January 25, 2006 We are spending a few days in Franz Joseph in order to explore the glaciers. Last time I was here, the weather was so bad that they refused to let anyone up on the mountain. This time, I was determined to do the glacier hike – I mean, how many Africans can claim to have walked on a glacier?
It is always daunting meeting other people’s family.
There you are, intent on making the right impression because you don’t want to cause offense (and not get invited back): so you try to remember your manners (or else your parent’s shame will haunt your dreams forever) and try not to make the friend who extended the invite in the first place regret their kindness.
“To He Who Meets The Challenge Of Life Bravely, Great Will Be His Reward”
Hanmer Springs is an alpine village that people flock to all year round.
The main tourist draw is the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve – a swimming complex made up entirely from the natural thermal springs that bubble up from deep within the earth.
There are also separate play pools where the young (and the young at heart) can enjoy the waterfalls, animal slides and heated water slides without disturbing the peace and tranquility of the relaxation pools. Continue reading Day Trip To Hanmer Springs→
It comes to something when you are forced to go to a McDonald’s in order to obtain an ice-cream!!!!!!
We have reached Tauranga a “thriving commercial and business centre, busy port and rich horticultural farmland” that with its “combination of location, climate, attractive beaches and many associated activities … has much to offer both the native and the visitor”.
What they fail to tell you is that you need a car to reach any of these attractions! And unless you are a serious shopaholic, all that’s in town of any general interest is the cinema.
Oh, and the man in the clown-like outfit and the unfittingly high voice which made you wonder whether he had suffered some kind of childhood accident involving his testicles being squeezed too tightly for an unseemly extended period of time. Continue reading Tauranga→
Some basic facts: Situated 90km from Auckland, Great Barrier Island is the largest of the 50 islands in the Haurauki Gulf. It is NZ’s fourth largest landmass and has a fixed population of about 1000.
60% of the island is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Getting here: Regular ferries only run in the summer (December to March) so we had to come over in the Eco Islander, one of the local ferries – which runs at odd times (We took the 7am Tuesday ferry). You can fly over – 30 minutes in a toy plane with a 12 year old pilot (maximum 10 seats – including the pilot) = 3 times the cost – but we decided against it.
Actually the pilots aren’t 12, but they come from the flight training university and have to get in 1000 hrs flight experience before they are allowed on the big planes so they practice by doing the inter island runs. So we had 4½ hrs of deep blue sea which allowed us to see many of the surrounding islands. It’s quite comfortable; they had 2 screening rooms showing Shrek and Starsky & Hutch – which passed some of the time, and there is a bar on board. Continue reading Great Barrier Island→
We saw the “Feelgood Festival” advertised and thought it would be a great opportunity to see a lot of the local talent we have been hearing about whilst we we’ve been here.
Tsarina & Zelda, I’ve already posted the cds we bought! Have a look-see, your ears will thank you for it.
You find us still in Sydney, trying to get to grips with the concept of celebrating the ultimate winter festival in underwear (that is, when we are at home) and in great danger of suffering from heat stroke!
It’s been kinda weird doing Christmas over here: but – I hasten to add – far less depressing than last year; where it was a case of waiting for the clock to strike 10 o’clock so we could feasibly go to bed and end the dismal (and wholly un-jolly) charade.