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  • HONG KONG | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    HONG KONG, KOWLOON ISLAND NOTE all words in ITALICS were either written on the trip or before we left (labelled HISTORY) Hong Kong UPDATE 18/9/2008 We have now left Hong Kong and after a long flight and many movies & meals via Air NZ39's hospitality we are back in the UK. Greeted at T3 Heathrow on England's green and pleasant lands by Craig with the traditional taxi airport card held up saying "AGEING HIPPIES", We rest our case Great times, we will miss them but also glad to be back!!! UPDATE 14/9/2008 We are now likely to be out of online contact until after we arrive back in the UK....Intend some intensive retail therapy whilst in Hong Kong Staying at New San Diego Hotel in Mau Lam St,Jordan, Kowloon (thx D&P for suggestion). Peak Train, Hong Kong, Amazingly steep. This travels up to the top of Mt Victoria Alas as 36c and 100% humidity the views of the harbour were very obscured. Computer nerdsville or Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, Poor annie had to suffer many hours of Keef in 7th heaven.... PS Geek status achieved. V cheap for current technology, Lunch at Bubba Gumps Shrimp House was a real highlight. Noted Wok shaped sky terrace Mt Victoria Peak and HK in World Monopoly game , and quite right too!!! It is a fascinating place. Bird Market, Prince Edward, HK with lovely original wooden cages and oh so colourful birds. Took fab picture of Light &Sound Show, Waters Edge, with science museum in background. V pleased with this shot.We saw the show at Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) HISTORY - Spending 3 nights here.....more when we get there We remember the taxi driver instructions in chinese and him trying to drop us at wrong hotel, humidity, Macdonalds for breakfast (bad news), Nathan Road, Star ferry, Metro, Bakeries,fenicular railway, smog, humidity again... nice place , birthday meal @ top of mountain DIARY Day 327 - Tuesday 16th September 2008,Hong Kong Breakfasted at McDonalds Nathan Road, Jordan Then got Urban Day pass for the MTR (Metro) ($50HK-£4) Went to TST and walked to star ferry Crossed to Central ($8HK-63p) Walked across bridge up into IFC mall Had juice and muffin then back on Star Ferry Went to Hard rock Café for drink and t-shirt then onto Sham Shui Po for Computer bits Knackered as hot and humid (36c/ 100%+) back to hotel to flake Went to sleep and only had bits and pieces from Bakery on MTR for Tea. Met loads of very nice folk who helped us whenever we looked at a map even though we weren’t lost. Celebrated Keef’s 54th B’day spent in Hard Rock Cafe (TST) and Computer Nerdsville , Sham Shui Po, plus lunch up Mt Victoria via Peak Train & saw a Wedding on Star Ferry. Probably for a magazine. Day 328 - Wednesday 17th September 2008, Hong Kong Breakfasted at McDonalds Nathan Road, Jordan Then got Urban Day pass for the MTR ($50HK) Then went up to Central and walked thru business district to the Peak Train went up to the top, alas very humid and unclear views but had great birfday lunch at Pappa Gumps Shrimps etc Then back to TST for light and sound show (spectacular) then back to hotel for a rest Had bits from bakery for t plus 2 bowls of fruit the hotel left. met loads of folk esp American gi (retired) and Chinese girlfriend from Schezhan.Enjoyed Tram ride, night lights and music show, retail therapy. Day 329 - Thursday 18th September 2008,Hong Kong 2 England and Home!!!! Very little sleep and alas Keef was sick overnight so jaded when we caught taxi back to airport K put poor guy off by giving him misleading airport terminal info Finally got to T1 gate 3 for Air NZ, long flight 12hrs 20mins which went quickly Craig collected us at Heathrow glad to be back Had fish and chips from Sandiacre fish bar at Craig’s then managed to stay up to 10pm then flopped No real jet lag at all..can’t wait for the next hols!!! THE END for now, watched 4 movies the best of which was a Kiwi movie called 2nd hand wedding, met a Nice girl from Guangzhou who was studying at Bristol (2nd year) reminded us of Phoenix. Loved Arriving at t1 not t3 Heathrow. Craig’s sign saying AGEING HIPPIES Summary:HONG KONG 3 days , Day 327-329, 16/9/2008 - 18/9/2008 To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Slideshows Diary Pictures Map Trailer

  • San Jose | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    SAN JOSE - CALIFORNIA - USA Diary for San Jose, family fun Day 3 - Sunday 28th October 2007,Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur Got up about 7.40 am V Sunny Clear skies Good Sleep, no real jet lag, Sherree & Trung drove us in TRN2 down to Monterey. Took about 1.5 hours to drive there. Saw eagles circling in air alongside highway. Lovely place. Lots of sea life – sealions, sea otters, cormorants, pelicans. Monterey is a 1900 old fishing harbour with now many new posh yachts moored. Used to be sardine capital of the world, which were processed by canning factories. Walked along the sea front having seen fisherman’s wharf and tasted the countless free offerings of clam chowder They hollow out a loaf and put it in there if you buy the full deal. Walked along Cannery Row which was a street next to the shoreline where the sardine canneries used to be (John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row). Had a quick bite in McFlys and then walked back along the sea front. Many posh hotels. Then drove through Carmel and onto Big Sur via CA Highway 1 A superb road. Carmel was quaint, individual shops along a busy main street with a small sandy beach at the end. Lots of tourists here. Sherree said that the houses were very expensive in Carmel even though they were very small old fashioned bungalows c 1920. Further along Highway 1 we stopped at Carmel Highlands area at a hotel and went in the Pacific Edge bar. Had fantastic 180 degree views of the ocean from the bar which was set on the cliff edge. Stopped at bar/restaurant at Big Sur coastline and had dinner under the stars. This restaurant is mentioned in book 1000 Things to See Before You Die. Lovely sunset. Would like to come back again sometime and see it all. Returned to Sherree’s around 10.30pm very tired and went to bed.Talked to the waitress in the restaurant about a old RHCP’s song that mentions Big Sur, reminder to K look it up sometime. Dinner under the stars at restaurant along Big Sur coastline. Watching sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Day 4 - Monday 29th October 2007, Morgan Hill, CA Got up about 7.40 am Did some stuff on the PC mostly photos and updating the Website,Off to Santa Clara County Quicksilver Park. Walked about 2.5miles along trail to quicksilver mine where mercury was produced from 1902 to 1976 when it closed down. Sheet metal factory was dilapidated and rusty (took photo). Great views of Californian landscape which looked tinder dry. Sherree and Anne saw a small snake, about 12 inches long and as thin as a pencil. It slithered away from us among the leaves. Unfortunately Keef had the camera and he was too far ahead of us so did not take photo. After the walk we drove round the road near a reservoir and saw two deer and what looked like wild turkeys crossing the road. The houses at the edge of Santa Clara Park were small hick properties with chairs by the porch and rusted cars dumped out front. Other houses that we saw around the area were palatial mansions in contrast. Took photo of a field full of pumpkins on the road back to Morgan Hill. Then had a late lunch and well earned cold drink in a Mexican restaurant. Returned to Sherree’s house and chilled.Saw a small snake and wild deer. Mexican meal in downtown Morgan Hill. Great Burrito Fajitas Keef had beef, Anne chicken ohhh and we watched an Eddie Murphy Disney movie that Keef snored thru. Sorry! Loved Humming Bird, Santa Clara Park Walk Day 5 - Tuesday 30th October 2007,Morgan Hill, CA Got up about 7.40 am Did some stuff on the PC mostly photos and updating the Website, Sherree took us out for an American breakfast wow, ham, eggs (sunny side up) hash browns, stack of pancakes with maple syrup and cream and endless coffee.boy oh boy just too much food. Then as a first 2 times in one day we went to a Sushi bar for our evening meal. Very nicesushi, sashimi, tempura and teriyakisee we know them all, went in the Jacuzzi Keef had a beer and the ladies some Napa valley Chardonnay. Went to the Henry W Coe State park here in Santa Clara County. Twisty road that climbed the hills away from the Morgan Hill valley – stunning views. Saw another reservoir where people were fishing and waterskiing. Keef took photo of an eagle soaring. There was a campsite at the end of the one way road where there was a sign warning campers that raccoons can bite, but we did not see any, only some blue jays and squirrels. Only saw one other car there so the camp area was very quiet. Again, the grass looked very yellow and tinder dry. From the camp area you could see for miles across hills/mountains and valleys. Tried sushi for the first time. The little plates went round on a miniature Amtrac train. Very nice. Sherree told us that further north in the county two joggers were attacked by a mountain lion/cougar. Pictures of Chickens outside Scrambl’z, Drive up past Leroy Anderson reservoir and Dam plus Henry W Coe park with views across the hlls and valleys. Day 6 - Wednesday 31st October 2007,San Jose->LAX, AirNZ Got up about 8 Did some stuff on the PC mostly emails Packed and got ready to go back via San Jose to LAX and then onto Nadi, Fiji Sherree told us that there had been a earthquake in the San Jose area measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale. Not big but a quake none the less Must confess as we were driving back with S from the Sushi restaurant we never felt a thing.Sherree delivered us to San Jose airport Terminal C. They have both been most kind to us and we really enjoyed staying with them. Then via Delta Airlines 7772 we flew back to LAX terminal 5. LA is HUGE spreading in neat little boxes their grid system spreads from coast to hills as far as the eye can see. Have to say it would be most intimidating to live there. Pushed luggage, we now have it under control – 2 X 23kg bags, the laptop bag and the flight bag. In US you have to take laptop outta bag and shoes off for security checks. Got trolley for luggage and walked from T5 to T2 (Air NZ) Quite a way. Departures are top level at LAX and arrivals below. Flew out of LAX at 11.15pm on a slightly smaller plane than the NZ1 flight (we were on NZ21) but that was cool as we tried to sleep. Met check in guy at Delta Airlines SLC. We were over limit and they wanted 50 bucks per bag, took out one jacket and a jumper respectively and saved $100. Saw tramway alongside Highway 101 on the way into San Jose. Keef saw the HOLLYWOOD sign in the brown hills well away from the coast as the Delta Airlines flight came in. Alas not quick enough however to take a photo of it. Took some final photos of Sherree’s to show her Jacuzzi/ pagoda-pergola Day 7 - Thursday 1st November 2007,LAX -> Nadi,Fiji Whole day ‘Lost in Translation’ or is it flight, weird. Basically to do with crossing the International Date line. Note we also crossed the Equator for the first time into the Southern Hemisphere, what we saw or didn’t – Evan Almighty was on the wide screen (no back of seat entertainment) this time but it was tricky to listen / see View USA Picture Slider Diary Images Map Trailer

  • NEW ZEALAND | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    NEW ZEALAND, North, South & Stewart Islands North Island Images Stewart Island Images South Island Images dec 2007 jan 2008 apr 2008 dec 2007 1/5 Kiwi Calendar MORE INFORMATION North Island From our travels, our Holidays, North Island New Zealand, Gap Year 2007-8, 10 Dec-31 Jan, with family, summary of the much larger video now broken into 5 parts in nov2020 , auckland, family visiting, xmas, coromandel, wellington, rotorua, lake taupo, fishing, sky dive, sky tower, fishing with wayne & greg, remuera, the piano, camping, driving creek railway, Dargaville, baileys beach, mangonui, botanic gardens Auckland, marina, harbour, skytower, Papamoa beach, te papa, orwea, ohope, coalville, discos and thai birthday meal,are te uri, bottle nose dolphins, new Plymouth, sheep shearing, boysenberry wine, icecream, taupo, marina, aquarium, waves motel,the mad butcher, te kuiti, sheep, karekare, huraru falls, golden springs, waiwere, whangarai falls,raglan, surfing, hi di hi, matakohe, kauri museum, puhoi, Palliser bay, sky diving, tree lookouts, hastings, greenlane motel, waihi beach, hastings, hobbits, wairoa, strange bbqs,interisland ferry, northlands, kiwi fruit, gorges, shark poo, missing brulee, tairua, mount paka, manawatu gorge, paihai, Waitangi treaty, blue lakes, Tongariro, whakapapa village, mount doom, lower tama lakes, skydiving, napier, Gisborne, Opotiki, Wanganui, pohutakawa trees and blossom, piha,te marua, te mata, tuhirangi rugby, lake onoke, akatarawa road views & smells, wai-o-tapu geothermal wonderland, waipu cove, chicken and hen islands, waitekeri ranges, Westpac stadium wellington South Island From our travels, our Holidays, South Island New Zealand, Gap Year 2007-8, 1 Feb – 5 Apr, such fun, travel all over,including 434 images plus a summary of the much larger video now broken into 8 parts in nov2020, covering plus a whole lot more the following, picton, queen charlotte sound, cricket in Christchurch for my birthday, 5th ODI Blackcaps vs England, Collingwood, Prior, Pieterson, queenstown, trans alpine railway, 30th wedding anniversary, akaroa, greymouth, holitika, abel tasman national park, Dunedin, albatross, queenstown, pancake rocks, milford & doubtful sound, anatoki, salmon fishing, banks peninsular, lake roto-iti, lake Rotorua, Kaikoura, bungee, lake matheson, mount cook, sir Edmund Hillary, penguins, Blenheim, trams, omaru, barry bay, knights point,te anua, farewell spit, blowholes,bluff, the caitlins, fox & franz josef glaciers, Invercargill, ashburton, glenorchy,hamner springs, honer tunnel, keas, weka, kawa, kaiteriteri, Cromwell,kekeno, cape foulwind, lake benmoe,moeraki boulders,Littleton harbour, Marlborough, Westport,karamea, Palliser bay, punakaiki, sir joseph ward, shotover gorge, pukawau,Amberley, reefton, rodeo,st arnaud, tew ae wae, cable cars, seals, sealions,mauhinapau walkway,waikuru beach,nelson, wow museum, Timaru, haast, takiroa, sheep street, the steepest, niagara falls nz, boot hill, cadburys Dunedin, Christchurch cathedral & city before the 2011 earthquake, ross, festival of flowers, split apple rock, whales fluking, lord of the rings @ WOW, botanic gardens Christchurch, interisland ferry Buttons Info Overall Slideshows North Island SS No Words South Island SS No Words Talkies Slideshows Map Trailer

  • Victoria | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    VICTORIA Including Grampians, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Mount Macedon, Mallacoota, Melbourne (revisit Keef's homes), Great Ocean Road, Nagambie Lakes, 12 Apostles, Mitchelton Wines (Preece, Yummy) NOTE all words in ITALICS were written on the trip UPDATE 4/7/2008 We have now left the 'Garden' or 'Place to Be/ On the Move' state] Spent our last day in Victoria at the wonderful Mallacoota & Gipsy Point before x-ing the border back into NSW. We camped at Mallacoota in Croajingolong Nat park, drove 320+k to get there from Sale where we camped. Drove from Mornington down the Gippy Hwy (Oz short for South Gippsland Highway) along 90 mile beach. Mixed weather, wet windy & sunny. Saw 2 huge sea eagles, one of which alas had a baby lamb in its grasp! Camped on the Mornington Peninsular @ Mornington. Stressful day driving thru Melbourne City, not easy! Visited where Keef lived as a boy at Elwood. Gr8 day in Melbourne centre plus visited Lalor where Keef also lived as a boy (as well as caulfield, now posh suburb)! Before that camped in Nagambie lakes by the Mitchelton Vineyard (home of Preece). Visited Hanging Rock (Mt Diomedes). Camped in Macedon in the Gr8 Divide ranges. Travelled up from the GOR via Geelong (past Karianda park, come on you Cats) Camped at Kennett River (Gr8 for wildlife spotting) in Otway Nat park, GOR (Koala count 9 over 2 days) Revisited Loch Ard Gorge & 12 Apostles after severe weather warning overnight and boy did we feel it The van 'rocked' ! We stayed in Port Campbell on the GOR (Great Ocean Rd) saw most of the 'world class' GOR The pictures just cannot do it justice Beforehand we had travelled from Port Fairy to Warrnambool (camped 1 night in each) where we whale watched at Logans Beach and saw the Flagstaff Hill nightime Sight & Sound show Beforehand that we toured the wonderful Grampians, oh what views! Spent day in Ararat doing the touristy things, J Ward & Gum San plus the wonderful views from One Tree Hill. Back in Victoria for the 3rd and final time. Camped at Ararat in the Grampians region for 2 days having travelled thru Casterton, Hamilton and a whole stack more familiar Scots named-towns UPDATE 12/6/2008 Left Victoria for the 2nd time, we will BE BACK! Left for SA on the Sturt Highway (A20), v sunny and warm 18c. We liked Mildura a lot, walked around the town, had great icecream sundae (MT Kosioskos) Went on the PS (Paddlesteamer) Melbourne down the Murray River Arrived in Mildura (wonderful place) on 9/6/08 (2nd stop in Vic) via Silver City Highway, 300k. Camped here for 3 days. Nice site (Apex Park, Riverbeach) by river. UPDATE 30/4/2008 First touch down for 4 hours at Tullamarine Airport on route from Hobart to Perth, rang Mum We remember the Grampians, Picnic @ Hanging rock in Macedon, Mallacoota and the fabulous great ocean road and especially getting a pic of the old car as it went under the sign. See our 1995 trip here and we just had to go back for our 4th , but hopefully not final time in 2013. We returned again in 2017 yippee. Summary: VICTORIA 18 days , Day 188 (for 4 hours) then Stay 2 , Day 228-231, 9/6-12/6/2008 Stay 3, Day 240-253, 21/6-4/7/2008 EXTRA INFO From our travels, gap year, Victoria, Australia, 3 stays, 18 days,during the period 30 Apr- 4 Jul 2008, the 1st only 4 hours at Melbourne airport en route from Hobart to Perth, a long flight, rang Mum from there, in 4 parts reconstructed Nov2020, including 223 images being a summary of the much larger collection, covering plus a whole lot more the following,Melbourne, lalor, mornington peninsular, sale, great ocean road, old cars, sale, malacoota, mount macedon, nagambie lakes, picnic at hanging rock, long climb up, painful legs, bendigo, maits rest, roos, murray steamers, mitchelton winery, preece, art work on labels, apollo bay, shipwrecks, torquay beach, surfers, kennett river, best place for koalas, lyre bird mile, London bridge – is fallen down, mornington, beach huts, picnics, 12 apostles – now only 7, visitors platform, family parks, Mildura, bay of islands, black swans, the grampians, Chinese miners, avoca, bay of martyrs, huge grey roo, mount defiance lookout, derrick street, lalor & pine ave, elwood (where I lived as a child), Ararat, federation square, flagstaff hill, Griffiths island, port fairy, gypsy point, mt Diomedes, lake entrance, tower hill reserve, emus, 90 mile beach, koala cove café, kookaburras, aireys inley, marine parade wood carvings, loch ard gorge, lock 11, logans beach, whales, warrnambool, mckenzie falls, Melbourne cricket ground, flinders street station, trams, miller falls, halls gap, mount victory, pelicans, maccabah restaurant, the ps Melbourne, seaspray, reed lookout, swampgully campsite, rosella, sale harbour, telstradome, the arch, rabbit island, stratford upon avon (ozzie version), emigration museum, tsindos Greek restaurant,william buckley, white cockatoo, woodend, the murky yarra, yorkeys knob GO TO DIARY Part 2 See Other Slideshows, No Text To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Summary Diary Slideshows The Talkies Map Images POSTCARDS & LETTERS Postcards OUR VISIT TO MICHELTON WINERY, NAGAMBIE, VICTORIA Wine Time Trailer

  • South Island, NZ | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND Including Christchurch (Before the Quake), Akaroa, Milford & Doubtful Sounds, Mount Cook & Queen Charlotte Sound via Interisland Ferry Great Rail Journeys NOTE all these words were written on the trip. South Island UPDATE 5/4/2008 We have now left the 'Shaky Isles' Finished with 4 days in Christchurch. This included Hagley Park, Botanic gardens, City Centre Art gallery, Cathederal, beaches and Gondola. Sold campgear via Trade Me to Andy & Family, Rangiora. Asburton, visited Peel Forest / Mt Hutt and the Big Tree Timaru for 3 days, nice motel / restuarant..Aspen on Kings! Went to the SUPERB Mt Cook Nat Park Camped at Lake Benmore for 3 days (with own en-suite ....'bloody luxury' Camped in Oamaru (home of the penguins) for 4 days Dunedin (Celtic for Edinburgh, and yes it does have a Princes St & a Fringe) for 3 days Gr8 City Take a look at our baby royal albatross @ the Webcam Website Stayed o/night in Balclutha. Drove thru a v hot Central Otago (32c) upto Alexandra and back out. Visited the Catlins Awesome!! 4 days in Invercargill and 2 on Stewart Island We really liked SI Went to Bluff Visited gr8 museum with Henry the Tuatara@ Invercargill. Went to Milford Sound (best yet!) wet in morning/ sun in afternoon, best way to see it. We took 350 pictures, shows it was ACE!!! Camped in Te Anau (Fjordland Nat Park), for 4 days. Visited Doubtful Sound Camped in Queenstown (Shotover gorge) for 4 nights. Went on a 4WD offroad LOTRs tour (ace!) Visited Arrowtown, the great road to Glenorchy and went up gondola to the home of tandem parscending, luge, heli bike and bungy (Wow we did none of these dangerous sports!)Travelled thru the Haast pass and thru glorious Glacier Lakes in Mt Aspiring Nat Park. Stayed in Haast overnight having seen the wonderful Glaciers & Lake Matheson. Travelled thru a very wet Arthurs Pass (ace with imagination!) and spent 2 days in Hokitika on West Coast. Camped for 4 days at Akaroa, on Bank's peninsular. 30th Wedding Anniversary, really enjoyed the Tranzalpine train & our drunken meal in the eve!!! sightseeing in Christchurch (best city in NZ for me!). 5th ODI Blackcaps Vs England in Christchurch , we would have won if rain and Duckworth Lewis didnt intervene! Visited Oxford via scenic highway 72, stayed in Kaiapoa. Went from St Arnaud to Lake Rotarua (ace) and then via SH67 down to Springs Junction and across Lewis pass (again) to Amberley. Visited Marlborough wine region, Blenheim stayed in St Arnaud (ski area) near the oh-so-lovely Lake Roto-Iti. We were in a log cabin which Annie loved. Spent 3 days camping in Kaikoura . Went whale watching and saw sperm whale, hector dolphin (rare), albatross and NZ furry seals Saw Atonement in 1930's hall (with Intermission), thought film had broken! Went to Reefton Rodeo, ace! Then on thru Lewis pass to Hamner Springs. It has been wet, wet , wet spent night in 'electric light' motel in Reefton. Plus 2nd night (so far) in car after mega electrical storm. Camped in Greymouth. Saw Pancake rocks and SH6 to Greymouth - better in our opinion than 12 Apostles and gr8 ocean rd. Plus stayed o/night in Westport and then drove to Kamerea, fun area. Very wet day and night again, such bad electrical storm we had to sleep in car for 2 hrs at Pakawua. Drove to Westport via Buller river gorge (wet but superb!) 2.5 in of rain overnight in Pakewua, needed - Went on Farewell Spit Eco Tour, 6.5 hrs across sand to farest north on South Island west coast. Camping at Pawawau beach for 3 days. Caught 2 salmon on Anatoki river and ate them Visited the Abel Tasman national Park via a 5&1/2 hr boat trip in hot sunshine, spectacular Arrived via ferry, choppy in Cook Straights but gr8 views in Queen Charlotte Sound. Nelson (which we both liked) where we saw WOW (World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars) Amazingly different and classy!!! Take a look yourself @ The WOW Website to get an idea....Anne has the 2006 official programme which we will bring back with us but it has IPR so we cannot reproduce here There was also a spin off exhibition in Christchurch based on wearable flowers The Jenny Gillies Website I haven't yet made reference to the wonderful Dunedin which we both really liked and the lovely little penguins, a magical moment. Summary: SOUTH ISLAND 58 days , Day 103-163, 5/2/2008 - 5/4/2008, incl 2 on Stewart Island MORE INFORMATION From our travels, our Holidays, South Island New Zealand, Gap Year 2007-8, 1 Feb – 5 Apr, such fun, travel all over,including 434 images plus a summary of the much larger video now broken into 8 parts in nov2020, covering plus a whole lot more the following, picton, queen charlotte sound, cricket in Christchurch for my birthday, 5th ODI Blackcaps vs England, Collingwood, Prior, Pieterson, queenstown, trans alpine railway, 30th wedding anniversary, akaroa, greymouth, holitika, abel tasman national park, Dunedin, albatross, queenstown, pancake rocks, milford & doubtful sound, anatoki, salmon fishing, banks peninsular, lake roto-iti, lake Rotorua, Kaikoura, bungee, lake matheson, mount cook, sir Edmund Hillary, penguins, Blenheim, trams, omaru, barry bay, knights point,te anua, farewell spit, blowholes,bluff, the caitlins, fox & franz josef glaciers, Invercargill, ashburton, glenorchy,hamner springs, honer tunnel, keas, weka, kawa, kaiteriteri, Cromwell,kekeno, cape foulwind, lake benmoe,moeraki boulders,Littleton harbour, Marlborough, Westport,karamea, Palliser bay, punakaiki, sir joseph ward, shotover gorge, pukawau,Amberley, reefton, rodeo,st arnaud, tew ae wae, cable cars, seals, sealions,mauhinapau walkway,waikuru beach,nelson, wow museum, Timaru, haast, takiroa, sheep street, the steepest, niagara falls nz, boot hill, cadburys Dunedin, Christchurch cathedral & city before the 2011 earthquake, ross, festival of flowers, split apple rock, whales fluking, lord of the rings @ WOW, botanic gardens Christchurch, interisland ferry DIARY Diary Day 103 - Tuesday 5th February 2008,Wellington to Nelson Having stayed in motel on campsite overnight and rang Mum got up @ 6am to catch ferry Drizzly in the morning Got to Interislander about 7.35-ish Boat didn’t leave until 8.45am (late) Bit like being on a large cruise ship, weather improved as we went but wind in Cook strait so strong they wouldn’t open the leewardside deck doors. Annie read, Keef slept (and apparently snored) until we reached Queen Charlotte Sound on South Island Spectacular views. Disembarked in Picton, nice little place. Had coffee filled up with fuel and set off along Queen Charlotte Drive, ace views of the sound from the road. Windy twisty steep but it hugged the coastline. Then on to Nelson via SH6 and the WOW museum.Loved World of Wearable Art (WOW) & classic car museum.Met noone in particular.Have now left North Island Stayed in Golden Oak Motel, Nelson and had a spa (very relaxing) Day 104 - Wednesday 6th February 2008,Nelson to Kaiteriteri, Waitangi day (Maori treaty Public Hol) Just got out of the motel in time, 10.15am late went to investigate campsites in Nelson (No good) spent some time in Trafalgar sq, looking at trees, cathedral , town, parksNelson is very nice Then went onto harbour side to see settlers monument just open yesterday. Interesting. Sunny about 24c. Then drove thru fruit vineyard area Rabbit island and onto start of Abel Tasman Nat Park and campsite at Kaiteriteri (2 nights).Saw lots Rabbit island and Nelson church the highlights.Met Kiwi, swiss girlfriend and her sister and friends. They were very loud until 12midnight. We had to get up for boat at 7.30 so a bit pissed off V cold at night.Yummy, Boysenberry real fruit ice-cream and basket of fruit, cherries and plums Day 105 - Thursday 7th February 2008,Abel Tasman National Park (by Wilsons’ boat) An absolutely fabulous day..Too much to describe here, see photos to do it justice,met Kiwi next campsite, borrowed his can opener!Gr8 day, gr8 weather 25c, gr8 scenery, went for a swim when we got back, would like to stay another day but site slot full so will move on Day 106 - Friday 8th February 2008,Kaiteriteri to Golden Bay Left campsite at about 11 (eventually) Traveled via Hawk Lookout point with nice boardwalk. Then via Upper Takawa to Bencardi and the Amatoki Salmon Fishing then on thru Tawaka and Collingwood (weird little place) past Mussel inn to Pawaka camp site. Booked eco tour to Farewell spit for 2moro, saw lots, met old Kiwi couple who insisted on telling us which route to take around South island, partially useful for Doubtful sound bus/boat advice but delayed us about an hour whilst we tried to get away. Americans from Florida who were moving to Alaska (boy they will notice the difference) Geoff at Anatoki salmon fishing, who showed us how to kill my fish (not nice) and I had to do Annies one (ugh, thru the brain), caught my first ever salmon (1.14 kg or approx 2.5 lbs) and Anne’s first ever fish 11.58 kg or approx 3.5lbs We then had them apple wood smoked and coated in Cajun (one fish) and lemon pepper (other fish) best salmon and freshest ever Ate with garlic bread at lunch hot then cold with new potatoes and salad eve , loved Lookout, Salmon fishing and Pakawau beach where we are camping for 3 nights Note lady in wellington in next tent had recommended Golden Bay Day 107 - Saturday 9th February 2008,Farewell Spit Eco Tour Dossed around in the morning , quite hot went on beach read / pc-ed. Prepared sandwiches and went off to Collingwood to catch our Eco tour bus to Farewell Spit Bird sanctuary and 27 miles by about 5 wide in the shape of a kiwi’s beak if you see it on a map. Gr8 day out, v interesting especially if u r a twitcher which we are not! Pictures probably best way to see it,lots of sand and interesting coastline, ex river bed In 1800’s it was all trees not sand dunes, maybe that tells us something. Excellent guide who drove the bus, funny and knowledgeable. Computer guy who worked for the Bank of Austria b4 he retired. Unmarried, opinionated and never shut up, sort of guy you would avoid at work (or anywhere) except a sandspit! remember Eco tour Gr8, listening to final part of Time to Kill by Thomas Harris on Ipod (audible book) in the car with seats laid down , most relaxing. Started to rain which is oh so needed by the farmers and folk for water containers Day 108 - Sunday 10th February 2008,Pakawua Campsite Poured all night, 2.5 inches of rain, tent and some contents soaked, outside ground (note there was only us and 2 others on site and they were inside) drowned. Spent day drying out, luckily sun back out by about 12-ish used pc to catch up and sorted out our wedding anniversary. Cricket 23/2 Finally managed to get 2 tickets to see England Vs Blackcaps in 5th ODI, they play nearly all their matches on North Island except the 1st & 5th ODIs in Christchurch - hooray,Plus we are going on the Transalpine train (Christchurch to Greymouth & back) supposedly one of the best train journeys in the world for our 30th wedding anniversary on 25th and staying for 3 nights in some luxury in Christchurch across those 3 days, Annie taking me out for some posh nosh,Charged up cameras etc etc Nothing day really Had early T of spam, fried kumara and spaghetti, saw zip/diddly squat, met owner of campsite, droll Kiwi with a chauvinistic bent ‘ don’t carry plates for your woman’- stereotype. Said if they hadn’t had rain would have had to shut site as $NZD900 to buy in water (serious stuff), loved Rain stopping! Getting Cricket tickets Day 109 - Monday 11th February 2008,Pakawua Campsite to Westport, A1 Motel Drove from Pakawua back down road via Moutere (where we bought some stamp material for a shirt for me for about £35) Lovely fruit valley, bought apples (Red Goldenstein) and plums (red doris) Then superb scenery to Murchison where we had coffee (flat white) and blueberry muffins.Extract from note sent to Pete 2day “greets from a very wet (a first!) Westport on the top west coast of south island...the thunder and lighting (remember that) was so bad whilst we camped last night that we had to sleep sometime in the car.... but we can’t complain after months of sunshine,we are really enjoying ourselves but its going a bit too quickly... ,loved your lines about sophie.....she'll be beating you at chess b4 u know it,good result for spurs, i didn’t know that one. Interestingly premier soccer is big here in nz, they don’t really do soccer...Finally managed to get 2 tickets to see England Vs Blackcaps in 5th ODI (23/2), they play nearly all their matches on North Island except the 1st & 5th ODIs in Christchurch – hooray, as we are now on south island and we ain’t going back 4 the cricket ,Annie & I are going on the Tranz Alpine train (Christchurch to Greymouth & back) supposedly one of the best train journeys in the world for our 30th wedding anniversary on 25/2 and staying for 3 nights in some luxury in Christchurch across those 3 days, plus Annie is taking me out for some posh nosh,Trust you are both well, enjoy the camping in the Cotswolds if you do go, Love Keef & Anne” Met PAHOG & FUN41, old aussies on Harley D’s who we last met at Lake Ferry café near Pallister bay. remember Thunder & Lightening dumped 3 ins on Wellington overnigh t24c even tho it rained lots,Fish and chips in Motel definitely not Westport (awful place), run down ex coal town, loved buller river Day 110 - Tuesday 12th February 2008,Westport to Karamea Nice sunny day Good drive along SH67 up to Karamea along surf coast. We stopped for lunch and got eaten by Sandflies. Nice views though. Climbed through hills, high and tropical. Lots of land for sale but who would want it? Karamea was a quaint little place and start of Heaphy trail. Stayed in best studio motel yet, $110NZD and did cooking inside (naughty) without setting off fire alarm, Strange letter boxes (fish, elephants, tractors you name it),Nutty couple with very old car and 1900 car hats, saw them again out at Gentle Annie Beach. Woman at motel (hubby Conservation guy) who had traveled to UK in her youth. Salisbury. Remember little kittens getting in our car at motel Day 111 - Wednesday 13th February 2008,Karamea to Greymouth Brilliant day (23c) Drive back thru Westport (you have tono other choice) then down SH6 to Greymouth. Superb views all the way. Like Highway 1 in California and Big Sur (maybe better) Stopped at various places but Pancake rocks and the blowholes was the best, superb 30min walk around the edge Lunch at concrete table and chairs overlooking Tasman and not sure who ate most the sand flies or us! Camping 2 nights Top10, saw lots including faces in the rocks! Good campsite. Station at Greymouth (will revisit 2moro) , met guy from Loughboro living in Holland with Dutch girlfriend at Fox River, remember being camped at Top 10 at Greymouth next to airport runway! Bought duvet cover cheap for tenting (the warehouse), loved Pancake rocks and the Blowholes (see on video) Day 112 - Thursday 14th February 2008,Greymouth VALENTINES DAY!!! Wet day in Greymouth. Parked up the car and walked around the town for most of the day.Pier at Barry town, just o/side town, Quay wall in town, proverbial clock tower, art gallery (in old bank of NZ) very cleverly called ‘A New Land’ (see photo and painted ‘in’ lettering from ‘bAnk of NEW zeaLAND’), lunch at 124 MacKay yummy Annie had a special chicken with spinach and cheese, I had Moroccan lamb with couscous plus lots of garlic bread (one kiwi portion is 4 big bits) –cost approx $NZD76 with iced coffee and flat white. Then we popped down to see Tranz Scenic arrive and depart Greymouth (its what we are on for our 30th from Christchurch), Jade Boulder gallery/museum (v interesting), carrot cake (again) then back to campsite, sunny now 21c, and read our books Had wine , cheese/bics/grapes 4 T . started raining about 8.30-ish ,mey guy from St Austell in the loos.Lots of nutty girls walking round town with a red heart on a stick, we mistook it (old fuddie duddies’ for something to do with Heart Foundation but it was obvious when you know its valentines day. Almost ‘international incident’ when kiwis left bench to guard their motor home slot and Japanese moved it and parked there. A&I were hoping for fireworks but it was a bit of a damp squib. Not many photos, it was all too ‘Grey’ Named after a brit general , river town etc etc Day 113 - Friday 15th February 2008,Greymouth to Reefton And it finished raining at about 9.30am, bad night huge electrical storm had to make a quick exit to car (again) at about 2.30am. This time only there for about 30mins . rain horrendous (3” guess) came in tent a bit.So after wash and breakfast packed insides and read until the tent dried. Got it down just in time as started raining again soon after. Went to MacDs for b’fast (yuk!!!) Petrol then onto Reefton via SH6. Lots of rain, stayed in First Electric light motel.Its what Reefton is famous for. Went in museum, saw old street lamps/ quartz mines, old shops. Ok place but not much happening. Went out for meal at Alfresco (eve) cold sitting outside nice filling meal though. We are only staying in Reefton for rodeo so 1 night is fine,Snow on Mountain range in distance from Top10 campsite when it was sunny Probably Mt Cook (guess) They said on news it had snowed!!!, met danish family with 4 kids under 10 traveling in campervan . Anne finished Wilbur Smith – the seventh scroll (book) one paragraph b4 Keef finished Ben Elton – Inconceivable at about 10.30am. We had to wait for tent to dry b4 taking it down, not quite the last folk to leave the Greymouth site, that honour went to poor German couple on motorbikes with leaky 2 man tent Americans at restaurant who only have 4 days on south island, why the hell were they spending 1 of them in Reefton we ask ourselves!!! loved cars as gate posts. Day 114 - Saturday 16th February 2008,Reefton Rodeo, then onto Hamner Springs via Lewis Pass Rained all night, packed up car then had gr8 cooked breakfast for $10NZD, Rodeo was at Reefton racecourse, gr8 gr8 gr8 fun loved every minute of it, After it finished we had flat white and cakes in bakery before driving thru Lewis pass to Hamner springs. 9c outside (coldest yet) No vacancies anywhere in HS, real holiday spot and Kiwi weekend, not sure why but alpine spot, we will investigate 2moro. Lewis pass gr8.Animal lib folk outside rodeo. Frankly the only one hurt was rider on the bucking bronco who got kicked near the eye but St Johns patched him up,Guy in Electric light motel (Reefton is famous for having the first lights.bottled lightin southern hemisphere) when I told him his breakfast was the best in NZ plus guy at bar who I talked cricket to (especially as now 2-1 to blackcaps in ODIs), remember Rodeo and K being stung by wasp, plus Lewis pass, loved the rodeo especially the action shot with the mucous from the bulls mouth and Lewis pass Day 115 - Sunday 17th February 2008,Hamner Springs to Kaikoura Up early, indeed we had left by 9.30am unheard of, v sunny day. Good look around the ski resort of HS, then lovely drive across SH7, then 70 (Mt Lyeford) through to Kaikoura. The Kaikoura range in the distance had snow on it, oh what a view Arrived about 2pm and set up tent, field v wet from 4 days of rain but nice and sunny now.Mountain range.Guy from Norfolk who owned Hamner Springs campsite, been in NZ 3 years.21c, Views of snow on the range Day 116 - Monday 18th February 2008,Whale watching, Kaikoura Xclent day. Whale watching at 12.15 from old railway station behind campsite, watched movie (gr8 shots) then bused out to South bay where we caught the boat, v good seats. Saw sperm whale twice and hector dolphins (v rare and small) then seal colony After wards had fish & chips and drove round harbour (another waves motel, looked v similar), 1930’s cinema, whale bone archeds, Robert Fyffes cottage, Scots 1st whaler in Kaikoura, drowned then his bro took over, v interesting coast line that ended up at the seal colony ,Oh so much, whales a delight, Mostly cloudy all day, remeber Annie spotting whale blowing on horizon b4 anyone else (lookouts and all) well done! Hines best fish and chips in NZ in our humble opinion, had after trip, then bought loads of sweeties for Cinema – saw Atonement, v good Bought poster of Kaikoura overhead view to send back to Craig, ace, Interrupting film to ask guy to turn off the lights on his motorbike, loved sperm whale and hector dolphin Day 117 - Tuesday 19th February 2008,Kaikoura Quiet day at the Top 10 site, if you discount train and helicopter at midnight and 6 am, plus steady stream of campervan leavers. V cold overnight, bad night for both of us so we slept in to 10.20. Sun out, 20c, did washing, read a lot , popped into town to get paninis for lunch and the worst muffin ever (choc & raspberry but solid) Did PC stuff in eve, cold again , met australian lady whilst cooking in kitchen, sounded English had live in oz for 40 years. Lived at Morningtown on the peninsular so compared notes. She knew Elwood well they only have 4 weeks in NZ, with 3 on North Island (wow),Sent this to Linda and Doug 2day ‘We went to see Atonement last night here in Kaikoura in a 1930’s cinema, just like a scout hut. The film stopped halfway thru, no explanation and we thought it had broken, only it was the ‘intermission’ Not seen one of those since the 70’s To cap it all the ice-cream lady came in with a torch halfway thru the 2nd half to tell the ‘biker’ loudly that he had left his lights on.hoot!’ Day 118 - Wednesday 20th February 2008,Kaikoura to St Arnaud via Blenheim Cold night again, lots of condensation on the tent, had to leave it dry out until about 11am Then set off up SH1 to Blenheim. Stopped to see seals , baby cub especially Liked Blenheim Had a real scots feel to it Visited art museum, some crap from a lady from Rotarua pencil / colour unfinished but some good photos Nice square and oldish buildings School kids wearing tartan Then drove thru Marlborough wine region down SH63 ace views to St Arnaud and Lake Roto-iti (see the piccies) MIND BLOWING place,Black swans and an eel on Lake Roto-Iti,met brits who only had 7 days on south island and had spent 3 at the top 10 campsite in Kaikoura , barmy! Argentineans trying to con Countdown (supermarket) staff that they were over 25 for buying booze Nutter who dangerously overtook me on straight road with road train coming (I had to swerve in to save his life) only to find he had U-turn just up the road NZ drivers ain’t gr8.Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Lake Roto-Iti, log cabin Keef went in lake but only up to his knees, very clear and cold water Couldn’t find the Cloudy bay winery nor for that matter the wine! loved lake Roto-Iti Day 119 - Thursday 21st February 2008,St Arnaud to Amberley Set off about 10am. Hot went up to 28c. Saw the oh so wonderful Lake Rotarua in the Nelson Lakes scenic park. (see the piccies) Annie ran back to car after seeing how big the sandflies were. Yep I got bitten bad but worth it for the view. Better than lake Roto-Iti and best yet in NZ. Then traveled along to Springs Junction over quite a lot of highway we hadn’t yet seen. Good scenery Then redid Lewis pass (in sun this time) A driving, K passenger thru Hamner springs again and onto Culverton, thru Waipara (up and coming wine area) and flat Canterbury plains. Very wide plain with mountains all around Ended up in motel on campsite at Amberley after seeing the beach. Mrs Henderson presents with Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskyns (fun) on Sky movies.Both at Lake Rotarua. 2 old guys from Wellington who were on a fishing fortnight I had to take a piccie for them at the end of the pier plus PAHOG and FUN41 The 2 bikers on Harleys I keep bumping into Geoff & Belinda had a chat saw them at Woodstock and Lake Ferry (Palliser Bay, NI) They have a campervan that they base in areas and then go off on the bikes, Leathers v useful against sandflies.Bacon sandwiches and Preece CabSau Annie passed 1000 km driving in NZ Big distance driven 2day, will do far less 2moro. Loved Lake Rotarua Day 120 - Friday 22nd February 2008,Amberley to Kaiapoi, via Scenic Highway 72 Left motel at 10-ish ($85NZD) Traveled on the loop road thru Asley Gorge to Oxford and then back to SH1 and down towards Christchurch and stopped at Kaiapoi in the Pinehaven campsite motels Functional if you like living in a mobile home ($75NZD).A few eastern bay beaches on route Ashley gorge really good Walked along it up to bend A stayed in car cos of sandflies I saw a flying stork (got piccie after he landed) plus bird of prey on fence (missed it) and helicopter spraying gorse bushes. No-one really apart from young couple with baby traveling in a Hiace space wagon rather them than us but created lots of humorous material whilst we had lunch. Oxford quite interesting. Not sure why the SH72 was scenic, v flat in our opinion Tea : fried kumara/ onions/ chicken Day 121 - Saturday 23rd February 2008,Christchurch 5th ODI Blackcaps Vs England. Ace day really enjoyed it. Up early from Kaiapoi and traveled in to find our motel for 3 nights in Papanui rd. Nice area. Went to find the ground and get our tickets 15 mins from motel but Christchurch is very one way traffic. Ground only half built (east stand missing) Then bought sandwiches from take away and ate those plus choccie cake before match started. Barmy army and Kiwis in south stand fun, rowdy and often evicted,Whole game until rain and Duckworth Lewis gave it to the Kiwis, loved watching the Barmy army, Free crisps plus see Scorecards in south island photos Day 122 - Sunday 24th February 2008,Christchurch GR8 day around Christchurch 32c and hot Got up late had showers and then parked up at Science alive and caught the free shuttle bus into the center of town. Then got the Tram/Gondola combo (2nd part to do later) did 2.5 trips round key sights by tram,saw so much, love Christchurch, met lots of nutty cricket supporters.N.E.W flower wearable art ex, superb spin off from WOW in Nelson, Classic cars , Oxford/Cambridge style colleges/ architecture and punting (bizarre) Day 123 - Monday 25th February 2008,Christchurch 30th Wedding Anniversary – Tranz Alpine to Greymouth and back Gr8 fun, rained on way up v cloudy but oh so hot and sunny on the way back and gr8 scenery Hard to take pictures thru windows.Superb scenery, will go back via road at some stage but train takes you in places where no roads go so it will be our special memories. Brummie couple (amazingly well traveled) who now live in Weston Super Mare Chatted to them all the way to Greymouth because of the rain. Loving Annie so much. Meal at Italian (sadly keef ill next day), liked Arthurs pass. Day 124 - Tuesday 26th February 2008,Christchurch to Akaroa Left Milano Motor lodge at 10, got my copy of the PRESS newspaper. Went to Bank, Petrol and PakNSave in Papanui to fill up on groceries for our proposed stay on the Bank’s Peninsular, about 85k from Christchurch ,Superb views on the way (Little river was a nice township) and from Hill top the view of the harbour area, met the folk we had met on the train, what a coincidence same campsite, alas as Keef so ill unable to have some wine and chat with them,26c, Alas Keef having v bad food poisoning, was it the Butter Chicken Fettuccine in the Italian or off milk, who knows but I had ate lots of diarrhea tablets and threw up big style 3 times. Slept from 3 thru 8 and then 10 to 10, hopefully it has now gone. Sweet corn for 9cents a cob (i.e 3p) and watermelon for 59cents (i.e 25p) whole one Day 125 - Wednesday 27th February 2008,Akaroa Alas day spent with Keef recovering No food only water & Tea very sunny day and quite relaxing with us both doing a lot of reading so no bad thing I guess. Read papers, finished Ben Elton’s 1st world war ‘who done it’ plus started War & peace , saw only view from campsite, heard loads of Brits, remember weakness & noisy drunk brits and gr8 sunshine, hot all day 24c mostly until 7 and later at night Day 126 - Thursday 28th February 2008,Akaroa, Banks Peninsular Laid in a bit to avoid queues at kitchen and showers. Went into Akaroa and looked around the town. Took loads of piccies of the quaint houses and French streets, it does have a distinctly French feel. Then traveled the Banks peninsular. Good day v hot, 27c and sunny, saw Ohanu Marae, Le Bons Bay, Little Akaroa bay, Pigeon Bay, Summit Road, Barrys Bay, Robinsons Bay, French’s farm & Wainui, we both loved the superb Banks Peninsular Day 127 - Friday 29th February 2008,Akaroa Again laid in a bit, a bit more overcast 2day. Relaxing day reading in the morning, Anne did some washing, then we went to the charming Akaroa café-Cinema TWICE, saw Sweet Land (Alan Cummings , Ned Beatty and others) about a arranged Norwegian marriage in early Minnesota and Once with the lead singer from the Frames. Both excellent movies and superb little cinema where you could take your tea pot in with you.met great Kiwi guy who had been traveling with his wife for 6+ years doing odd jobs etc he gave us some gr8 advice on Doubtful sound trip Plus he knew Notts and had dated a polish girl from Sherwood rise in his youth! Cloudy but still 25c sun tries to shine thru the clouds and the covering seems to keep the heat in, it was most humid, remember Films and Cinema experience oh and it was a leap year! Happy birthday Brad! Day 128 - Saturday 1st March 2008, Akaroa to Hokitika via Arthurs Pass Pissed down, and I mean gales all day Not too bad when we broke camp but had to pack tent in black sacks as wet,Telegraph Road, 37kms of the straightest road ever and then thru Darfield, Springfield, Sheffield thru the superb views (although hindered by low cloud) of Arthurs pass. Managed to take pictures thru the window. Awful weather. Avalanche creek shelter at Arthurs pass was interesting. You could see why it was needed with the steep gorge sides. Otira gorge amazing (especially when having visited museum in Hokitika you can see how it was all constructed in early 1870s etc) Very steep Then on thru rest of highway to Kumara Junction and west coast sh 6 down thru Chesterfield to Holitika (gold mining town) Stayed at Host Accommodation motel 252 Beachside. To escape the rain. Then having watched sky movie Marie Antoinette went to see Glowworms up Dell. Gales, driving rain and winds, soaked but happy Then back for wine and movie Casanova Heath Ledger (as he died they are showing ALL his movies) This one was real good, met Motel guy Hokitika from Nelson who had been in the British Navy and lived in Corby (god help us!), remember Jacksons Pub, T of fresh sweetcorn and chicken rice plus shiraz , cheese & biccies and Arthurs pass and glowworms @ Hokitika Day 129 - Sunday 2nd March 2008,Hokitika Another really wet day in Hoki, no lets say beyond wet. Did walking round Hoki, went to Museum (gr8), wharf, round old buildings, book store, new world for shopping, bank and cinema Lazy day really to try and avoid the rain, saw After the wedding, Danish art house movie in Rialto. 1930s building with comfy leather sofas and a glass of wine should you wish. Worked out the guy on 4 films 50 at each could make mega bucks ($NZD2400 / day) and as he was only showing a DVD not sure it was legal on a copyright front, met Girl in iSite with helium voice, mother in secondhand book store (in old damp government building (up for sale haha) ) who left everyone whilst she went off for daughter PLUS Hippie in Rialto cinema, now he was a classic. Route to Happiness movie with Will Smith on Sky (good surprise) and Thai chicken and rice Day 130 - Monday 3rd March 2008,Hokitika to Haast via Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers Gr8 day both weather and scenery wise. Left Hokitika at about 10 it was 12c but by end of the day was over 20c Traveled in beautiful sunshine to Franz Joseph, Lake Matheson, Fox Glacier, Bruce Bay, Knights Point to Haast. Stayed in 3rd chosen motel, 1st far too expensive but they have a monopoly. One we stayed in was $115NZD and we dried tent over back fence, saw loads including gr8 views of Mt Tasman & Cook in the distance , met too many Germans, all on organized tourist coach trips. Remember Both glaciers and Lake Matheson but especially Franz Joseph glacier. Day 131 - Tuesday 4th March 2008,Haast to Queenstown Another v sunny day Left Haast about 9.30am having loaded up the car over the back fence. Went to Haast beach and had to traverse cows loose in the road. Then A drove thru Haast pass (v interesting valley/gorge and glacial river and waterfalls) down passed Lake Wanaka and Hawua into Cromwell and then onto Queenstown. We are staying 6 km outside in the Top10 site at Shotover Gorge. It will be ‘well cold’ 2night,Vineyards galore, Otago wine we must try (Pinot Noir apparently the best, weak red in our humble opinion) Cromwell old town, old gold mining town from 1870s Otago gold rush,Finally got tent fully dried out from Akaroa rains. Lunch F&C at Lake Hawua, Tea Had buffet and free pint of Speights Salvation ale (v nice) at Point Albert pub, loved the lakes Day 132 - Wednesday 5th March 2008,Queenstown Now been on South Island a whole month. Very cold o/night Camping in Top10 Shotover gorge o/side Queenstown Got up late had breakfast about 11.30 luxury! Was overcast and drizzly. Then went to Arrowtown , came back read for a bit and then went on a drive about 5.30 to Glenorchy, just so good.Arrowtown a bit touristy and false as rebuilt. Chinese area interesting. Gr8 views all the way to Glenorchy down Lake Waipatu.Various folk in kitchen at campsite, many brits, plus brit girl with french boyfriend and Scandinavians with 3 kids who are looking to buy a house.Sun coming out just as we did our drive. England blackcaps 1st test in Hamilton Day 133 - Thursday 6th March 2008,Queenstown V sunny day & clear 2day, up about 9. Usual shower/ breakfast then into town to iSite and book LOTRs tour. Expect cold again at night as so clear skies.Superb views from Gondola restaurant and top. Luge/ tandem parascending/ bungee/ heli bikes and gr8 views over Queenstown.Various folks, guy from Broxbourne who took our picture on the gondola ride.$35NZD for pictures, can download eventually,Picture of my car from top with guy looking in, caught in the act!!! Stars and moon meant to say loved y’days trip to Glenorchy Day 134 - Friday 7th March 2008, Queenstown Lord of the rings tour by 4WD 2day 1-30pm to 5.30pm Excellent tour off road with Fran our guide and driver. First up the Remarkables Ski field then Winery above AJ Hacketts with Keruwara Gorge used for LOTRs shots Then Arrow river along real road although mostly under water and cobbles to Macetown an old gold mine town, Then Gold panning Then Skippers Canyon The views over Queens town and back. Morning beforehand most relaxing reading books and wedges for lunch in the oven,3 LOTRs scenes and a whole lot more,Fran our nutty guide with replacement knee joint, boy could she drive the 4WD on 2 I did ask to have a go but she wouldn’t let me Plus 2 Hungarians who had been in Oz 3.5 years but still couldn’t get a visa She knew loads about LOTRs Must have just rewatched them b4 the trip Plus 2 swedes,remember (hoot) Fran grabbing hold of my trousers as she fell in the Arrow river whilst we were gold panning, Plus finding a few specimines, Mexican meal at Sombreros Plus the BUCKET LIST movie (superb) in teeny cinema which surprised us as Queenstown is second largest town on South island (supposedly) Day 135 - Saturday 8th March 2008,Queenstown to Te Anau Got up fairly early, it had been raining o/night packed remaining stuff (had done ½ day before) We are getting quite proficient at this now And cos of rain quite warm o/night 20c during the day and sunny which isn’t bad for Autumn V windy split tent tie (again) Waited until sun partially dried tent then packed and went shopping in Fresh Choice in QT for 3 days as realized wouldn’t t get much in Fjordland Nat park, especially as all shuts 12 sat and not open Sunday Arrived Te Anau 2.30pm. Much more gentle scenery with dried slopes, farmland and much dried grass humps.Canadian Doctor from Prince Edward isles, sailed to NZ with wife took 1 year and had now been traveling NZ since 1/11/07 Very interesting guy Was gonna leave his boat here go back to Canada for his daughter to give birth and then come back again and sail to Oz Plus v friendly lady in Top 10 Ta Anau who gave us a gr8 pitch with roses and Germans in campervan next to us Lots of Germans on this site.Nice picnic lunch with the Deer at Five Rivers in car Day 136 - Sunday 9th March 2008,Te Anau Doubtful Sound trip $340NZD (£136) each but worth every penny of it. Immense scenery Got up early Picked up by coach outside the Top 10 in Te Anau (where we are staying for 4 nights) @ 8.45am Early if you are Pensioners like us! Then round the motels and sites to pick up others and 20km drive along Lake Anua to Manapouri. Driven by wife of DoubtfulSound.Coms owner who hires Geoff (partially deaf but drives 2 boats and one 4WD coach) whilst he goes off cray fishing on the Sound, nice office life if you can get it! Paid at office and we were off on the Fiordland Explorer across lake manapouri. Only way to DS. Tin boat (or was it bath?) holding 20. Really choppy because of wind. Took about 1hr 20 to other side of the lake. Then onto coach at West arm and gravel road across the national park but popped into 2km deep manapouri powerstation visitors center before hand (quite interesting, especially the digging and their comments at good safety record, predicted 50 dead but only 16, hmmmm, crazy logic). Then onto great little boat for gr8 3.5hr cruise along the sound. Up to Tasman sea entrance and back close to the edge back to campsite at about 6pm.Oh so much, exquisite day, met American couple from Texas, well traveled, indeed she had not been in the US for more than a 3 month stretch since retiring How nice would that be? Canadian family from Ontario who had taken their kids out of school for 3 months and are working their way around some of the farms. Camping talk as they like us were in tents. Danish guy and family (3 girls) who was in the campervan on the next plot to us. They had done Milford sound and were leaving Te Anua after 2 days to finish off NZ b4 going to Thailand. Ozzie lady who still sounded like she was from the UK. Remember Rainbows..Packed lunch and oh-so-beautiful scenery Sandflies on coach on the way back as door left open, more than we have seen b4. V cold o/night 5c Crazy signs i.e Hotel in sound and sign saying "Beware, SPICE girls" on Road Weather amazingly changeable rain to sun, loved the waterfalls Day 137 - Monday 10th March 2008,Te Anau Chill day, up late after v cold night, Annie found it hard to sleep. Went and looked around Te Anau and the new housing area reckon it could be as big if not bigger than Queenstown in a few years time as new airport opens bringing international travelers to the Fiordland Nat Park. Odd that all the roadway infrastructure and lights are built but all there are are Plot numbers Good sunny day though 20c Did some retail therapy, bought shirt and A bought new PJs & NZ rucsac Then back to site, dinner panini and pumpkin/Kumara spread and read/pcthen late T still full from lunch (sweetcorn on cob/ pasta/ cheese & bikkies) Fiord land cinema, Te Awetua film so good I bought the DVD, met no one really apart from Kiwi in Cinema who was fun,Not much, caught up on PC and got Travelodge (Sydney) and flight to Tassie booked plus doing Mums DVDs of South Island,Ta Anua building area Day 138 - Tuesday 11th March 2008,Milford Sound Best day yet!!! Wind (gusting 140km ) and heavy rain overnight, tent almost took off but in a way this was a blessing in disguise Our trip to Milford Sound meant the most magnificent waterfalls and then the sun came out just as we were going on our boat trip. Superb only the pictures can describe it .Lakes trees plains valley waterfalls,oh the best scenery in the World!!!! Lady on boat who kindly took our pictures and Chef from MS lodge who came from Invercargill and worked up there.Remember the whole day..MILFORD SOUND is superb!!!! The road to and from Milford was fab and we were so lucky to have both rain & sunshine. Day 139 - Wednesday 12th March 2008,Te Anau to Invercargill Nice and sunny (hooray) so first collapse of tent in the dry for quite a while. Packed, breakfasted and gone by 10.30am Drove along scenic highway all the way to Invercargill; saw and stopped at many of the beaches including McCrackens Rest for lunch and Monkey island. Gr8 tasman surf again although there did appear to be some pollution and boy was it blowing a gale. The Roaring 40s Went to bed quite late and slept v well.Some gr8 mountain views in the distance, Southern Alps. Watched 2 movie on Sky in Motel.Keeping Mum (Maggie Smith,Rowan Atkinson & Kristin-Scott-Thomas) & Stranger than Fiction (Will Farrell, Emma Thompson).All the staff at Te Anau top10 were really friendly and concerned about our ‘survival’ in the storms/gales.Booked sat night on Stewart island in Kaka Cottages, v hard to get in as only a few places and quite expensive but hey we only live once.Loved views of Fiordland nat park & Southern Alps with snow on them. Day 140 - Thursday 13th March 2008,Invercargill Relaxed day in Invercargill. Got up late had brekkie, went and booked an additional 2 days here at the Evergreen Motel on Dee st (hahabuilding work next door and fashioned like a 70s version of crossroads) Went to the Southland’s Museum, spent about 2 hours there v interesting especially Tuatara (lizards) and sub Antarctic islands stuff (roaring 40s, furious 50s) Then shopped at Countdown and went to Invercargill Brewery and tasted some of their gr8 beers and bought a selection pack. Saw lots of Tuatara Henry took a long time to come out of his burrow but what a magnificent specimen plus 2nd test against the blackcaps Gr8 innings by Tim Ambrose and Paul Collingwood to rescue things Some very old and large and palatial Victorian Buildings. Invercargill was obviously once of significance.Helpful lady at motel.All roads on a grid system are named after Scottish rivers. The Tuatara HENRY was ace!!! A Maori at the waterfall at Dusky sound by William Hodges (illustrator on James Cooks 2nd voyage (HMS Resolution) to NZ.Remember Henry and the beers. Day 141 - Friday 14th March 2008,Invercargill/ Bluff/Atoki Beach Got up reasonably late again, made sandwiches and headed off to Bluff . Checked out our Stewart island trip for 2moro. Tickets and car hire. Got to get up early 2moro then went up to the lookout up the hill into Bluff reserve Weather not gr8 so views over islands not that good Did bits of the Bluff Heritage trail, older buildings owned by J G Evans (PM twice) then went along Marine parade to Stirling Cove NZ’s answer to Land’s End (although not quite the most southerly part of South island) that is on private land but for tourists it counts as the end Took loads of piccies there.Test Cricket from Wellington basin reserve again, England on Top Although we had to get up early and it finished late we watched Blood Diamonds on Sky. Met no one really except the ladies at SIE (Stewart Island Experience) who were not keen to print off our tickets. We still owe $60NZD for car which I offered but they said they were cashing up and I should pay 2moro There you go.Shops selling Oyster and Chips Local luxury in Bluff. See Stewart Island for Days 142-3. Day 144 - Monday 17th March 2008,Invercargill to Balcutha, thru the Catlins St Patrick’s Day to be sure!!! Up early-ish Rather drizzly day until late eve when it went up to 18c (was 11c) Visited Invercargill Bakery and bought stuff for lunch then traveled down the scenic coastal highway all the way thru the Catlins. Very interesting park , trees to coast ending up having done at least 70km on Gravel roads in Balcutha Stayed at Motel just over the bridge.Sea lions (lots) ,birds but NO PENGUINS. Annie was disappointed.Met French couple who didn’t heed the warnings when photographing the sea lions Cannibal Bay.Loved the scenery and the wildlife. Day 145 - Tuesday 18th March 2008,Balcutha to Dunedin, via Alexandra (Central Otago loop) Travelled upto Alexandra / Clyde and then back down to Dunedin,saw Lake Dunstan, Central Otago, Rock lands, Blue Mountains, Roxbourgh Fruitlands, Middlemarch, Dunedin Motorway, St Bathans Goldfield ghost town,32c, Nice Chinese meal out in South Dunedin (Nanking) Stayed in converted hospital/ old folks home/ psycho ward in South Dunedin Day 146 - Wednesday 19th March 2008,Dunedin Gr8 day – went along Cliffside drive to Taiaroa head and the albatross sanctuary then back around the 31km harbour via the Portabello rd,Saw baby Albatross and adult. Did the tour most informative. NZ furry seals close up and some gr8 scenery both back into Dunedin and down to Taiaroa head.Staying in Commodore Motel, Great Cumberland Street North, Dunedin. Remember The albatross sanctuary and the perfect sunshine and annie standing next to full sized albatross, 3m wingspan Day 147 - Thursday 20th March 2008,Dunedin Leisurely breakfast watching what’s-is-name TV’s Paul ? (who is most funny) and Pippa on TV one Had hot cross buns Then went to explore Dunedin City Baldwin St first (bought the T Shirt, steepest street in the world) Parked up in the Otago Settlers Museum carpark (all charge in town) then up on cnr of Raffety & Broadway for Speights Ale House and Brewery (It is the oldest it NZ 1870s) Then off down coast to St Clair’s beach and Brighton beach b4 returning to motel (Commodore) nr botanic gardens. Early t and off to see the blue penguins.Baldwin street (steepest street in the world) Good stuff in museum (old art deco bus depot forms the middle) Lots of stuff on steerage shipping of Settlers to Otago The picture gallery has ALL Otago settlers (mostly Scots) The first guy William Cargill wanted Dunedin to be the new Edinburgh hence half the road names (PS they ripped off the local Maori seriously in this area after they had been so helpful) The railway station and old buildings some made from Aberdeen stone shipped over Can see why it once was the leading city in NZ (and hopes to be again with Carisbrook stadium replacement $188mNZD).Gr8 sunny day Beautiful Uni city Octagon, loved all of the city and beaches and Baldwin st. Day 148 - Friday 21st March 2008,Dunedin to Oamuru Stopped along the coast at various points. SH1 v busy as all the Kiwis off for Easter weekend. Drove about 150km with lunch on one of the coastal areas near Shag point. Moeraki boulders (v touristy) then along the coast via kaunui to oamuru, arrived at site about 2.20 pm and set up Nice pitch Day 149 - Saturday 22nd March 2008,Oamuru Visited town, penguin colony to book tickets and hide for yellow eyed penguins,One penguin obscured after 2 hrs,Gr8 bloke at next pitch who lives in Christchurch, used to live in Perth and Long Eaton and was born in Hartlepool, amzingly small world.Remember Play in the evening – the storm of 1868 hot day/ v cold night and the yellow eyed penguin taken from the hyde. Day 150 - Sunday 23rd March 2008,Oamaru Went to see the Blue penguins in their burrows on a guided tour Then onto the lookout and yellow-eyed penguins and the hide again. Good day , saw one on the beach They are very rare See piccies then spent most of the afternoon eve talking to the Brits on both sides of our pitch and cooking our superb fillet steak BBQ (yummy best yet!).Blue and yellow-eyed penguins.Fiona – Blue Penguin colony guide. Alan Weathley, teacher, born in Hartlepool, lived in Long Eaton, Perth and Christchurch, his Irish wife (who loved Enya) and their 2 children Dale and Alana.hoot the little boy had a metal detector and wanted to start digging up the inside of our tent. On the other side the young couple from Harpenden who had traveled thru the Anderman isles, Vietnam & Thailand before coming to South Isles (NZ) who were emigrating to Perth.good time to do it! Remember the evening chatting, but not the v cold nights and my lilo with slow puncture oh and boysenberry ice creams heaven Day 151 - Monday 24th March 2008,Oamaru Up about 9-ish v cold night again and bloody air mattress ‘going down’ all the time, neither of us slept that well,Croatian ringing home at 12pm didn’t help outside the tent, still got up said goodbye to alan rang mum & craig to hear about appalling Easter weather in UK, snow etc So felt way better, Nice emails from Doug, Linda and Phoenix off to cinema later Booked 2days at Lake Benmore site supposedly with en-suite Went to see Love in the Time of Cholera at the Omaru 3 Movies cinema, laid back cinema with coffee/ wine etc but popcorn all over the floor, yuck! Film most disappointing had Xavier Bardem in it .Anne did a bit of washing, sun came out and in, probably gonna rain which will wash tree pollen off car and tent Keef did PC stuff Day 152 - Tuesday 25th March 2008,Oamaru to Lake Benmore Travelled about 108kms today. Packed up tent in cloud and by the time we had reached Takiroa (Maori Rock art place) the sun was out and it was 22c. Travelled round back of Lake Aviemore (lots of DOC campsites) and had lunch there with the sandflies, no kept windows closed and air con on. Arrived at campsite at Lake Benmore at about 2.30pm .Great lakes.Nice lady and her hubby who work the campsite. They live in Nelson, do a summer season up here at Lake Benmore (although this will be the last) and spend the winter in their campervan in Oz. Doing WA this year. Remember en-suite pitch for tent with own shower, loo and washbasin. We have decided to stay 3 days ,$200NZD bid (so far) on our camping gear in Trade Me (Kiwi equivalent of ebay) Day 153 - Wednesday 26th March 2008,Lake Benmore Holiday park & Mt Cook Nat Park BEEN AWAY 5 MONTHS 2DAY!!!!! At this campsite for 3 nights.Drove thru Twizel to Aoraki – Mt Cook along SH8 & 80 past Lake Pukataki (superbly blue) Left at 1.30 returned at 7.30 as very cloudy in morning which then cleared to bright sunshine Drove down Tasman valley gravel road for 8km and then walked up to Blue Lakes Hard walk, missed out on tasman glacier walk as too knackered. Remember Mt Cook Nat Park,boo hiss, no one else bidding on our Trade me auction Meal in Twizel (weird place) and copper with rifle, loved Mackenzie plains and Mt Cook Nat Park . Day 154 - Thursday 27th March 2008,Lake Benmore Spent most relaxing day at site, quite warm. Read loads of Gossip magsboy what we don’t know about Angelina Jolie and designer 3rd world babies doesn’t bear questioning! Got up early to watch Trade Me bid on our camp stuff conclude, winner who didn’t hit the reserve was from Auckland (dummy – despite my explicit details about delivery in Christchurch) Sold to Andy from Rangiora who we will deliver to later $260NZD , lost about $1110NZD over 3 ½ months, not bad! Good weather, surrounding mountains and a very calm Lake Benmore,Lakeflies and midges attracted to the light in Kitchen as we tried to read at night Good pork Tikka masala for lunch with med grain rice, yummy! Nice ladies from campsite again who told us in the 80s when the roads weren’t tar sealed it took a day from Blenheim to Nelson, wow! Plus in Winter lake Benmore freezes no snow (often) but –20c temps because of surrounding Southern Alps Plus Canadian from New Brunswick who comes over without his wife every Jan for 3 months to escape the Canadian winter, can’t say I blame him, the weather I mean, not his wife hee hee! Day 155 - Friday 28th March 2008,Lake Benmore to Timaru Up reasonably early, packing takes little time now. We know the ropes and pack some stuff the Night B4. This will be our last night under canvas as have done 52 nights now and it is getting somewhat cold and autumnal and we have to deliver the camp gear to Andy, so motels from now on and campervan in Oz for the SA to QLD leg. It had rained o/night which helped with some of the sticky stuff from birch tree at Oamaru. Annie cleaned tent and ground sheet up well so put stuff to bed. Drove up to Twizel area and along Bullock heritage trail tourist route via canal off SH8 to see LOTRs sites then along SH8 thru Mt Cook Nat Park, thru Lake Tekapo, up Mt John to Observatory, then thru Breakers pass back into the slightly flatter lands via Fairlie and P Point to Timaru. Staying in Aspen on Kings Timaru is v big maybe 2nd to Christchurch.Superb views of Mt Cook and surrounding mountain range as v sunny over that area, some good shots down Mt Cook salmon farm gravel road. Lake Tekapo most disappointing (v touristy) Mt John Observatory superb views again.English guy who runs motel, left east London 35 years ago but still has some sort of UK accent .Gr8 meal in Aspen on Kings restaurant A had salmon, I had beef medallions plus lemon meringue / coffee cheesecake for pud watched 2 DVDs – Emma (rubbish) and Beyond Borders (good clive owen superb), went to bed late Day 156 - Saturday 29th March 2008,Aspen on Kings, Timaru Alas up early because of kids playing outside at 7.30 am, kill their parents if we see them,. Did bacon & mushroom butties for b/fast and watched tv in bed, decadent or what! Cloudy day, only 16c Caught up on PC, paid bills, noted down our Sydney accommodation and flight to Tassie otherwise a chill type day off to town pm . 2 DVDs – Mrs Palfrey at the Claridge (Mrs Olivier – Joan Crawford) Ace, plus some other unmemorable Stealing home with Jodie Foster (bit part) and not her best, met the guy from Motel (again), Not much, chill day, Timaru is not that interesting Day 157 - Sunday 30th March 2008,Timaru Went out to Temuka and Milford Huts (just o/side Timaru) having been to Caroline Bay, not the nicest parts of South island if we are honest. Weather good and sunny 25c Got pumpkin and mushroom quiche from New World (Temuka) 4 tea and then went back to motel to sort out camping gear for our sale to Andy in Rangiora and watched 4 DVDs whilst quaffing Sav Blanc , creamy blue cheese and grapes. Ladies in lavender, Kid (Bruce willis, crap, stopped), Vows of deception (Cheryl Ladd) and Let them eat cake (series) Dawn French/ Jennifer Saunders (Gr8). Day 158 - Monday 31st March 2008,Timaru to Ashburton, via Mt Hutt Gr8 day, v interesting. Out of motel by 10am, started at 16c ended at 23c, drove up after petrol refill and screen wipe to Temuka, then Geraldine (v touristy) but walked around quaint township and saw museum (mostly farming community), then up Inland scenic highway to Mt Hutt / Methven , diverting down to Peel Forest and Rakianga Gorge (raft tour start).Sheep droving, nice hills/ mountains, deer, walk to the Big tree in Peel forest,gr8 fun , 30 mins, lots of bird life in this natural forest Some Germans at the big tree, lady who runs Commodore motel, Ashburton,Weather, humid, 23c and big tree and little birdie that flew to us in the forest. Loved Mt Hutt bungy, big tree and sheep droving Day 159 - Tuesday 1st April 2008,Ashburton to Christchurch, then Rangiora Visited Ashburton Town center, gardens , museum and art gallery, then drove out to Wakanui beach nearby across Canterbury plains and then up parallel to SH1 thru lots of little places, Mitcham included, and back thru Lincoln into Christchurch. Staying at AAA Motel on North road nr airport (-ish) for 4 days b4 flying out to Oz. Very nice town square and clock with flowers, flat countryside and NZs longest bridge over No water (or very little) – not that impressive if we are honest but maybe we have been spoilt.Andy and family, 8 Kensington Ave, Rangiora, sold gear for $260NZD , cost $1400+NZD but not bad considering we couldn’t take with us and we had used for 52 nights.Ok weather, student art better than Colin McMahon (NZs best living artist) Day 160 - Wednesday 2nd April 2008,Christchurch beaches Visited New Brighton , Sumner (polluted) and Gondola up above CC and Bank’s peninsular, very sunny but getting a little colder.New Brighton pier, cave rocks Sumner, Lyttelton harbour from above.Free coffee and gondola ride, good chicken meal in the eve (teryaki) Day 161 - Thursday 3rd April 2008,Christchurch After wasting 3+hours packing, unpacking and repacking stuff to be posted off to Craig, numerous U-turns on SH and 3 visits to the post office we finally got off to visit the city center. Parked up behind the Science alive on Moorhouse St and caught the free shuttle into Cathederal Sq. walked passed market, river Avon to Art Museum (lovely building) Colin McMahon stuff no good but Goldie and Gottlieb on old Maori’s ace,Art museum, cathedral and graffiti freeze for City of flowers (now complete).Slightly effiminant gent desk at museum.How long it takes to get a parcel off including guy I rang for shipping freight who said when I asked about personal effects ‘that as long as they were horses that was fine!!!’ hoho a horse merchant.Remember a couple of Kiwi speedway giants Day 162 - Friday 4th April 2008,Christchurch Day spent at the Botanic gardens and packing. See NSW (Oz) for Day 163 a flight day.. Diary To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. South Island Slideshows South Island Images South Island Talkies Postcards Map Audio Diary Trailer

  • 1995 | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    OUR HOLIDAY "DOWN UNDER" - 1995 Including Family in Sydney, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria & Queensland Replicated by Blog 163 8 minutes of wonderment covering the highlights of our time in 1995 with our young family in Australia. KHWD has recreated this in 2023 using a lot more modern techniques on old photos to show the art of the possible! 1995 Diary 5 weeks in Australia with the Family Initially staying with family in Sydney but then other parts of New South Wales, Canberra the capital in Australian Capital Territory, Victoria before flying up to Queensland and hiring our mega 6 berth motorhome with antiquated double declutch gears and no power steering, our first experience in a motorhome and yet we continue to this day despite the battle to drive her, tee-hee. By way of a Summary, we spent 5 weeks in Australia and were away between 3/8/1995 - 5/9/1995, have a look at our calendar why don’t you, thanks for looking. Bit of nostalgia for you website browsers, on the old website photos were arranged in batches of 50 via the gallery to make it quicker to load them and easier to navigate through them. In 2020 we updated this so you can now use the slider feature under the 1995 images menu to run across them or click one and then just tab thru, up to you. All You Tube videos from that trip are available via the Playlist buttons above. Enjoy! This is a visual summary of our family trip to Australia in 1995. What lovely memories! We were supposed to have 2 stops on route, Kuwait City & Jakarta but in the end stopped at those and Changi airport, Singapore (where in fairness since 1995 we have been often as our family now live in Singapore, but that’s a different story) plus Denpasar airport , Bali, Indonesia, where we saw a lovely lady doing Batik and Keef filmed her for prosperity, just a fabulous skill and creation, note is also a mecca for Aussie surfers which would have given us and issue on the return journey if we hadn't arrived at Kingsford Smith early as unbeknown to us apparently they always overbook flights, we would worse case scenario have to get the next one and miss our connections, which is not fair plane by the airlines in our humble opinion #badnews. 48 hours travel to save the cost of one child's flight. We would not do that again, far too tiring. Whilst in Oz we visited Sydney, Hunter Valley wine area, travelled the Pacific highway to Hawkesbury River , French's Forest and Annie's old haunts, Hard Rock Café Sydney (defunct for a bit but now reopened at Circular Quay), Used the now defunct Sydney Monorai l, visited Waratah Zoo, Botany Bay, Etamogah pubs so unique, ate at Doyle's Watson Bay (why wouldn't you?), Great Ocean Road , Loch Ard Gorge and the 12 Apostles , this was in the days when you could just park opposite them, no longer, now a huge tourist site, think it was better back then, Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament house, Melbourne, Mornington peninsular, Keef's old haunts, Philip Island and Japanese tourist who just did not understand "no flash" please!, Ballarat gold panning at Sovereign Hill, Ned Kelly's at Beechworth, Glenrowan, Hopkins Falls near Warrnambool, Melba Gully Glowworms, Anne's Cascade Falls, South Gippsland's Earthworm experience and zoo, and Queensland especially Cairns, Fishery Falls campsite, Mossman Gorge, Gordonvale, Gillies Range, Crater Lakes National Park, Green Island, the Great Barrier Reef , the fab Kuranda Railway , Tapuki Aboriginal dance troop, Port Douglas, 7 mile beach, stinger stations, Daintree River croc and snake boat trip, Doug spotted a huge crocodile, Hartley's Creek Crocodile Farm (now closed but reopened as Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in 2001 ) , Wangetti, Cathedral Fig Tree , Danbulla , The Bruce Highway (highway 1) and the Atherton Tableland. By 2020 including living there as a child / teenager respectively we have been 5 times and still have rellies / friends living there, love the place! By 2017 we had in essence travelled from Caernarvon high up on the west coast all the way around up to Cooktown high on the east coast plus thru the red centre from Darwin to Adelaide including Alice Springs, plus Broome & Kunannarra both high up in Western Australia, oh and all the way around the island of Tasmania, and travelled on 2 of the great world railway experiences, The Ghan from Darwin to Alice Springs, and the Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide across the Nullarbor plain which we have also done in a motorhome in 2013. We would have lived in Sydney as a family way back in the late 80s if my company (Boots UK) had given me the job in the rocks area but in the end, they decided it was cheaper to give the job to an Aussie rather than pay for a whole British family to be shipped out there, shame, but travel & life is still fun. Indeed, my pal Peter and his family did do the job in the Rocks, he so loved it when Boots dragged him back to the UK he resigned and returned to Brisbane , where just outside in warner he and his family now live, we have visited them, snakes in the pool and all, ha-ha. full calendar 1995 august full calendar 1995 september august 1995 calendar full calendar 1995 august 1/4 To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. yass drive in bottle-o wooden bridge at gundagai 1/132 1995 Images 1995 Slideshows 1995 Calendars 1995 Route Intro The Talkies Anyway, to the Diary detail. Thursday 3rd August 1995 Finish work, travel to London, stay overnight at Mum & Dad’s. We had booked all our flights via the Ilkeston Co-op and planned to snooze either at airports or on the plane, big mistake, we soon learnt that kipping on a plane is not easy with all the distractions around you. Friday 4th August 1995 Linda drives us to Heathrow, leave Mum & Dad’s at 8 a.m. Linda is having our car for the duration of our time away, I put her on the insurance. Got to Heathrow about 9.30 a.m., heavy traffic understandably. Our first flight was at 11.30 a.m. to Kuwait City in Kuwait. We got there about 22.30 p.m. It was amazingly hot. There gave us a voucher for a drink and sandwich in the transfer area. A guy told me it had been 52 degrees centigrade at lunch that day, the 45 at almost midnight was more than enough for all of us and the jet lag was already kicking in. We looked out of the big glass windows at the airport it was just sand everywhere, even the roads looked like sand crop circles if that makes sense. We left Kuwait City at about 23.30 p.m. Saturday 5th August 1995 We were on the Indonesian airline Garuda which at the time had the worst safety record in the world, which did play on your mind a bit, and tried to sleep on the plane, it landed at Changi Airport , Singapore for refuelling, I remember they woke me to ask if I wanted yet more food, I shooed them away and tried to sleep. Unsuccessfully I might add. The Garuda airline then touched down at its headquarters at 14.40 p.m. i.e., Denpasar airport, we were there for almost 5 hours at the airport, which meant we could stretch our legs, see all the wonderful palm trees and lady doing Batik, which Keef filmed. You will see that on the way back (2nd September) we finally got let out into Indonesia , what an interesting place, in Jakarta the capital of the island of Java. We finally left Denpasar at 19.30 p.m. local time and flew on to Sydney overnight using the then Australian Ansett Airlines (they folded in September 2001), well and truly jet lagged by now after our epic journey with far more stops than Ilkeston Co-op had booked us, I even remember trying to sleep on a bench at Denpasar airport, it just didn’t work, the kids however seemed quite happy. Sunday 6th August 1995 We arrived at Sydney Kingsford Smith International airport at 8.45 a.m. early morning Australian time, exhausted from travel but happy to be here. We waited for the sweet shop to open and bought a disgusting Australian chocolate honeycomb bar that was supposed to be the equivalent of a crunchy bar, it wasn’t. Anyhow the logic was to get some coins to ring Brian to say we had arrived and could he come at pick us up. After some lovely greeting he drove us back to their abode at x where we were greeted by Anne, Laura, and Leo, so nice to see them all again. Brian’s company (BT) provided both accommodation and a car for the family, they lived at 30/1 New Street, West Balgowlah Heights, Sydney, Australia, NSW 2093 just overlooking Spit Bridge if you went out the front of their house. As a family we tried staying awake to get into Australian time and went out for a meal with B&A down at the harbour’s edge. I remember seeing our 1st Kookaburra and me having fish curry for my meal which on reflection was not a wise move, and it paid me back for at least a couple of days in ways I don’t wish to write about, ha-ha. Monday 7th August 1995 Lazy day recovering from Jet Lag, spent it at B&A’s. Brian was at work in the city centre, a fab journey to work on the sea cat or ferry across to circular quay from the Spit, what more could you ask for? The boys played basketball with L&L and we all took a little stroll along the road outside to have a look at spit bridge and the harbour, nice. Tuesday 8th August 1995 Brian drove us to pick up our hire car, a white holden, which we will keep for 15-16 days and drop off at Melbourne airport before we fly up to Cairns and pick up our motorhome. The car in Sydney gave us the flexibility to go out exploring as a family independent of B&A but we also did stuff with them as well. In the evening we all went to Doyle’s at Watson Bay, our first encounter of many at this fine fish establishment, we also had a bit of a stroll around Manly and the Corso, so remember all those Norfolk pines. As Brian had the day off, we visited Laura and the Blue Mountains, quite an experience with views to die for, we had a snack in a café in Laura to calm our nerves after an eventful go on the funicular railway, the kids loved it. It was called the Katoomba railway. Wednesday 9th August 1995 Sydney and the surrounding area. We took our car into Balgowlah to get used to it and had another look around, on the 1st day we had used the bus from here to get around and Brian picked us up from the bus stop. In the evening we all went to Clontarf, Sandy Bay and Castle Rocks, great fun and oh so warm’ later met the Jones at Waratah Zoo to feast our eyes on all the wonderful Aussie animals and birds, especially the Koala’s a firm favourite forever. We also saw wombats, kangaroos and dingoes. It is worth noting that we used a combination of both open topped bus and our hire car to get around, car parking not being cheap or accessible often. Thursday 10th August 1995 Sydney and the surrounding area, used the Manly ferry today and kept the ticket as a souvenir, in the day we visited the Chinese Gardens, so tranquil, Keef dressed up in traditional costume for photos, boy it was hot in that garb, plus strolled to the Botanic gardens up Macquarie Street (the ex NSW governor way back when it was a colony) where we saw Ibis and a whole lot more, some fascinating tropical plants that were a feast for the eyes, and then we finally went to Bondi beach in the evening and had the obligatory ice cream along the promenade. We also got views of the fab Pittwater and visited the posh houses at Palm Beach, allegedly at the time Russell Crowe owned something there as well as Home & Away / Neighbours being filmed on the beach there, so glad Kylie took up singing instead ha-ha. Friday 11th August 1995 Sydney and the surrounding area, Manly ferry to Circular quay again, love this area, listening to the trad aboriginal playing didge (indeed the same guy was still there in many future years when we returned) and some street theatre under the high-level railway arches. We even used the monorail to get around, quite and experience and great views. It closed in June 2013. We went up the Sydney sky tower and got some great views and photos of the dense panorama, including out over the harbour, we both love Sydney. We also had a look around the Harbourside shopping mall but bought nothing bar ice-creams, some of the days Ann came out with us when she was feeling up to it, B&A’s kids were at school during the day, following the “slip-slop” mantra. Saturday 12th August 1995 Brian had hired a large people mover and we set off early north through New South Wales towards the Hawkesbury River which in 2017 when we were staying at Beacon Hill in our lovely apartment with pool, we travelled alongside on the train to visit Annie’s cousin Susan at Newcastle. Sadly, Brian picked up the obligatory speeding fine this time for too fast on the motorway out of Sydney i.e., the Pacific highway Sunday 13th August 1995 We went with Brian, Ann, and family into Sydney centre by ferry, saw the Rocks market, harbour bridge, Opera house and went to the then Hard Rock Café with its huge hanging American car, not surprisingly Keef bought the T-shirt. We also went of the Sydney aquarium and later in the week for a look around, when we went into Manly via Fairlight Ann took our boys into the one there near the wharf. We all had a good look around before returning late in the evening tired and happy to bed. Monday 14th August 1995 Sydney and the surrounding area. Redid some of the things we had already done in the city centre but we so love it, including using the Tourist hop on hop off bus to get around the sites, much easier than driving into a very busy Sydney centre, we are getting to know our way around now and well and truly over jet lag. Tuesday 15th August 1995 Sydney and the surrounding area. Went with Ann to the North Heads area. In the evening had a nice family meal as we are off on our travels from tomorrow. Wednesday 16th August 1995 Said our goodbyes, we will see them later in the month, and left Sydney heading out towards Goulburn on the Hume Highway (M31) through Liverpool, Campbelltown, Mittagong and Marulan (we did see these in more detail in 2017) which we didn’t stop at but saw as we drove through, we stopped after Goulburn at Yass for a rest. We travelled onto the Australian Capital Territory to our hotel in Canberra through Murrumbateman, an interesting place. Thursday 17th August 1995 We spent the whole day in Canberra visiting lake Burley Griffin and taking a boat trip out on the lake which gave us extensive views of the surrounds. Keef did quite a bit of videoing on his old fashioned (but at the time top tech) camcorder. We went up the Canberra sky tower and got some amazing views, most of which however was bush. We then visited the Australian parliament and did the tour which we adults found fascinating, less sure about the kids. Canberra in our humble opinion is quite a weird place, people seem to drive in for work and drive out in the evening, we had an evening meal out in what now seemed like a ghost town before returning to the motel and bed, a hugely interesting day, tick. Friday 18th August 1995 Set off quite early in the morning after breakfast to avoid some of the heat whilst travelling, even though the car had air conditioning. Visited Gundagai whose past inhabitant Horatio Wills is credited with inventing Aussie rules and the 1st aboriginal cricket team. Some fame. We then went thru Wagga Wagga, just because we love the name. Stopped at Albury to see the historic department store and the paddle steamer on the Murray, this being the NSW / Victoria border. The mighty Murray runs into Lake Hume nearby. We then went to Glenrowan and Beechworth to see some history on Ned Kelly. We finally arrived at Melbourne and our hotel quite late in the evening having seen Seymour and its station, we have returned there since in 2017. Saturday 19th August 1995 Today we went on a Keef Nostalgia tour after seeing the city centre cathedral. You must be so careful with trams when driving. You must stop alongside when they stop or get fined, a good safety idea. We parked in a central car park undercover and then caught the free trams around the sights of Melbourne. Flinders Street station, Greek area etc. We then took the car to Lalor to find Keef’s old house and then onto the Mornington peninsular, Elwood and Pine Avenue, another Hellinger haunt, and then onto Philip Island and Nobbies point to see the fairy penguins land on shore and hobble up the cliff side, just magical. We visited San Remo, Ventnor, Ryll and Cowes on Philip Island as well, how original eh? We returned to our motel late evening , a fun packed day. Sunday 20th August 1995 Today we went out through Southern Cross to Ballarat and spent the whole wonderful day at Sovereign Hill both seeing a re-enactment of a gold mining village and doing some gold panning ourselves, in the evening there was a show with lights and sounds, a fab day which I think the boys will remember forever. We stayed in a motel at Ballarat overnight. Monday 21st August 1995 We set off early in the morning for Warnambool passing through Darlington and Ellerslie. Stopping on route at Hopkins Falls and having a gave of footie as well as seeing the falls. Sadly it was renamed as Doug did have a fall and badly grazed himself. We called in at Warnambool hospital to have him patched up. He was in a bit of pain but we went to see if we could see any southern right whales nearby at Logan’s beech from the viewing platform, we saw a Mum and cub, wonderful. We stayed overnight in a motel here. Tuesday 22nd August 1995 Today we left Warnambool and started travelling along the absolutely world class Great Ocean Road coming off the Princes Highway where we could travel along the roads edging the Bass Straits and see some of the truly sublime scenery and sandstone rock stacks that edge this coast. We saw amongst others The Grotto, Loch Ard Gorge, where we and the boys descended much of the available staircases to the viewing platforms, great views, London Bridge ,which in fairness over the years we have visited “has fallen down” with a huge chunk eroding away into the sea, however in 1995 it was all in one piece and of course the truly magnificent 12 Apostles. In 1995 it was not so touristy, so we were able to pull the car up right near by and had the whole view to ourselves, truly magnificent. After the 12 apostles we went onto Melba Gully where we chose our guest house. The chap who ran it took us along with torches later in the evening into the rainforest gully nearby to see the glow worms, magical stuff, and something we all remember to this day. Wednesday 23rd August 1995 Packed up early from the guest house and said goodbye to the incredibly kind owner who had taken us down into the Gully last night to see the glow worms. We returned to the Gully and walked up to Anne’s Cascades along Madsen’s track, how appropriately named are those falls. It did feel like we were in a rainforest. It was only about an 8-minute walk, but you seriously thought you were on a different continent, maybe the Brazilian rain forests, not that we have been there. After that we travelled further along the Great Ocean Road through Johanna, Glenaire, the Great Otway National Park (we returned in 2017 to look for koala’s there) and Marengo before stopping at Apollo Bay briefly. Quite a touristy town but with a fab beach. From Otway to Torquay , the eastern end it is called the Surf coast. From Otway back to Warnambool , the western end, it is called the shipwreck coast. We saw Lorne and stopped at Moggs creek to see some of the amazing exclusive residences that were architect designed overlooking the Great Ocean Road and the Surf coast. We then went onto Torquay. In 2008 when we went onto Torquay and were lucky enough to see one of the car rally old vehicles just going under the Eastern wooden arch and Keef managed to snap it. It is also a monument to the soldiers who built the whole of the Great Ocean Road. At Torquay we went down to the beach to watch the surfers doing their thing in the sun. After Torquay we used the Princes Highway to travel on up to Gippsland , going around the outskirts of Melbourne, at South Gippsland we visited the Giant Earthworm Museum and zoo. Fascinating stuff. The boys petted a few kangaroos there as well as learning about Giant earth worms, not sure I would want to come across one of those. After Gippsland we returned to the Melbourne airport area and stayed in a motel there overnight. I think it was Sunbury but my memory is a little hazy on that. Thursday 24th August 1995 Up latish as no great rush this morning, had breakfast and packed the car up and headed off to the car rental company on the outskirts of Melbourne airport at Tullamarine. We handed back the car and then they transported us to the internal flights’ terminal. We flew Quantas internal which back in 1995 took 4 hours 40 minutes, nowadays (2022) the journey is only 3 hours 30 minutes on average. In Cairns we took a taxi to our motel which was fairly near the airport and had a bit of a look around the area we were in. We also used the long days to take a boat trip out to Green Island off the Great Barrier Reef, had BBQ supper on board, Doug & Keef saw a stingray and hared out of the water quick at it's sight, as a family we all did the submarine , glass bottom board excursion and saw masses of fish including the Trevally, a huge edible fish common in these waters. Friday 25th August 1995 Awoke in Cairns, Queensland on the Coral Coast, just so tropical and humid. A delight for the senses. We really liked Cairns and have returned since. Rumour has it that when my Dad was out in Australia as a single guy in the early 50s he was offered a strip of land on the coast in Queensland which he could easily have afforded but he turned it down not knowing where his future lay, what a shame that sort of real estate would be worth a fortune now, and what a fab coast line it is. Anyhow we got a taxi to the motorhome company in Cairns where we picked up our Country Club Maui 6 berth motorhome, the 1st we had ever hired. We drove out of Cairns learning to master this beast in terms of driving and looking forward to seeing all the sugar cane fields and coast had to offer, well excited. We stayed in our first campsite not far down the coast visiting Gordonvale on route and staying at fishery falls, a fabulous campsite with lovely tropical flowers that we have returned to on future trips. Saturday 26th August 1995 Today we had a look around the Fishery falls area and then drove onto Innisfail. After that we used highway 25 through the amazing Wooroonooran National Park to Millaa Millaa and then on through the Crater lakes National Park to camp at Dunbulla. Sunday 27th August 1995 Up early before it got too hot, we went to see the amazing Cathedral Fig tree nearby, it was truly amazing we used the board walk to get there and took lots of pictures. After this we visited Yungaburra which is about where the Atherton Tablelands start on the Gillies Range Road, the terrain was definitely getting steeper to the point where I had a queue a mile long behind the motorhome and in double-declutched lowest gear I really thought we weren’t going to get up the incline but with patience and time we did thank goodness, the Aussie behind were tooting supportively NOT! Ha-ha. We stopped at Atherton for a good look around the town with interesting trees , monuments, and shops. Bought some provisions and stayed at the campsite there. The campsite was quite modern and we had wallabies watching us which was fun. Monday 28th August 1995 Left the delightful site at Atherton and used the Bruce Highway, the Australian National Highway 1, to travel through Mareeba, with its lovely Jacaranda trees (and pods which we collected). We passed through Mount Molloy and the Mount Lewis National Park onto Mossman Gorge. We camped here but not before exploring the river , gorge, and rain forest. We went for a bit of a walk across the gorge swing bridge , seeing Boyd Tree frogs and a whole lot more wildlife and fauna, a magical place. The town of Mossman was quite sad with aboriginals drunk already outside the local taverns quite early in the day, in later years when we have returned to Mossman they had moved the whole aboriginal community into buildings on the outskirts of town, still drunk sadly, not sure they have integrated as a culture very well into modern western life, indeed for the most part I can safely say they haven’t , its just so sad across Australia and is still a very big issue to sort. The campsite at Mossman we liked a lot, especially the green tree frogs in the flap on the electric hook up posts. Oh and the magnificent tree palms everywhere. Tuesday 29th August 1995 Left the campsite at Mossman early and travelled up to Daintree Village where we did the Daintree River cruise , the river is a UNESCO world heritage site as it is a Wet Tropics example. Doug spotted a huge crocodile and we saw quite a few on the banks. The boat captain told us, we were the only ones in the boat, that sometimes the crocs pull cattle from the banks if they stray too close. Doug also spotted a tree snake sitting up high, what amazing eyesight he has. We then went onto Port Douglas and had a rally good look around, such a nice place, so nice we have returned later when the ferry across the Daintree to Cape tribulation was open. Whilst here went to the Flagstaff hill lighthouse and 7-mile beach where we saw the stations to help eradicate the pain of being stung by one of the stinger jellyfish that frequent that coastline. We had quite a nice walk on 7-mile beach, not the whole 7, however. We stayed at a campsite just outside Port Douglas. Wednesday 30th August 1995 We left our campsite at Port Douglas and used the Captain Cook Highway through the Thala beach nature reserve and the very interesting Macalister Range National Park down to Wangetti on the coast. We turned off there up to Harley’s creek where we spent much of the day at the Hartley’s creek crocodile farm, watching amongst others Bruce and his black snake devouring a live mouse (yuk!), numerous crocodile feeding shows, “he’s behind you”, and learning about exactly how many pounds pressure a crocs jaw can impose, not with this and their roll if you ever get caught by one I don’t envy your chances. Beside crocs and there were lots of them, there were other traditional Aussie animals, notably the very dangerous Cassowary. I remember going through the town of Cassowary on our way from Atherton to Port Douglas. We stayed almost until the park closed and then drove again on the Captain Cook highway along past numerous beaches to Yorkey’s Knob campsite, right on the beach and we got an end slot with fabulous views and were able to watch the sun go down. Thursday 31st August 1995 We left the wonderfully named Yorkey’s knob campsite and drove the short distance to the Freshwater railway station where we parked up the van and bought our tickets for the Kuranda Railway, an almost 2-hour journey with the lovely Simone as our guide and waitress up to the rainforest town of Kuranda. It stops for 10 minutes both ways at Barron falls , a majestic fast flowing and extremely high falls, vaguely reminds me of the Bridal Veil falls in New South Wales Blue Mountains. We had a few hours to both look at the historic station, tropical plants everywhere, stroll around town and see an aboriginal dance show (bit touristy) but with dreamtime stories presented by the troop known as Tapuki. We collected some of their marketing memorabilia which for many a year we displayed on the boy’s playroom wall. They were impressive especially the didge playing which I still haven’t mastered despite owning one. It was a wonderful day, we found a campsite in North Cairns to stay at overnight. Friday 1st September 1995 On the way back to the motorhome hire company near Cairns airport we briefly called in at the AJ Hackett sky park bungee jumping place to see and hear the mad fools jumping, you wouldn’t get me doing that. So, we then cleaned up the van packed our stuff away in our cases and checked the van back in leaving any leftover provisions at the office for other campers, this is a great gratuity we have taken advantage of over the years, it gets you started. We then got the free shuttle to the airport and flew back to Sydney via Brisbane, seeing the Brisbane River out of the window whilst we touched down to let travellers off briefly. The whole flight into Sydney only took 2 hours 50 minutes. We then got a taxi from Sydney airport back to Brian and Ann’s in Balgowlah. Lovely to see them all again. Saturday 2nd September 1995 We were all up early to say our fond farewells and thank them for all their kind hospitality but then it was off to Sydney airport. We got a taxi at 6.30 a.m. and arrived at the airport at 7 a.m. We left on time and flew to Jakarta, Java, Indonesia arriving at 14.10, K p.m. where we had a few hours checked out in the town. We caught a taxi for our excursion and sightseeing, after Keef had crossed off 3 trailing zeroes from the guys Rupiah quote (would have been a years salary for him, tee-hee) we saw a lot, I remember how busy it was, folk having to do press ups by the road side enforced by the police because they had been jay walking, people hanging off the back of very over crowded buses, buying our wooden fruit bowl in a department store, watching people doing wood carving in back streets with the blades shaving towards their bare feet, frightening but it is and was the way. All in all a very interesting visit. We then had to get back on the plane. Sunday 3rd September 1995 At 00.10 a.m. we finally flew out of Jakarta onto Kuwait City which we arrived at 8.15 in the morning local time. This was both a refueling and leg stretching stop, we were in the transfer lounge for about 3 hours finally flying on to the UK departing from Kuwait City at midday local time. We arrived back at Heathrow at 16.30 p.m. After getting through customs and border control we got a taxi back to Mum & Dads, had a brief catch up and all crashed out exhausted after all the time travel. Monday 4th September 1995 Caught up a little more with Mum & Dad, told them how we had visited all our old Australian homes in the Victoria area, thanked them for putting us up, said our fond farewells and having retrieved our car from Linda who popped round drove back home to Nottingham. We were still all jet lagged so went to bed. Tuesday 5th September 1995 Back to normal life, Keef to work but the boys had an extra day off to further recover, a great family holiday. Diary Map Audio Diary Trailer

  • TONGA | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    TONGA, Nuku'alofa & Atata Island GO TO DIARY To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Diary Slideshows Tongan Images Map Trailer

  • SAMOA | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    WESTERN SAMOA,Savaii & Upolu GO TO DIARY To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Diary Slideshows Samoan Images Map Trailer

  • PACIFIC ISLANDS | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs East Midlands UK

    PACIFIC ISLANDS Fiji, Western Samoa & Tonga Intro Buttons Diary Islands Slideshows Fijian Images Samoan Images Tongan Images INTRODUCTION From our travels, Pacific Islands Overall, 1 Nov-10 Dec 2007,featuring Fiji, Western Samoa, Tonga, such fun, travel to many parts on numerous islands,including 250 images being a summary of the much larger individual islands video now broken into 5 parts in nov2020, , covering plus a whole lot more the following,Savaii, aggie grey, apia, savusavu, atata island, alofaaga blowholes, my tongan driving license issued by the king (smile), captain james cook, sewaka platform, airports, harbours, town, tropical flowers, markets, music, outriggers hotel, insel fehrman hotel, vatu the dog, buses, ferries, auala harbour, salealonga, bougainvillea, boxing, fishing, breadfruit, pelehake, tongatapu main tongan island, nadi, cocktails, coconuts, cruise ships, cyclone daman, earthquakes, Richter scale 8.2, fale shook, nuku’alofa, traditional dancing, museums, cannibalism, hibiscus, local beers, water salination stations, festivals, carnivals, hot springs, Houma, tonga 5th most corrupt nation on earth signs, international dateline hotel, jean-michel cousteaux resort,kaati-ni, vunu road, kava, halafuolafa beach, upolu, seabreezes resort,banyan trees, 3 sisters café, labasa, sugar cane, lorries, conflicts, rocks, princess tui (yuk!), vailima, Robert Louis Stevenson, lovo meals, taro, kings palaces, lava rocks, garlands, vanua levu, miss pacific islands competition, maota, mapu'a 'a vaea blowholes, mongoose, urata, sopu, ports, orchids, pinapples, mangoes, guava, banana bread, samosas (best in the world), paradise cove, cross island road, outriggers boats & hotel, motootua, Savaii lagoon beach resort, pigs, restaurants, Roy & Lisa, music, black rose, roseiloa, peter the keyboard player, royal sunset island resort, rugby, leper colonies (sad!),strelitzia, bird of paradise,princesses & kings 7 palaces,traditional dress, straw skirting, viaola,waterfalls, xmas greetings 2007, coral quays, reefs Intro Buttons Use the Dropdown to go to each of the 3 Pacific Islands NOTE all words in ITALICS were either written on the trip or before FIJI WORDS Bula, Bula UPDATE 13/11/2007 Now left the lovely Vanua Levu We took the bi-plane Sun Pacific flight FJ105/106 from the main island (Vito Levu) to Savusavu on the southern coast of the second island (Vanua Levu) where we stayed in Sekawa Beach Cottages for 12 days (2/11-13/11/2007) Excellent local Fijian beer and we had 2 sessions on the grog, 'mind expanding' local Kava.... Juicy in the Sky with Diamonds..with Roy & Lisa (our hosts)...comes from a pepper plant root which is poundered to a powder which is rinsed in a muslin bag with water into a trad wooden bowl with 3 legs . Although 'ceremony' is common to all South Pacific Islands the bowls are different Contact phone was 011-679-822-0460 and Anne's mobile worked only for Text 2 Wifi Internet cafes in Savasavu Hired car for 3 days Went to Labasa (capital....Very Indian) , Jean Michel Cousteau (JMC) Dive resort and part of the Hibiscus highway. Rained a fair bit but managed 3 swims. HIGHLIGHTS Roy & Lisa's company, Biplane flight (absolutely the best views ever), Tropical fruit, Trip to Vanda & Tukai's children's schools, Savusavu bay , Sugarcane Express, Banana cake and samosas at Nadi Airport LOWLIGHTS None although JMC a little overated even if it is in the 1000 places to see before you die My most vivid memories are of those clear blue skies, humidity, the rattle of thunder, greenery, fresh fruit delivered daily by Roy & Lisa, Fijian music especially Black Rose (Rosiloa) who we still listen to today and the lovely view from our balcony. DIARY Day 8 - Friday 2nd November 2007, Land in Nadi,Fiji then to Venua Levu Arrived fairly tired in Nadi, Viti Levu, Fiji at 6 am. We really didn’t sleep that well. Main meal served early was chicken frizzled (very dried up) but the breakfast of turkey/cheese croissant was most welcome. DePlaned and waited in the airport on some wonderful leather sofas after having some coffee/ tea (very oz.flat white, tall black etc etc) and cakes. FJD$1.50 (i.e 50p) for the most gianormous wonderful banana cake which they warm. Very very Humid.Had 2 showers today in freezing cold water. Checked in 10am. No boarding cards you just choose your seat. Sat about 18 half full. Great great journey across the mountains of the main island, then over the coast to Savusavu. Most memorable experience Oh just so much words fail me. The view from the De Haviland was SPECTACULAR. Clear skies, crystal blue seas and an abundance of coral reefs. Taxi driver from Paradise Cabs took us to the supermarket and Roy & Lisa (cottage owners) He is from Hawaii (Chinese origin) She is from California. They are most friendly Left a bowl of garden fruit for us.pineapple, guava, lime , bananas and chili peppers. Most kind.I cooked teriyaki lamb with onions/green peppers , rice and salad whilst listening to Sting and drinking well water, loved taking pix from the bi-plane flight from Nadi on Venito Levu (Main Island) to Savusavu, Venua Levu on the second largest island Day 9 - Saturday 3rd November 2007,2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Venua Levu, Fiji Got up about 6-ish having been to sleep (knackered) at about 10pm after cooking lamb & rice. Had a fine breakfast on the verandah - frosties & fresh local banana, papaya and lime (given by Roy from his garden) and local bread (whole meal with a hint of onion) topped off with local pineapple juice.Walked down track to Sewaka beach looking at the tropical vegetation and bananas growing (still green). Downhill there but hard walking uphill and very hot on the return. Cooled off in the Pacific and sat on beach for couple of hours. Sound of gentle waves on the shore was very relaxing and beach was deserted, although there were two Fijian women fishing. Had picnic lunch on beach and then returned to cottage for a siesta as very hot and humid. Woken by tropical downpour, including thunder and lightning, which lasted about an hour. The temperature reduced and the wind was very refreshing. Just as well the verandah had a deep roof overhang. In the early evening Roy and Lisa invited us to their home for a traditional kava ceremony and told us all about how it is made. It is a root from the pepper plant family that is ground into a fine powder and then mixed with water into a muddy looking liquid. It is drunk from small coconut shells. It has a mild sedative effect and is not alcoholic. On our return to our cottage we had dinner (chicken teryaki, rice and vegetables) and watched the DVD of Savusavu tourist board. Met Jeff, American from New Jersey who has lived on the beach here for 6 years. He and his wife, like Roy & Lisa do holiday cottage rentals and after purchasing the land built both their own house (on hardwood stilts – maybe bark shed coconut palm?). Jeff had just been stung by a hornet whilst gardening so was healing it with ice. He suggested that taxi may be better and cheaper than hiring a car. Also do not stop in villages without first being invited as it is not good karma and visitors must remove any headgear. Plus tried snorkeling but just too unclear to be of use. First tropical rainstorm, thunder and lightning. Woke us from our afternoon siesta. We fed Vatu their (R&L) dog on our left over scraps of last nights meal. He is now a friend for life, even if he barks at everyone else. Roy & Lisa are Jehovah’s Witnesses and going to an all dayer in Lebasa The main town which has a massive Indian influence. Saw a mongoose, alas a little too quick to photo Day 10 - Sunday 4th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Venua Levu, Fiji Anne rose about 6.15am, Keef about 7.30. Alas K has developed a cold and sore throat from somewhere, maybe the plane with all those folks sneezing. Did various things on laptop, getting ready to email contact the boys tomorrow when we catch a taxi into Savusavu. In the afternoon we were so chilled we just relaxed and read our books, Chart Throb by Ben Elton is ace. So cooked fried chicken, mash & creamed sweetcorn for T and had one of the gardens fresh pineapples for pud, it was just so sweet (Yummy). In the morning we walked up the track to Roy & Lisa’s upper garden. Beautiful tropical plants, including hibiscus, orchids and a flame tree in bloom with big red flowers. On the top of the hill and flattened garden area there was a spectacular view of the bay and Pacific. They had built a wooden deck to sit on. Saw dragonfly but nothing else. Back on the cottage verandah Keef saw an orange dove flying among the trees. We could hear parrots squawking occasionally.Despite the thunder in the distance it did not rain but we had a sudden 10 minute power cut which Lisa said could happen at any time. Sometimes they may have a couple of power cuts a month and others can go for a couple of months without one. The water system does not work when there is a power cut but if it is long lasting then there is a back-up generator. Luckily we had already cooked our evening meal and washed up when the power went and were just admiring the sunset Day 11 - Monday 5th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Venua Levu, Fiji Went in by Taxi to Savusavu town past one of the best named villages Jerusalem. Used the Wireless Internet from the Computer shop (FJD$4 per hour) as opposed to café Bule Re which is FJD$10 per hour and you end up sitting in the café anyhow using the internet. Tis a bit slow but not complaining. Updated website , read and responded to email. Savusavu is based alongside an inlet/ harbour with lots of yachts. Most relaxing sitting in café on the waters edge. Had lunch there as well Very good. I had beef kebab and Annie had chicken escalope. We were impressed by cooking and have booked there for Weds eve for the Lovo meal (cooked in ground pit in banana leaves, trad Fiji) Booked car for 3 days from 2moro from Tanda. She is gonna pick us up and drive us in to collect. Saw the town and waters edge. We met Tanda and Tuklea , german lady (from Munchen area) and her Fijian husband. Both very nice. They own Bula Re and he is the chef there, having recently returned from cooking at the South Pacific games in Samoa which he says is safer than Fiji.Interesting because we feel most welcome and safe in Fiji, everyone says Bula to you whether you are walking thru town or out in the country. These folk have 2 adopted Fijian children, very friendly. They are also Roy & Lisa’s closest neighbours at Sewaka. It was Guy Fawkes Night,not surprisingly not recognized here in Fiji but all supermarkets well stocked with fireworks which are for Diwali (this Friday 9/11) Day 12 - Tuesday 6th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Venua Levu, Fiji Got up early and got picked up by Tanda and her husband and two children who took us into town. She dropped her two children off at school and then we picked up our hire car from outside her restaurant. Drove down some graveled roads and even some of the tarmacadam roads had lots of pot holes. Saw some tourist resorts, some of which were still being built, the ferry dock and went past the airport and saw some small planes land and take off. Saw a lot of coconut plantations along the coast. People waved at us and shouted ‘bula’ (hello). Saw the Hot Springs Hotel and then had lunch at the Copra Shed where the yachts are moored at the jetty. Did shopping in supermarket and then returned to cottage for siesta. No breeze at all. Went for cooling swim at Sewaka beach just before dusk and we were the only people there.They are the family who own the Fijian restaurant in Savusavu. We saw the school where the children were dropped off.It was extremely hot from 1pm onwards and swim at the beach was very refreshing.. Heard on Fijian radio in hire car that some people had been arrested for a plot to assassinate the interim Prime Minister of Fiji and were being charged, including inciting mutiny. Day 13 - Wednesday 7th November 2007,Car trip to Labasa Mostly rained today, so they do get bad weather in Fiji!!! Took our hire car to Labasa the main town of Vanua Levu, 30k residence and in the north of the island. About 75 miles from where we are staying. Much sugar cane production indeed we visited the factory on the outskirts of town and saw the hordes of farmers waiting to have their cane weighed / paid and processed.would love to know what they get paid for a cartload , bet its not much! Labasa itself has an amazing Indian influence, for me it could have been India. Very busy town with lots of Indian shops. Weather turned very hot and we were glad of air conditoning in car.Worth noting that was a good road with asphalt surface (although slightly destroyed in places with deep potholes) so journey took about 1 ½ hours. Much of this island at least is unmade roads. Went over some dodgy looking bridges over rivers. Lots of lorries traveling to Labasa loaded up with sugarcane. Saw pine forests, farms and sugar cane fields and very mountainous in distance. Saw a mongoose run across the road in front of our car. Later on we saw one foraging at the side of the road and Keef took a photo.Met Roy in Savusavu outside the pie shop (Hot Bread Shop) after we had returned from Labasa. Started raining and continued all afternoon. Village funeral of an elder. The whole village were out in force and we saw his/her grave adorned with flowers. As the procession wended its way back alas rather embarrassingly our car was caught in the procession. The village was Urata. In the eve we are going back into Bula Ra for a Lovo feast, although the rain still persists. Note we have car hired for 3 days which is enough, air conditioned Suzuki Jiminy, small but perfectly formed. Lovo meal was lovely – we had chicken, beef, mahi-mahi fish, pumpkin with prawns, tara leaves wrapped with creamed coconut filling, tara (bland vegetable), plantain for dessert with chocolate sauce. Keef had two tropical fruit drinks as he was driving and I had a maitai cocktail, plus coffees all for £9 each. Drive back to cottage after dinner was dark and misty (low cloud in mountains) but at least the rain had stopped. Difficult to see where the potholes were in the road in the dark.Took these memorable pix,Trip to Labasa and sugar cane photos. Also mongoose and photos of lovo meal. Labasa, route back from Labasa and Urata village with pig and mongoose And Lovo feast in the evening. Day 14 - Thursday 8th November 2007,Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Nr Savusavu Vist to Jean-Michel Cousteau resort. Eventually went back into SS to use the Internet café and hand car back into Tanda and Tukea. Enjoyed the use of the car and the freedom it gave us but 3 days is probably enough @ FJD$92/day i.e 276 (i.e £96) went swimming for the 3rd time at our private beach, easy when you have the car, a hard climb in humidity otherwise. Not that impressed by JMC resort however the colour of fish off the jetty was immense. Big blue parrot fish, travaille and 2 huge blue fish (which I have no idea what they were called). Driving with 4 wheels for first time ever down very muddy track to JMC It was raining and very churned up, having slid there in the first place used the 4WD for return journey, very stable. Resort was very tiny with long jetty for dive boats, small swimming pool and grotty beach which was very rocky and unsuitable for swimming. Did not stay long and weather rainy. Went back into Savusavu and had drink at the Copra Shed by the jetty and looked at the boats. Saw cloud of steam and realized that this was where the hot springs came out of the ground. Found out that the Saturday South Pacific music festival starts at 7pm and is held at the Hot Springs Hotel. Went for swim at Sekawa beach. Torrential downpour pm. Decided to go back into Savusavu to internet café, hand back hire car and then got a taxi back to the cottage at dusk. Fijian lady (can’t remember her name) at Sekawa beach who was baby sitting the Czech couples baby. She had heard of Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood in history at school! Czech family are buying on beach front, wow, plus 4 Russians in Bula Re last night for Lovo feast. Us Northern hemisphere folk are taking over! Day 15 - Friday 9th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Venua Levu, Fiji Nothing to report, day spent locally Day 16 - Saturday 10th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Venua Levu, Fiji Relaxed in the cottage and then got a taxi at 4.30pm into Savusavu to the South Pacific Music Festival held at the Hot Springs Hotel. Noticed that the ferry from Vitu Levu was in dock (comes to Savusavu 3 times a week).. Arrived at the hotel just at the end of the talent contest where prizes were awarded for the best acts. The compere was either Oz or NZ and she was very patronizing and bossy towards the Fijians. Had some drinks and a meal of fish, chips and salad before the main music concert. We had been told it would start at 7pm but in fact it did not start until 8.20. The best act was a troupe of singers and dancers from the University of the South Pacific, Suva who had come over on the ferry. Their singing was very melodic and dancing was also very expressive and South Pacific. There were some other acts that were more pop group style and the Australian musicians were the worst. The concert was very amateurish and the PA system was also bad with feedback. We had booked a taxi back to the cottage at 10pm so had to leave before the concert ended. Day 17 - Sunday 11th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji A day of chillin. Did a few bits of video editing on laptop after last nights Music Festival at the Hot Springs Hotel and read the Fiji Times that Roy & Lisa loaned us. Anne did washing, not the greatest machine in the world and if the programme goes wrong it sucks all the water from the well dry. Oh dear! We then watched a whole stack of movies on DVD loaned by R&L who had once again left us with treats fruit (pineapple & bananas) and diwahli snacks (sweet not savoury). Watched Casablanca, Bourne Identity and About Smidt (3rd time but we love it!). MetVatu, R&L’s dog when I returned the paper. They are in Labasa all day today on a Jehovah’s Witness meet. Day 18 - Monday 12th November 2007,Sewaka Beach Cottage, Near Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji Nice sunny day, got up around 7 -80 degrees plus humid but gentle breeze Had tea/ coffee and breakfast and read out on the verandah I am reading Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe 1851 Wow devastatingly anti Slave book. Apparently Abe Lincoln claimed it started the Civil War Otherwise apart from reading and watching videos didn’t do a whole lot Had to pack late eve. Saw Capote DVD about Truman Capote and then Dances With Wolves.Managed to supposedly send first TXT messages on Anne’s phone to the boys, we will see. Also rang Parmgeet to ensure Paradise Taxis all set up for 2moro to go to the airport. Had a huge tropical storm at 1.30 with thunder and lightning. Roy and Lisa invited us for more kava and wine as a farewell in evening. They told us about a hurricane which they experienced in the cottage in 2001 where they had 10”of rain and also told us about clearing the rainforest to build the cottage. Said that quite a few Fijian villagers had died when trying to save their animals during the hurricane. There are no hurricane shelters on the island and no tidal wave warning sirens either. Luckily as they are 250 feet above sea level they would not be affected by a tsunami. Offered to copy some music from our laptop for them on their blank CDs which they were grateful for. Rang Mum at 1am, created DVD. Day 19 - Tuesday 13th November 2007,Leave Suvusavu and Fiji and journey onto Samoa Back to the Future or Ground Hog Day We had 2 days today one Leaving Fiji..One version of the 13/11, the other Arriving Samoa. See details under Samoa Summary: FIJI 12 days , Day 8-19, 2/11/2007-13/11/2007 SAMOA WORDS NOTE all words in ITALICS were written on the trip. Talofa Lava Folks! Western Samoa not American Samoa for us....... UPDATE 28/11/2007 Now left Samoa Alas!!! Final pictures for Samoa posted We are sad to leave but 15 days of this heat 90+ at night and humid, boy taking its toll We stayed 1 night on Upolu in the 1848 (that old?) Princess Tui Inn in Apai (13th) We had booked 2 but it was bad so stayed 2nd day in Insel Fehrman hotel (note previous big German influence in people and architecture) where we had lunch (if only) with the Ms South Pacific pageant, then we hired a car for 15 days and went by ferry to Savaii where we stay in the Savaii Lagoon Resort, Beach fale (idyllic). This was a beachfront cottage with its own private beach lagoon with snorkelling on the doorstep plus swimming with turtles 15mins away. 10 nights in paradise and a chance to tick off two of the top1000 things to do before you die! (RLStevenson House on Upolu, (ace) , Hotel Safua Savaii (crap). Take a look at Savaii Lagoon resort to get an idea....Then we came back to the main Island of Upolu to the Outrigger hotel for another few days and saw the whole of that island. The hire car enabled us to travel around all of Savaii & Upolu, we have seen more of it than most Samoans now (alas...they can't afford to travel) Because of the international dateline on our travels we have had no 1/11, 2 13/11's and only a smidgen of the 28/11. Our 16.5 hour epic at Falealo International Airport (45 mins from the capital Apia pronounced 'R-PEA-A') was a delight in how to get no sleep The Samoans sure know how to treat a family members arrival at the airport as a party... HIGHLIGHTS Savaii Beach, Lava flow and blow holes, Ms Samoa, Villages and their gardens (fine if not immaculate) and Robert Louis Stevensons House LOWLIGHTS Long wait at Apia airport in the heat & humidity for a 1hr flight to Tonga Walking outside our beach fale for a private dip in the sea lives on as well as the pineapples growing there and the short hop to the restuarant next door for freshly caught fish with chips, yummy! oh and the taxi driver who ripped us off, git! can i say that, guess i just have, trying to drive us to the other side of the island to a hotel when insel fehrman apia was just down the road, oh and hot being able to close the window in our red jeep, luckily no tropical downpour at that time. ​ Summary: SAMOA 16 days , Day 19-34, 13/11/2007-28/11/2007 Diary Day 19 - Tuesday 13th November 2007,Leave Suvusavu and Fiji and journey onto Samoa Back to the Future or Ground Hog Day We had 2 days today.Leaving Fiji..One version of the 13/11,Arriving Samoa.Is another.Got up at about 8 and had breakfast in Princess Tuipapaya, brown banana in sugar and toast, not bad.however Anne almost left me if we didn’t get out sharp.and agreed it was a S**T hole; the sheets don’t bare descriptionanyhow we got a taxi and went off in search of a hotel for day 2, Aggy Greys (£200/night) full luckily, then Herman took us on a magical mystery tour of various places then started driving to Aggy Grays beach resort (near airport) Keef caught him out and got him to turn back into Apia and a car hire place as well as Insel Hotel still he ripped us off at $WST80 (about £16) for only 25 mins taxi ride. If I’d had my wits about me I would have argued but we did get booked in and got our car (less than £24 / day) and essential on Samoa especially travelling to Savai’I as the 2 supposed car hires didn’t seem to exist when we drove thru Have to say our stay at Insel was ace (if a little expensive £85) but we swam, did lunch with the Ms South Pacific Pageant (see the pics lads!!!) and had an ace evening meal as well as air con and 2 double beds, v relaxing Also called in to checkout Outriggers that we are staying in after Savai’I , very good, pool, rooms, i/net etc.Chatted to young guy from California who was in transit at Nadi from Auckland where he had been studying wine production in NZ as part of a college course in USA. He said that a sparking white wine from kent had won the top wine prize in the world as being the best wine which surprised us. He recommended Raglan beach as an excellent long sandy beach where surfing also was good there. He said that South Auckland area was not a good area at night as young people got drunk and congregated in the main street area and had to be dispersed by the police in riot gear. He also said that Queenstown and Milford Sound and area were beautiful and told us that there are kea parrots in the glacier which tourists are warned will chew on your leather shoes if left outside. These are the largest parrots in NZ. Keef and the yank talked about music and he recommended a band called Tool who were similar to Pink Floyd. On Samoa met Dutch couple (who will pop up again later) that have been traveling RTW for 6 weeks in reverse direction to us plus a oz lady from Brisbane in the legal profession who had been on Vanuatu for 4 months. Sounds a v interesting place, the Happy isles. Said goodbye to our hosts in Savusavu, Roy and Lisa. Lisa gave us a guided tour of her garden and we saw pineapples, limes, lemon grass and papayas (also known as paw-paw) growing. Weather was really hot and humid – sweat was running down our foreheads. Got taxi to ‘airport’ early – just as well we did as the plane left 20 mins early with 8 passengers. Pilot told us that we would do a stop at Labasa to drop and pick up people. Then had 9 passengers on plane. Got good aerial view of mountains, rainforest and sugar cane fields and farms near Labasa. Quite cloudy at times and some turbulence in little biplane.when we went through a rainstorm and clouds. Then we saw a full rainbow from above which was spectacular. Good views of the coral reefs but some mist from clouds. Arriving at Apia, Samoa at 1.30pm and had lunch - banana cake, vegetable samosas and my first true Indian curry (vegetable). The banana cake was the best we have ever had and so were the samosas. We had to hang around the airport until our flight to Samoa at 10pm. As we had our heavy bags we did not go into Nadi town but read books at the airport. Keef posted his DVD to his mum cost about £1.Flight to Samoa was with Air Pacific which was a good airline. Captain was Scottish and his landing in Samoa was hardly felt. We had a snack meal on the plane and sparkling NZ and red wines. Flight took 1hr 50 mins and we landed at 12.17 at night still on the 13 November due to crossing the international dateline. By the time we got through customs, baggage claim etc we saw our name on a blackboard so we could be directed to our courtesy bus. Keef had got some Samoan money from Westpac bank at the airport and by then it was 1.30 and we were very tired. He also had to pay 12 Samoan Tala for a piece of paper to allow him to drive in Samoa as we said we wanted to hire a car.Anne was presented with a flower lei of yellow flowers. Very hot at night. was. international dateline thing again. So we seem to have had no Nov 1st on our journey but two Nov 13 days very strange!! First impressions of Samoa although late at night was of a modern airport, good roads – drive on the rhs of road, wild dogs roaming on roads, private houses looked quite well built with cars and not shanty villages like Vanua Levu. Dropped off some other person at another hotel and then us, a Dutch couple and an Australian woman from Kiribati were dropped off at the Princess Tui after a long drive from the airport. We were given a coconut to drink and then shown to our room. It was dire – dirty, small and the shared washroom facilities were awful. Very disappointed as we had booked this place over the internet. By now it was 2.30am. Keef got to sleep but Anne was awake until 5am. Decided to leave this dump ASAP even though we had booked in for 2 nights. Worst place we had ever stayed in – campsites are cleaner than that place. Will give it bad feedback on internet to warn other travelers. Hope Ian Wright from Lonely Planet did not stay here. Oh and frightened lady in Insel office when Keef wanted to get i/net connectivity via their modem, alas they said no so rather frustratingly no i/net until we get back after Savai’i. Note Nadi is pronounced Nandi. Day 20 - Wednesday 14th November 2007,Upolu to Savai’I, Samoa Got up early-ish (7.15am) and had the Tropical buffet b’fast at the Insel. Ace cooked full English with eggy banana bread. Anne had pancakes with maple syrup plus a banana muffin. Then checked out with some degree of hassle, machine didn’t print our visa docket so a whole rig-ma-roll about no charge vs being charged twice. No worries from our side but Steve receptionist was stressed. I am sure it will be fine. Then drove the 45 mins from Apia to Ferry side. Called in at Aggy Gray beach resort to take some piccies as early for ferry. Then had to have car washed before queuing for ferry. Good journey by ferry (1 hour 15mins) although a little disappointing that you are not allowed up on deck to take pictures. Then same time was to drive up to resort. V hot as window wouldn’t go up, but sorted when we arrived.Excellent Samoan villages on the coast road on Upolu. Lots of smaller Samoan islands passed by the Ferry. Jumping fish in our Fagamalo beach, coral lagoon and breakers on the edge plus hints of what will be excellent sunsets later in our stay. Met Lady samoa 2 (the ferry) and Ini (35 year old mother of 7, and married to mr lazy 54 years old) who is one of our host at Savai’I Lagoon. PS the kiwis who own it didn’t seem to have let the Samoans who manage it know we were coming. Notable - Ambulance with number plate of NHS, fascinating. Samoans sleeping anywhere and everywhere on ferry crossing. It was 32 degrees today, hot and humid!!! Waiter in La Legota restaurant trying to rip us off for a cocktail, Keef caught him out. Maybe we are getting paranoid about being ripped off but it is beginning to feel like more than a coincidence However that said the Fish and Chips were great. Deep fried snapper in spiced batter, quite superb but v filling. Ps believe it or not Anne & I are losing weight Day 21 - Thursday 15th November 2007,Savai’I Lagoon Resort, Savai’I, W Samoa Met young woman who was a uni student from Houston in internet café who was using her own laptop. Her research was about an ant and its interaction with a specific plant and its affect on biodiversity. She said she was in Samoa for 8 months – nice place to study. Went to toilet at 3.45am and cockerel from next door Samoan family started crowing!! We thought it should go on the barbecue! Rain at breakfast time but then sun came out. Breakfast was delivered to our door at 7am – papaya, coconut, 2 bananas, bread, jam and butter and cereal. There was so much food that we saved some for lunch. Drove hire car to a village further along the bay and bought some food supplies from small shop and petrol for car – half a tank cost £5.50. Also we found internet café in village called Manase run by young German woman. They only do e-mails from their own computers so we could not use laptop to update website. Met American uni student in internet café. Returned to our resort and spent rest of morning in the sea and relaxing on the beach. We saw some small fish and keef did some snorkeling. Had lunch and then it was so hot that we had a sleep from 3pm until 4.30pm. Anne had a dicky stomach, first time on travels. Read our books until sunset. Keef took some good photos and we had a stroll along the beach. Day 22 - Friday 16th November 2007,Savaii Lagoon Resort, Fagamalo,Savaii,Samoa Not that much happened today. Anne very ill overnight with Samoan Stomachwe have guessed at what caused it but not really sure. Could be any number of causes. Started boiling the UV water since but as Keef fine and the whole village probably not that Keef went to Raci Beach internet café, 1 of only 2 on Savaii. Caught up on mail wrote to Craig/Doug/Brian/Linda & Jacky, plus put words on website. Sati (german lady who owns it with her husband) will now allow me to put pictures on from memory stick after virus check so although very slow via dial up should be able to get the website done on Monday. Sunday is a big religious day of rest here.Re-met Dutch couple Rolf & ? whom we traveled over on plane from Fiji with and up to Princess Tui in Apia. Great to see them again. Had a very long chat – they had been in 6 weeks NZ (North Island only), Cook Isles, Samoa, and were on to LAX and driving to San Francisco before KLM flight back into Amsterdam. He is some sort of pilot and they both disliked Princess Tui as much as we did plus Sati, been here for 3 years but she goes off for 4 months a year as finds Samoan way of life somewhat restrictive, but loves having travelers to talk to. Day 23 - Saturday 17th November 2007, Trip to the west of Savaii As the weather was very breezy and overcast skies we decided to tour round the north of Savaii. There were lots of villages near our resort along the coast but when the road went inland the habitation was rather sparse. Each village had its main fale meeting house and pigs and chickens wandered around and across the road. Some of the houses were like lean-to shacks and others looked more substantial. Many had lovely gardens with colourful shrubs and plants. Asua was an interesting village. As we left the coast we came across a vast area of an old lava flow from a volcano which Keef had read had erupted in 1911. The volcanic soil is very good for plants but some of the black volcanic rocks were huge. Because the weather was cooler and it was a Saturday we saw villagers walking along the road with machetes collecting bananas and breadfruit, mowing the grass, sweeping up fallen leaves from the overnight winds and the teenagers played volleyball in some villages. Keef stopped by a traditional fale where the wife was selling pineapples at the side of the road. He bought a huge ripe pineapple for 5 Tale (£1). The Samoan lady did not speak much English and her daughter was with her. Also as we were about to drive off for the day we met the New Zealand lady who owns the resort. She said that her and her family come over to Samoa about 3 or 4 times a year. After returning from our drive we had a late lunch and then sat on the beach as the breeze was very warm even though it was cloudy. The NZ family were doing a barbecue on the beach and they very kindly asked us to join them As we already had food for dinner we politely refused as it was a family barbecue. She then brought over some crisps for us and we had a chat about what we had done today. She said that she had asked some Samoans for plant cuttings from their gardens. Meeting Bruce & Margaret McCullen, from NZ. She was originally from Glasgow some 35 years ago. They are the owners of Savaii Lagoon resort despite their protestations that they have leased the land off the Samoans and handed it back to them they are the ones making the money, witness the 4 holidays a year to here . Lava gardens, and phenomenally good produce / growth i.e. the pineapple which will last for at least 5 meals Pictures of a day out west, some of lagoon resort and plants, others of coastal and inner land areas especially Auala on Asua bay with communal swimming /washing pools and lava gardens, plus fishing .Samoans with major tattoos, kids trying for breadfruit and the most bizarre church made of lava stone and painted white. Day 24 - Sunday 18th November 2007,Savaii Lagoon Resort, Samoa We had a relaxing day on the beach although it was very breezy and overcast, although the wind was very warm. We walked along the beach to the next resort and discovered that the sea water was deeper for swimming nearer the Le Lagota resort. We went to their restaurant for dinner in the evening and had yellow fin tuna and chips which was delicious. Then watched Miss South pacific on the TV in the evening. Miss Tonga won with Miss Cook islands runner up and Miss Australia & Torres Strait Islands in 3rd place. Interesting to see the traditional costumes of each country which featured exotic headdresses and shells and feathers everywhere. We also saw a fire dance as part of the show by Samoan men which was spectacular, Day 25 - Monday 19th November 2007, Trip south to Salelologa After breakfast it was very overcast again so we went to the internet café but unfortunately it was shut. Decided to go along the coast to Salelologa to visit the supermarket. Road goes through an old lava field where the now black lava had flowed towards the sea and went past a place where you can swim with turtles which we will investigate another day. Torrential rainstorm just as we went into supermarket. Choice of food was very limited but managed to buy some canned food, noodles and sausages. Driving through villages we had to avoid dogs and pigs wandering across the road. Lots of houses had very nice gardens but some were just shacks. Also lots of Samoans were asleep in the fales along the beach and in one village they were building a church.Retuned to our resort for late lunch and then went swimming and read our books on the beach. Weather was still cloudy and breezy but pleasantly warm and not humid like Fiji. Had G&T and R&C as the sun set!!! Ace. Met Staff in the Hotel Safua, one of the 1000 places to see before you die and the only one on Savaii. Actually it was probably one of the 1000 places to help you die, Annes words,excruciatingly aweful Day 26 - Tuesday 20th November 2007, Savaii Lagoon Resort, Samoa Nothing to report Day 27 - Wednesday 21st November 2007,Savaii Lagoon Resort, Samoa Beach day, as heading towards a full moon very low tide first thing and very high tide last thing. Spent the whole day, 8-7 on the beach topping up the tan and reading. Probably the best day weather wise since we have been in Samoa. Saw some tiny electric blue fish in some coral a few yards odd our beach plus a black and white striped fish. Keef saw an eel poking his head out of some coral – moray eel.Met an Indonesian girl who is studying in NZ who showed me the coral reef with the eel and brightly coloured fish. Took pictures of them but none really came out, Now discovered the UNDERWATER setting on the camera so gonna have another go on Friday. Day 28 - Thursday 22nd November 2007, Car trip all the way round Savaii, Clockwise Gorgeous blue Pacific which looked turquoise in the lagoons. Drove along the coastal road all round the island. On the south and western sides of Savaii there were breakers coming ashore in the sea and there were cliffs, lava flows and coconut plantations. Met Lonnie, his wife and baby both at the Alofaaga blowholes and at the beach BBQ fale. They had (coincidence) lived in London in Wimbledon in 2001 working initially for a Kiwi in a pub on the common. Its in their DNA. He works for Bruce and Margaret McCullum (owners?) as well as the Maori guy whom they call their adopted son. Had a good chat with them all things UK & NZ. Looking forward to arriving now, They live 1 hour north of Auckland and said don’t be put off by the airport and lack of public transport. For them to get to Samoa it is only a 3hr flight from Auckland.When we were chatting to the NZ people at Savaii Lagoon they told us that they had seen dolphins in the bay this morning but as we were driving round the island we missed them. Hope to see them tomorrow. Coastal road in south and west of island was very interesting and weather was hot and sunny in the morning when we set off at 09.15. The blowholes through holes in the lava were spectacular as the plume of spray went up 30ft in the air.. Drove down a long track to get there and paid 10 tala fee (£2 ) but the scenery was worth it. Took lots of photos and video of blowhole and waves breaking against lava rocks. Skies suddenly filled with storm clouds so walked quickly back to car. Had snack lunch in car whilst downpour took place. Got back to our resort at 3.15pm. Keef went swimming and Anne had a siesta then we had a cup of tea on the beach and chatted to the NZ crowd.58 pictures taken on our trip round, Savaii. The south side of the island has a spectacular coast line and the blowholes especially Day 29 - Friday 23rd November 2007,Savaii Lagoon Resort, Samoa Spent the day chillin on the beach, well at least in the morning. Had a rather broken nights sleep with torrential rain at about 3am which continued through until about 10am. Took A & I ages to return to sleep after closing (slightly) shutters to prevent rain coming in All Pacific windowry (if that’s what you call it) is fitted fly screen on the outside and louvred glass slats (in 2 shutter sections) on the inside, idea with fans is to keep you cool whilst keeping the pesky insects out.Went out at low tide to take pictures of coral and the bright blue fish, alas the eel wasn’t to be seen again. Met again Bruce/ Margaret/ Lonnie, wife & baby and Suvisuvi (Part Maori guy Margaret likes to call her son) All Kiwis , nice folk. Gave us their food leftovers Cheddar cheese/ chutney and pineapple, v kind. Bruce has good sense of humour a good sign for our Kiwi visit Plus he suggested I could go up the water tower to get better pictures, now that is a good sense of humour from a nation who are into their extreme sports. I.e NZ weather said a ‘great weekend for taking your granny skydiving’.Lots of rain plus we checkout (alas) of Savaii 2moro. We have both found it most relaxing. Day 30 - Saturday 24th November 2007,Ferry trip back from Savaii to Upolu, Salelologa Wharf to Mulifanua Wharf Waited in terminal building (if you can call it that) and got a passenger ticket for Annie. Lady on desk at outriggers who was v friendly. Ini gave Annie and I a frangipani etc garland as a leaving present (ah bless) car fine this time, no problems with windows not shutting. V hot on ferry. Took some video off the back of the boat. Nice to be back on main island, smooth run into Apia (about 45 mins) 3 cars overtook when they shouldn’t near the wharf. As Annie said they mooch around all day but once behind the wheel they drive amazing aggressively (Note Updated later; the Tongans don’t maybe that’s a difference between races) Day 31 - Sunday 25th November 2007, Outriggers Hotel, Apia, Upolu – Trip around Upolu Saw everything drove all the way round the island in about 7 hours See the photos There are lots, albatross island, the leper colony, beach fales you name it, delicious day.Briefly met a Samoan band at the Coconut Beach Resort (by 2013 now called Coconut Beach Club) at the south end of the island. Hot and sultry day. Ate (expensive) in the restaurant on the beach front. Classy Burger and then Anne had a chocolate truffle desert, yummy. At the end of today we have been away a whole month. The big thing for us was the way the Samoans treat Sundays. It may be a day of rest Mon-Sat but Sunday is for Church and Sunday best. Mostly full white clothing,shirts for the men, white lava-lave/sarong, full dresses for the ladies Day 32 - Monday 26th November 2007,Outriggers Hotel, Apia, Upolu Got up early and went to the Robert Louis Stevenson house in Apia. Excellent in every way. Guide good, info good well worth the visit .Visited soap factory(?), this samoan guys house. He was married to swiss lady and showed us around his garage and the process of making his handmade soaps from coconut oil, caustic soda (help!!! But OK) and a myriad of scents. Frangipani etc etc Lovely, Anne bought one of each and v cheap they were to $WST8 each about 80p.Kiwi backpackers who had been to Manolo and stayed with a samoan family in the village. No roads on that island. The guy reckoned he messed up big time on most of the village customs (seated when elders present, point toes away etc etc). Swims in the Outriggers pool to cool off and finally finishing Uncle Toms cabin, gr8 book used Wifi at CSL and had a shake and meal at MCD (bad eh) but we are on so much fruit at the mo we are definitely both losing weight Day 33 - Tuesday 27th November 2007,Outriggers Hotel, Apia, Upolu Last day in Outriggers Bit of a cockup on no of days stay (my fault) so had to pay and extra day so we used the room to store baggage and have some cold showers. Doesn’t really work in that humidity cos you are dripping again the moment you have finished drying yourself. Security guard helped us load bags in car (but only when it looked like Anne might collapse).Returned car at 3.30 full tank and joked with the lady (who I’d teased when we got the car) that it had seen more of Samoa than she had. She told me that she had never been to Savaii in her life. Caught taxi to airport arrived about 4.30 (in for the long haul16.5 hrs wait, 1.5 hrs flight to Tonga) Bizarre. Made sure this time I told taxi driver what the price was i.e $WST55 (about £11). Excerpt from letter to Brian & Gina that Anne put together and sent from our Lavaspot Wifi session in CSL (Computer Services Ltd) shop (air con) opposite McDonalds (also air con) .guess how we kept cool.96 deg .” Greetings from Samoa. Temperature here is a very hot 90F plus at night time and even hotter during the day. Craig e-mailed us to say there was snow in Nott’ham! We found the Samoans very friendly and when we tell them we’re from Nott’m they all mention Robin Hood! We have seen the contestants for the Miss South Pacific and now the Commonwealth & Oceana Games – Weightlifting is being held at the moment in Apia. We are looking forward to moving on to Tonga as hopefully it will be cooler there. Considering we are in the wet and cyclone season we are glad that the weather is not too bad.It seems strange to hear Xmas music & see decorations in the shops. Trust you are all well as we are (albeit very sweaty!) Day 34 - Wednesday 28th November 2007,Faleolo Airport Plus the day that didn’t exist (again) except up until 6.45 am (another International Dateline oddity). Spent waiting for our flight in the Samoan airport. No air con, no open shops, no water, no nuthin except parties , immense humidity (was over 95 degrees at night) and 2 flights to Auckland (one Air NZ, one Polynesian Blue) And heard.all night long the sound of cellotape being twined and ripped plus black bin liners being taped up round boxes of produce.coconuts, bananas, papaya, breadfruit, flowerswho knows what else.and you may ask why didn’t they prepare these in advanceand probably more importantly with NZs hot customs rules and foodstuffs and wood are not allowed, so dumb question how does that work, surely it will all be dumped on arrival in Aucklandoh and they have to pay excess baggage for it. Met 3 Tongan US marines, who had flown in from Pago Pago (US Samoa) who had to wait longer than us. Spoke to a few of them especially the big guy (linebacker with US passportwhose parents and child lived on Tonga) so they were getting a break from duty for home visit. Mark my words you wouldn’t cross him (although he was most pleasant with US accent) he was the size of the proverbial ‘brick door and then some’.Went into main store (CHOWs) in Apia. I got flipflops and water, Anne some very nice material . The blue bit which is 3 yds long was only about £1.50 English Free almost.Various Uk & Kiwi med students doing ‘time’ in local Samoan hospitals and staying in Outriggers fales around the pool. Excerpt from standard letter sent to Friends and rellies on arrival in Tonga (29/11 due to IDL).We had the most amazing 16.5 hour wait in the Samoan airport last night before our short flight to Tonga, no open shops in airport i.e no water, so I had to get a taxi to take me to a village 'shop' where they had no water and didn’t understand me but i was able to buy 4 bottles of coke and sprite (with no top opener) to at least stop us expiring in the immense humidity that was Samoa....about 95 at night...met a load of Samoan US Marines from Pago Pago (US Samoa) who had been waiting longer than us...still each plane that arrives in Samoa is a huge 'event' wow at 3am truck loads of large families would arrive, to greet one of their extended family returning from NZ, party time, so no sleep all night. We both loved Samoa, very different from anything we have ever experienced before....whilst being almost 3rd world, they are great people and 'village' life will stay with us forever....pigs, cockerels, amazing gardens, getting up at 5am, church frying pan gong, mooching - a national pastime, and boy what views....still we are now in Tonga and have 24*7 i/net so intend catching up with a few folk. Alas Fiji & Samoa i/net is sparse and please write, we would love to hear from you. We are in our 'exec' fale (trad cottage) listening to Black Rose (our fave Fijian band at the mo) and thinking of family and friends....but not too hard.We have noticed throughout the South Pacific islands they are all extremely religious and very very family (extended and we mean extended) orientated. They all have loads of little kids and seem gobsmacked that we only have 2 children and this is the norm in Europe. 7-10 is not unusual here and village chief mentality rules. So as a big fella I’m applying for a ‘leadership’ roleAnne now calls me King (or elseshe has just told me to remove this bit) In most cases feudal rights rule and as education has to be paid for if you are poor you remain so and learning which we all know changes life and cultures /opportunities are just not available, many kids don’t go to school. Robina the Kiwi (Tongan/Japanese dad....Tongan/German mum) who owns this place is most friendly and interested in tourism (as such it is) in Samoa so she can implement stuff here in Tonga. Its early days but they seem to be a much more reserved race than the Fijians & Samoans and the climate is 10 degs less that those 2 and although this is unfair Anne & i remarked on arrival England with Coconut palms....there is a lot of green grass (cultivated) still more when we have to report....proud to say i now have a photo of the Rose Cottage Tshirt in all the places we have out for further additions to the website NOTE all words in ITALICS were written on the trip. TONGA WORDS The Friendly Isles - Malo e lelei UPDATE 10/12/2007 We have now left Tonga. Grim last day with cyclone and quake, plus we saw on the news from NZ some sort of coup/riot, we are investigating. Anyhow even though we enjoyed it pleased to have got out. Last day at 8.45pm house, tables and everything shook. seems to have been a quake nearby, deep underground , no tsunami warning, storms raging. Cyclone Daman. But apart from that things we did were,visted Atata , idyllic desert island, hired a car on the mainland (Tongatapu) for 3 days and leisurely went round everything over 2 days (i guess you could do it in a 1/2 day) and on the 3rd day went to the Cultural centre. Saw trad outrigger boat, Houma Blowholes (ace), National Holiday procession for King Tupou 1st on 4/12, village traditional dancing and a cultural dance eve at the International Dateline Hotel. Tonga is slightly different from Fiji and Samoa....All the ladies wear what appear to be mats over their skirts, and sometimes the chaps as well. Plus visible signs of protest against goverment in the streets. Great inequality , see some of our pictures! In Nuku'alofa town we saw the Kings Palace, had lunch in the 2 Sisters (often, its ace!) and Robinas Express cafe. She is half tongan/ quarter japanese and a quarter german and is gr8 (forceful business lady with 'high' connections) generally the town is not that inspiring but the market excellent HIGHLIGHTS Atata Island, Blowholes, 2 Sisters restuarant and village dancing LOWLIGHTS cockroach, rat, tongan tummy, dead sea krate (the worlds deadliest snake) on atata beach, cyclone daman & earthquake HISTORY Boy most of the reviews we have read of Tonga denegrade its infrastructure and believe it or not their people...bad stuff...we keep an open mind and are really looking forward to it....We will be staying at Nukuma'anu cottages Vuna Road Sopu (check it out on Google Maps below, near the Black Pearl appartments, it may well be closed 2020 but there is still an internet listing) on Tongatapu (the main southernmost group of islands) in the Executive fale cos guess what they have 24*7 water (joke) thats not bad for reports of a decaying infrastructure...more when we arrive. We are there 11 nights 29/11 to 10/12 ...have just found Nov is close of parliament and last year at this time there was civil unrest, fires and looting....Oh dear, let's hope no repeat this year.... Remember the Fale, Robina, Nuku'alofa market - coconut drinks, Black Rose (Rosiloa) album bought in market, New Eagles album downloaded, outsized washing,tonga's stonehenge,Captain Cook monument, cockroaches, earthquake & cyclone and getting out alive. ​ Summary: TONGA 11 days , Day 35-45, 29/11/2007 - 10/12/2007 Diary Day 35 - Thursday 29th November 2007,Arrival in Tonga, Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Flight over quick and easy. Good NZ plane. Odd to see some 150+ people have to deplane in Samoa even though they were going on to Auckland, plus they would have to do the same in Tonga.Very little sleep. We had to have a 3 hour kip when we arrived to recover. Fale here at Nukama’anu is ace, Air con Inet 24/7, Sat TV etc.Met Silva, Margaret (PA) , Robina (owner) and handy man , who I had a chat to about Rugby and Hard Rock Cafes plus v friendly taxi driver who took us to 2 supermarkets and a stall for provisions and bananas.I drive a hard bargain and got a whole tree for $TOP4 (£1p) The currency is Pan’anga although for our benefit (I wish they wouldn’t) they call it a dollar.Plus lady in shop around the corner where we got bread, water and cheese (fondue style) who was having her kids talk to her ex in Stockton in California on a mobile, hoot or what! Most memorable: Christmas decs outside our cottage Day 36 - Friday 30th November 2007,Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Morning spent on laptop catching up, bank stuff with Craig (our hero) and sally jacks (Barclays), website redo, audible book download (savage garden) research on Tonga and associated islands. Both feeling a little jaded and oh I hope not but experiencing Tongan Tummy.Anne ankles bad and she is resting whilst I catch the daily diary up as haven’t done it since we returned from Savaii to Upolu.Just chillin will get a car for 3 days. Researched beaches and roads / places of interest. Very laid back here. Most ladies (married?) wear black and a mat skirt over their skirts. It is warm but not humid here and sea breeze and air con a big plus Lovely cottage Sat TV which we haven’t tried yet but will .Silva gave us 4 bananas (with mine we could overdose on them if we are not careful) plus returned our washing (along with her underwear) Very cheap $TOP10 (about £2.50) - the bananas not her underwear! Walk along beach to shop to get more water and bread. Coast is v interesting as inner coral reef but not advised to swim in. Taxi driver and Robina said they collect fish/ crabs/ all manner of marine life to eat from there. It was covered in folk at low tide doing exactly this. Plus kids all playing rugby by the side of the road. No posts , in Samoa each village at least had wooden tree stuff for posts Day 37 - Saturday 1st December 2007, Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Went by taxi into town and walked around. Saw market and bought tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, peppers and a small pineapple. Keith looked at cotton shirts but none his size. We saw taro, yams, kava root, ginger, garlic and other vegetables which we did not know the names. Very interesting. Internet café had a lot of NZ backpackers and Europeans. People were friendly and helpful in the shops. Bought a map & postcards. Some Tongans were in western clothing and others in sarongs with pandanus mats wrapped round their hips, both men & women. Saw local youth band singing & playing music in car park.Saw King of Tonga’s official residence (one of six) which was a colonial white clapboard building along the seafront. Town had a huge tree near the Westpac bank called a rain tree. Had lunch in restaurant, by then market was closing and traders were going home in pick-up trucks with unsold fruit & veg. Saw a pig in a wooden cage in back of truck being driven down main street. Weather was warm, sunny & cloudy & temp was 79F. Town looked very small considering it is the capital of Tonga – unremarkable buildings with colonial flavour – wooden with tin roofs but a small arcade with some modern shops and café. Got taxi back to our fale and then wrote postcards which we will send on Monday as the PO was shut. Watched ‘Around the bend’ on Sat Tv quirky family/road movie with Christopher Walken and Michael Caine (briefly before the cheque ran out!) – good (plus best quality picture since we started traveling) Tonga contribution to Broadcasting is a few local (hammy) adverts for beach resorts! Had interesting walk around market and town. Had lovely lunch in 2 sisters restaurant – chicken escalope in lime sauce with fried potatoes, garlic bread and side salad. For desert we had strawberry and chocolate gateau slices and nice coffee. Day 38 - Sunday 2nd December 2007,Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Chillin.alas Keef has Tongan Tummy so he is on water only all day, which should sort it. Reading, listening to music, researching facebook, laptop not much really. Waiting to get the hire car 2moro for 3 days so we can travel. Researched map also for islands worth visiting (Atata & Fala).Nuku is the uninhabited one where shipwrecked was filmed (teen reality show) Gentle walk left out of cottage along Hake Vunu (hake is road), our road.Robina and her 2 children dressed smart presumably for church. Note all ‘married’ Tongan women seem to be dressed from head to toe in black. She paid tribute to the Tongan customs of mat or belt mat with long ‘dangly’ bits by wearing an equivalent in silver. Met no one – Sunday is a very family/quiet day here in Tonga, Margaret and lady in 2 sisters said they slept as tired. Have to say as temperature is about 80, i.e 15degs less that Samoa folk here are far less ‘moochy’.Whilst writing our postcards we had a long chat with the Tongan gardener who was sweeping up leaves outside our fale. His name was Alex and he said he had been to France by cargo ship in 2000 and went via New Caledonia & Suez Canal which took over 2 months. Said he is going to visit his brother & family in NZ before Xmas for 3 months. Day 39 - Monday 3rd December 2007,Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Sent email to D&P-here is the extract which tells something of our day ,interesting one as first day of 3 with hire car***Hi Doug & Phoenix,Alas we didn’t get your text msg, both our phones don’t work here in Tonga and the only texts I have got are when i email phones and they respond...I’ll try l8r. Good stuff here in Tonga although i've got a rather bad dose of 'tongan tummy' at the mo, probably via water on salad but who knows, mum is ok. Got hire car 2day and saw LHS (left hand side) of the island, blowholes at Houma ace, plus saw surfing beach at Ha'atafu beach where we were talking to 4 ozzie surfers when a coconut that dropped narrowly missed all of us and the car (luckily). Gonna do the RHS 2moro. King died recently 84 and 33stone, fattest monarch in history, so being large (although we are both loosing weight a bit) is seen as good in Tonga. His main palace is just down the road from us, we saw his son (ex PM, King elect....its a bit / lot corrupt here I would suggest) drive past this a.m with police escort and blacked out bullet proof windows, public hols 2moro for his birthday and plaques everywhere celebrating what seems to be each of the previous kings 84 b'days (bizarre!) have to say not really enough to do here for 10 days, its very small We both preferred Samoa, still not complaining We will (if we can work out how) get to 1 or 2 of the surrounding Islands....Nuku is apparently where they shot the TV reality show Shipwrecked (never heard of it!) Still in answer to your quessies, bag 59 has dougs rucsac in it, i guess your tent is probably in that (unless we bought it over to you) probs mum & i will get you a mattress and 2man tent when we get to NZ...not long now. Saw England result (did Beckham play?) , blimey that’s a heavy group, no I am not interested Craig’s mates who pre-booked tickets are pig sick bye love M&D/K&A.***saw 3 beach resorts(?) that you would really question, 2 ripoff taxi merchants and 1 resort ripoff, but apart from that a fairly good day!!! Houma Blowholes (ace), King elect Tupou V.Alex bought us 5 more bananas, we could open a shop, pity no blender cos banana milkshake is gr8. we did find out that 2moros public holiday is to celebrate King Tupou ,we more or less followed this route by car over our 3 days Day 40 - Tuesday 4th December 2007,Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu National Holiday in Tonga to celebrate birthday of King George Tupou 1st – he died in 1893 having reigned for some 48 years and was single handed credited with reforming Tonga,needs an update now from new King George Tupou 5th. Went round the right hand side of the island in the hire car (see pictures for details) Reasonably overcast day and about 79degs. The island isn’t that large , guess about 20*10 miles. After a few false starts getting out of Nuku’alofa down backstreets to avoid the town procession (after we had seen it) all roads from which seemed to lead to Queen Charlotte’s wharf we finally got out on our way, spend about 4 hours slowly traveling around. Memorable was Village dancing, protest banners against corruption, strip light (in our fale which was on the blink). Loved float procession thru Nuku’alofa , Captain Cooks monument, Paepe ‘o Tele’a (300 year old burial mound, started like pyramid (well 2 layers) – most UNIMPRESSIVE, Tonga’s Stonehenge (Ha’amonga’a Maui) , Lots of coconut/banana plantations, appalling roads, airport , Tongan boys college (red including mat uniform), dancing in village in SW Tongatapu,amused by Robina who said that the Princess regent came to her restaurant for a worship breakfast at 5.30 am (and she had to be up at 3.30 to prep for it) plus the father of her youngest child (boy) who has been visiting is returning to Oz 2moro. Day 41 - Wednesday 5th December 2007, Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Last day of the hire car so went to the Cultural Centre ($TOP3 each) which was very interesting, lunch @ café express then market to buy Rosilea by Black Rose and then chilled (reading / laptop/ music) whilst the builders removed the stones outside our door and put up ‘police tape’.talk about holidaying by a building site, I will ask for a rebate, and Keef did some DIY to try and fix the light tube/ starter motor.Visited cultural centre, had tapa, saw outrigger boat, andsome great old tongan photos, especially those of the royal family. Called into International dateline hotel on vunu rd opposite wharf (empty) to see about the cultural show, it is tonight so we are gonna go. 9 pm UPDATE it was ace and cost us zip, mixture of tongan, hawaian and moari dances and a great band. See videos and pictures. The Tongans seem better at this than the Samoans (or maybe we just happened to be in the right place at the right time here). Met Ozzies on Queen Charlotte wharf who were waiting for their ferry to Fafa. They had just flown in to Tonga and were in transfer. We asked about ferries as it is so unclear and we want to go to Pangaimotu 2moro 10/11 trips out and 4/5 return, Robina reckons $TOP15 that you pay on arrival at island but as always its not clear. Will consider! Had to move the car parked in the shade outside the cultural center when some tongan guys shinned up the coconut tree and started machetteing off the fronds and nuts One almost landed on the roof (and that would have cost us) Went to Café Express (Robina’s) in Western Union Funds Mgt building for lunch. Chicken and pineapple toasty for me (my first food for 2 days and touch wood I seem to be over Tongan Tummy), Chicken and lots of things panini for Anne, plus 2 chocolate milkshakes (best so far on trip) and banana cake/ coffee cheesecake. Day 42 - Thursday 6th December 2007,Trip to Atata Island Took our hire car back this morning. Took boat to Atata, a small island north of Tongatapu at 10 am where there was a resort called Royal Sunset. Boat was very small with 7 tourist day trippers and open sea was very choppy due to wind. On arrival at 10.25 we were greeted by a Tongan lady on the jetty who gave us all an orange juice. Our day boat trip included lunch. We walked through some paths past some of the tourist fales and came upon a small village, then walked back to the resort along the lovely sandy beach. Some village children were sitting on the beach & greeted us and there were quite a few fishing boats and nets along the beach. Was very hot. Sat down for a rest on the decking in the resort and then got changed to go for a cool off in the water. Sea was only knee deep in the sandy bit but stiff offshore breeze. Keef still had Tongan tummy.One of the American ladies told us that she had seen a sea snake which put us off going swimming. There was an option to go out in a boat snorkeling but Keef did not go. Had lunch (Keef had mahi-mahi fish with sweet potato chips and salad and Anne had a burger). Relaxed and read our books and sunbathed. By now there was a pleasant sea breeze. Noted that the resort swim pool was very dirty and had never been cleaned so we did not risk going in. Also more dogs and puppies wandering around as well as hens, even in the restaurant bit. We were the only tourists on the island as even though there were 26 fales, they were empty. Lady who had greeted us asked us if we wanted to stay on the island in a fale but we said no. Would not like to spend more than a day on the island. Had a brief dip in the sea again and then walked a bit further along the other side of the island but saw a dead sea snake on the beach .aargh! Did not get too close to investigate but it was as thick as Anne’s arm and black and green.. Anne ran away. Tongan lady confirmed that it was a sea snake. Got boat back at 4pm and trip back was just as choppy – small boat was like a roller coaster at times and lots of sea spray over us. When we arrived back at the pier we got a taxi back to our fale.Boat trip to small island Atata. Saw dead sea snake. Saw unusual coloured circle round sun and took photo. Day 43 - Friday 7th December 2007, Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu up about 8 had breakfast (slowly) Peanut butter on toast, fruit juice and T Did stuff on laptop whilst listening to music Avoided taking ITunes and Ipod software updates. Will wait until NZ and faster line. Just too slow here and would maybe based on fragility of s/ware mean we ended up with no music. Did DVD for Mum of Samoa/Tonga. Sent lots of e-xmas cards and e-birthday cards to Doug & Nikki. Not much, some sun whilst we sunbathed. 84 degs.Met Margaret to pay the bill. $TOP1200 for remaining 8 days.Chatted to a young couple from the UK who were waiting for a boat to another island where they were staying. They were traveling round the Pacific, NZ, Vietnam, Thailand and India. On our boat trip to Atata island we met 5 sisters who were all born in Tonga but now live in Alaska, Sydney & NZ & all sounded very American. One even gave me her business card. 2 bits of lovely chocolate birthday cake courtesy of Suki, Robina’s 8 year old daughter. Sent lots of Xmas Greets email card from Tonga Day 44 - Saturday 8th December 2007,Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Caught taxi into town. Went to Friendly Islands bookshop to get envelope for DVD for Mum. Alas post office closed (or never open) before 11 so will have to take with and post in NZ. Hope it gets there for Xmas. Had coffee in Friends café, walked around looking for tropical shirt for K, none his size however. Lunch at 2 sisters (we seem to be their only customers) They even send the chef out to say thanks for eating there. Then argument with taxi driver who tried to charge us $TOP7 (its only 4) we let him know in no uncertain terms he was trying to rip us off!!! Then back to sunbathe and do I/net research for NZ. Overnight real storm, maybe something to do with cat3 currently hitting Fiji.Bit of sun during sun bathing. Lady in trad costume in town. 102 Dalmatians (film with Glenn Close on kids TV channel) FOX News TV (crap-US).Tongan married to US guy (Stockton,CA) in shop where I went to get water and bread. Plus Corinne (previous Ms Tonga) in 2 sisters restaurant and her sister Andrea who chatted to us for a while as she was keen to try out her English and told us she had never been outside Tonga. Chicken escalope in lime sauce , herb pots and salad (again). Our fave Tongan food at 2 sisters restaurant followed by spaghetti ice-cream (Anne) and strawberry cake (kef) yummy. Alas Keef still had Tongan tummy, which is tricky to shift Day 45 - Sunday 9th December 2007,Nukuma’anu Cottages, Nukualofa, Tongatapu Last day on Tonga before traveling to NZ. Not much really. I/net catch up, backups, reading, scrabble, listening to music. Pack. Thought not much happening and then bang, Cyclone Daman and a quake. The quake off Raoul island some 355miles SSW of Tonga was 7.8 on the Richter scale (8.40pm) but luckily some 93 miles below ground under the sea so no real risk of a Tsunami. Tonga is so flat if it got hit you would definitely be a ‘gonna’. Cyclone had narrowly missed Vanua Levu (Fiji) but was arriving at pace on Tonga. Big winds/storms. Filled in visitors book for Robina.Felt Cyclone Daman.Alex and Robina called to mention the Sunday eve bread run to get fresh hot bread and cakes. A little too stormy for us outside so gave it a miss and watched Lethal Weapon 1 with Mel Gibson instead. Then they kindly bought us back a loaf, 2 cream buns and 3 choc donuts Had a real feast that eve as had pasta and fresh pineapple planned anyhow. Left a bit of food for them as you cannot take it out of the country.Pack, pleased to leave Tonga now. 10 days on reflection was probably too long. It is not big enough. Main town only really has as many shops as Sandiacre PLUS quake Was sitting on sofa which started to move. Bizarre, didn’t last long but it was big. I thought the walls of the fale had moved and jumped up to grab hold of them. To glasses on table at 45degs and liquids came out. Anne thought she was ‘having a turn’ in kitchen but then realized the clothes cabinet in bedroom was swaying. Amazed that the tiles on the floor didn’t split. Bit panicky after that especially with the howling gales outside so packed immediately and placed stuff reasonably high up. This happened at 8.45 pm. By midnight although it was still stormy it was a little calmer. Checked on Inet for quakes (recorded) and Daman, which it said had dropped to Cat2 tropical storm and cyclone warning for Tonga removed as it had veered off to the south west (thank god) After Jamaica and Ivan we vowed we wouldn’t get involved again . Diary Fiji Diary Samoa Diary Tonga Map Slideshows Trailer

  • Pre Travel | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs Sandiacre Derbyshire

    HOLIDAY 2007-8's TRIP PRE TRAVEL PLANNING These words from HOLIDAY 2007-8 gap year trip were written before we left when on our HOLIDAY 2007-8 trip so we constructed the old photo website, which we used on our travels to let people back home know what we were doing or possibly more importantly that we were still alive. A few pictures and details were added pre-travel to show what we expected and had planned to do. The reality as always was probably slightly different but the big picture in the plan we fundamentally achieved and we are very proud of that fact! (Note our original words written on our travels are in ITALICS ;) ) You will see them at the start of each page. They were culled from our old Graphicorp website. NOTE: it was Polish railway workers who rented our house, whilst we were away on HOLIDAY 2007-8 , we paid A$31 each for a 6 month Australian Visa and that Samoa has since swapped to the other side of the international date line, which makes travelling from Fiji to Samoa to Tonga, which we did a whole lot easier. “where did we lose that day?” We leave on the 26/10/2007!!!! for our HOLIDAY 2007-8 trip, yippee! A few things as we prepare for our GREAT ADVENTURE. It has been interesting packing, getting lodgers (we now have a bunch of Austrian engineers) and generally booking the trip. In between we have been visiting / saying our goodbyes to various friends and relatives (you may be in the rogues gallery here!!!) we will miss you all but remember a year isn't that long and technology (one of Keef's favourite words) will keep us in touch. It just ain't like Vasco De Gama's day these days....Bon Voyage, and hopefully enjoy the site All overall feedback on this site should be directed to and should cover only HOLIDAY 2007-8 Note: You can leave ratings against any photo, we would love to see them UPDATE in 2020 Sadly you can no longer do this technically for site HOLIDAY 2007-8, apologies To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Slideshows Images Trailer

  • TRAVEL BLOG | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs Sandiacre Derbyshire

    2007-8 HOLIDAY 2007-8 The Gap Year Travel Blog by KHWD Replicated by BLOG 162 Mail OUR GAP YEAR "DOWN UNDER" An Outdoor Travel Blog - Holiday 2007-8 Visited Overall Highlights GAP YEAR Travel Blog | HOLIDAY 2007-8 | KeefH Web Designs On the 31st July 2007 I had the opportunity to take early retirement and a redundancy package from my then employer, which afforded us the opportunity to travel and realise a life long dream of returning to Australia the place of both our youths. We named this experience HOLIDAY 2007-8. Whilst planning that HOLIDAY 2007-8 opportunity and packing up our property (we let it through an agency to Polish railway workers, which helped provide additional funding for our HOLIDAY 2007-8 adventures) we decided to also cover my cousin in California, New Zealand, Hong Kong and a few of the Pacific islands, namely Fifi, Western Samoa and Tonga (inspired initially by my love of Rugby, esp. the Fijian 7s rugby). Annie took early retirement as well, leaving her employment a couple of months after me during which time I had done most of the planning, bookings, hiring and packing, both house and travel stuff ready for HOLIDAY 2007-8. So come the 26th October 2007 it was time for the HOLIDAY 2007-8 off. What an adventure, what an opportunity to spend so much time together and the added bonus of the boys and Phoenix coming out to join us for Xmas in New Zealand. Use this website to read the diaries, see something of the planning that went into a gap year, study the timeline and most of all feast your eyes on all the supporting pictures, slideshows and videos with commentary. I have kept the original website pages created on return from the gap year but by implication technology-wise they look and feel a bit old and clunky but you can get to them if you wish through the "go to old-school" buttons where appropriate, many thanks for looking, maybe it will give you inspiration to undertake your own gap year, we reflect upon our fab times often even now! ​ Created for customer by KeefH Web Designs, a travel blog website that covers the holiday 2007-8. This site covers a gap year long holiday to America, California, the pacific islands, Fiji (both main islands), Western Samoa (both main islands, savaii and upolu), tonga (and 1 island , daydream resort), Australia, New Zealand (all 3 islands, north, south and stewart) and a break touchdown at changi airport, singapore. That is Holiday 2007-8 in a nutshell. Read on, see more of our exploits from our Holiday 2007-8. near san jose california usa California USA keef at the sewaka platform Venua Levu, Fiji's second island Visit family, east coast australia 1995 Trip to Australia near san jose california usa California USA 1/20 The slider images below are in reverse chronological order, i.e. the end of the Holiday 2007-8 GAP YEAR is first working backwards and showing highlights right back to the time we left home, and indeed even further back to our family trip in 1995 when the boys were a whole lot younger. Hopefully it shows some of what we experienced on HOLIDAY 2007-8 annie, close up, cable beach reflections of watsons bay 1/66 Here is a HIGHLIGHTs movie culled from many of the talkies movies we have elsewhere on the site. It was created in response to You Tube telling us that some of the very early movies including 1995 and 2007-8 trips where there was a thumbnail overlay screen may be in error due to You Tube processing issues pre March 2020. On investigating we found no such issues but decided as we had up ended those movies to create a more up to date one, created and uploaded by KeefH Web Designs in November 2023 (KHWD), enjoy. Be warned the movie is 60 minutes long covers 1995 in Australia, then in 20007-8 New Zealand, Australian states New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria plus Hong Kong. Movie Highlights Come see who is looking at Holiday 2007-8 and where are they from Visitors Take a look at the HOLIDAY 2007-8 GAP YEAR travel blog route and flight path in overview via this You Tube video created by KeefH Web Designs just to show our overall HOLIDAY 2007-8 travel route. Flight Path HOLIDAY 2007-8 site CREATED by KeefH Web Designs (KHWD) Sandiacre, Derbyshire, UK Mob +44 (0)7843962729, Please help our by taking the KHWD Survey (less than 1 min) thanks Pre Travel KHWD Mail New Zealand Singapore Hong Kong 1995 Contact KHWD SEO Links Advice Centre - Hints & Tips Family-Friendly Activities in Creating Cherished Memories for Everyone When it comes to planning a family holiday, finding activities that cater to everyone's interests and create lasting memories can be a challenge. Thankfully, offers a wide range of family-friendly activities that are sure to delight both children and adults alike. With a focus on creating cherished memories, this website is a go-to resource for families looking to make the most of their vacation. One of the highlights of is its extensive selection of outdoor activities. Whether you're looking for thrilling adventures or more relaxed outings, there is something for everyone. From hiking and biking trails to water sports and fishing, the website provides a comprehensive list of options to suit every family's preferences. With picturesque locations and breathtaking scenery, these activities offer the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable memories. For families who prefer indoor entertainment, has got you covered as well. The website features a wide range of family-friendly attractions, including zoos, museums, and amusement parks. With interactive exhibits and exciting rides, these venues provide endless fun for children while ensuring that parents can also enjoy their time. Whether it's learning about wildlife, exploring historical artifacts, or enjoying thrilling roller coasters, families are guaranteed an unforgettable experience. In addition to activities, also offers valuable information on family-friendly accommodations and dining options. The website provides an extensive list of hotels, holiday cottages, and resorts that are known for their excellent facilities and services for families. From spacious rooms to on-site recreational activities, these accommodations go the extra mile to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all. Furthermore, the website also offers recommendations for family-friendly restaurants, ensuring that delicious meals are always within reach. What sets apart is its emphasis on creating cherished memories. The website goes beyond providing a list of activities and attractions by suggesting ways to make the most of these experiences. It offers tips on capturing special moments through photography, journaling, and even creating personalized keepsakes. By encouraging families to document and reflect on their holiday adventures, the website helps create a treasure trove of memories that can be cherished for a lifetime. In conclusion, if you're seeking a family holiday filled with fun and memorable experiences, look no further than With its multitude of family-friendly activities, accommodations, and dining options, this website provides all the necessary resources for a successful vacation. From outdoor adventures to indoor entertainment, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy. So, why wait? Visit and start planning your next vacation, where unforgettable memories are waiting to be made. For more information contact us anytime via the KeefH Web Designs website Hint & Tips Trailer

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    2007-8 HOME Summary Calendar Flight Path Full Diary Audio Diary Pre Travel Highlights Visitors Contact KHWD USA USA Diary USA Images Los Angeles San Jose PACIFIC ISLANDS Fijian Diary Samoan Diary Tongan Diary FIJI SAMOA TONGA NEW ZEALAND North Island, NZ North Island Diary North Island Images South Island, NZ Great Rail Journeys South Island Diary South Island Images Stewart Island AUSTRALIA New South Wales NSW Images Tasmania Tassie Diary Tassie Images Western Australia WA Images Northern Territory Great Rail Journeys NT Diary NT Images South Australia SA Images Victoria Victoria Images Preece Wines Queensland Qld images SINGAPORE HONG KONG 1995 1995 Calendars 1995 Diary 1995 Audio Diary 1995 Images 1995 Slideshows Go to Bottom of Page SEARCH THE 2007-8 WEBSITE Return to Top of Page VISITOR COUNTER 2010 Hols 2013 Hols 2014 Hols 2016 Hols 2017 Hols 2019 Hols

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