th November Tranz-alpine scenic train to Greymouth - across the Canterbury Plain then climbed up into and through the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. Transferred to the coach to finish the journey down the western side of the alps - entire journey took 4 hours. We picked up our Apex road trip rental car then had a look around Greymouth, lunch, shopping & set off on our journey around New Zealand. We drove the couple of hours to Franz Josef, Glacier View Motel which does indeed have a view of the glacier.
Saturday 16th November Justin - Kiwi Wildlife Centre; Kate - walk up the valley to close to the face of the Franz Josef Glacier. Scenic drive to Queenstown via Fox Glacier viewpoint, southward down the west coast, inland through the Haast Pass, over the mountains, by lakes to Queenstown. We stayed in the Hotel Mercure Queenstown which has the most spectacular view over the lake from the bar & restaurant.
Sunday 17th November Look around Queenstown - very lively with loads of activities then to Te Anau, round the town & shops, walked around the lake shore to the local wildlife centre.
Monday 18th November Ccoach trip to Milford Sound - two hour journey to get to Milford with some stops along the way, . through the tunnel then down into Milford. We went out along the Sound to the open sea then back again, about an hour of stunning views, mountains, waterfalls, seals and birds.
Tuesday 19th November We drove to Dunedin, looked around the town. Stayed at the Albatross Inn.
Wednesday 20th November We drove to Akaroa, looked round the town, stayed in the La Rochelle Motel.
Thursday 21st November Akoroa, 2 cruise ships in so sleepy town buzzing with cruisers doing various trips. We went on boat to go swimming with rare Hector's dolphins. We then had the long drive up to Admirals Motel, Picton for overnight stay.
Friday 22nd November 8am ferry from Picton to Wellington took 4 hours. We then drove the long way up to Rotorua to Red Rock Thermal Motel.
Saturday 23rd November We had a good look round Rotorua starting with a wander among the thermal pools & boiling mud in the park across the road, a good, local market, around the shops, round the steaming lake watching the wildlife then on to the museum.
Sunday 24th November To Paihia, stop off at Wellsford for pizza lunch, settled into Averill Court Motel then along the seafront & had a meal.
Monday 25th November Russell on ferry, up Flagstaff Hill. Barbecue in the evening.
Tuesday 26th November Day out round Bay of Islands on Cream Cruise. Saw many bottle- nosed dolphins, shearwaters diving for fish, shoals of fish, swimming off the boat at the lunch island where I also climbed the hill to the viewpoint. We went through the famous hole in the rock then snorkeling off the boat on a reef.
Wednesday 27th November To Waitangi Treaty Ground, saw big canoe (waka), meeting house, Maori Cultural Show, etc. Drive to Auckland to Dilworth Motel.
Thursday 28th November Auckland Museum and hop on hop off bus.
Friday 29th November To Auckland airport at 3.30am, dropped car off. Flight to Sydney at 06.50 then to Bangkok leaving at 10.05 & arriving at the hotel by taxi at about 6pm. Bangkok is 6 hours behind New Zealand. We settled in to the Galleria 10, Sukhumvit Hotel then went to the roof bar for a drink and a snack.
Saturday 30th November We had a ride to the hotel-recommended tailor in Peninsula Plaza where Justin ordered a dozen shirts then we looked round the Plaza. We walked round the area browsing the shops had dinner in the local street café which was fantastic – tasty, cheap and quick.
Sunday 1st December We took the boat to the Royal Palace. We first went to Wat pho to see the enormous, reclining Buddha. We then walked through the street stalls to the Palace - a large walled complex with many temples, images of Buddha, gold, mother of pearl, glitter and colour. The palace itself was a mixture of European & Thai.
Monday 2nd December We took a tuk-tuk to the Pratunam area and shopped in the market, Palladium Square and Platinum Fashion Mall. Had dinner again in the street café and it was equally delectable.
Tuesday 3rd December We hung around the hotel relaxing, walking round the local area. We had a taxi to the airport for the 20.40 flight to Dubai where we transferred in the middle of the night. We arrived at Heathrow early in the morning, connected with our pre-ordered taxi to drive us back home.