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Archive for March, 2009

Australia: Back to Ballarat

March 31st, 2009

From Melbourne airport, we headed straight to the city of Ballarat, where we’d left our car with newly made friends, the Connor family. They’d invited us, and our other Ballarat friends Judy and Ian, to join them for a spit roast dinner. We’d like to thank them for a lovely meal, great evening and for […]

New Zealand: Weather dependent

March 30th, 2009

We’ve left Auckland and are headed back towards Melbourne in the hope that the Australian weather has cooled quite significantly from when we left it in the mid-forties, nearly two months ago. Before we pick-up where we left off in Oz, I thought that I’d take a few moments to record my thoughts and feelings […]

Waiheke Island: A day trip from Auckland

March 27th, 2009

When city life gets too much, water loving Aucklanders head to the sunny and relaxing island of Waiheke. A pleasant 35 minute ferry ride landed us at the Western end of the island, near the seasidey town of Oneroa. It was a beautifully warm day, probably one of the hottest we’ve had whilst in New […]

Auckland: Great to be back in the city

March 26th, 2009

After spending nearly seven weeks talking to sheep, I can’t tell you how pleased we are to be back in a decent-sized city again. Our guidebook refers to Auckland as being ‘Sydney for beginners’, which I feel is a tad unfair. To my eye, it’s got a artefacts of its volcanic past, a lovely boat […]

Auckland: Not a very warm welcome

March 25th, 2009

Cars are a pain in the bum in most cities, but as we’ve not yet hit the end of our pre-paid car hire agreement, we’ve decided to continue to camp in it a little way outside the city to get the maximum for our money. Once the hire term expires, we might move to an […]

Bay of Islands: ex-HMNZS Caterbury shipwreck

March 24th, 2009

“I penetrated Her Majesty’s wreck!”, proudly exclaims our diving instructor’s t-shirt. A much bigger boat than the Rainbow Warrior, the Canterbury was decommissioned, stripped of most sticky-outy bits and deliberately sunk about two years ago just off the coast of the Bay of Islands. As a young wreck, not too many fish have made it […]

Bay of Islands: Diving the Rainbow Warrior wreck

March 23rd, 2009

After sailing our yacht around the Bay of Islands, our feet didn’t get to stay on terra firma for long. The next day we were being bounced up and down on a RIB speedboat towards the underwater wreck of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, which was bombed by the French back in the Eighties. The boat was […]

Bay of Islands: A life on the ocean wave

March 20th, 2009

Despite owning a sailing dinghy and having been on boats since I was little, I’ve always been less confident on yachts. There’s much more to consider, it seems. Whilst dinghys are a matter of get in and go, yachts involve scary things such as tide tables, navigation charts, Portland plotters and complicated Rules of the […]

Bay of Islands: Soooo excited

March 19th, 2009

Well, I promised to write something nice today, so it’s lucky we have arrived in the Bay of Islands, a place for which I have genuine enthusiasm. The sun is out, I’ve just eaten a big ice cream and we have a week of water-based activities planned. First up tomorrow, which I’m very excited about, […]

Driving New Zealand: Roadworks and rain

March 18th, 2009

Just so you don’t think travelling is all great, I want to share with you our more dreary days. Driving through New Zealand can be a frustrating experience. Whilst we used to cover up to 750km a day on the open road in Australia, we’re lucky if we can do 200km a day here. Why? […]