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NEW ZEALAND AND FIJI

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 16 May 2014 | Views [438]

April 23rd 2014.

Up early for our flight to New Zealand, arriving at Tullamarine Airport 3 hours before flight !

Smooth flight over arriving in Wellington to windy cool weather.

Booked into The Wellingsly Hotel which is a very old English setting.  https://www.wellesleyboutiquehotel.co.nz/hotels-wellington/

Joining a hop on hop off tour for a two hour look around Wellington. Stopped off at the Weta Caves

http://www.wetanz.com/cave

Also had a quick stop at the top of Mount Victoria Lookout. What an amazing 360 degree view of Wellington.

Visited Old St Pauls Cathedral this has some beautiful stained glass windows. Apparently when the new St Pauls
was built the church wanted to demolish the old church. Luckily the people and the Government stepped in and
bought it.

http://www.heritage.org.nz/places/places-to-visit/wellington-region/old-st-pauls

April 24th

Yesterday on the tour we decided to revisit some of the places we had seen but not got off at.

Zealnadia

http://www.visitzealandia.com/

What a beutiful tranquil place. The Sanctuary is alive with wild life and birds twittering.

Once on the brink of extinction, they are now returning to the sanctuary.

This fully fenced sanctuary over time will return to its previous habit.

Inside the fence is also a man made dam and reservoir with an abudance of birds and ducks.

We could have easily spent another two to three hours there.

Next stop was the Botanical Gardens first planted in 1868 and been maintained by the City Council since 1891.
The gardens cover over 25 hectares of beautiful trees and plants including the Lady Norwood Rose Garden and th Begonia House.

http://wellington.govt.nz/recreation/gardens

April 25th ANZAC DAY.

Dawn service in town with it's war veterans and marching bands. Lest we forget.

Today was spent walking around the waterfront and the town. The cruise ship The World  http://aboardtheworld.com/  was in dock which was causing lots of excitment for the town.


Tepapa Museum is a must for visiting.

http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/pages/default.aspx

Of course with the game on tonight there was a lot of red, white and black Saints scarves around but not many of the Brisbane colours.

The game started at 7:40 and we were in our seats early for the pre game entertaiment. Miss Murphy did a great rendtion of the national anthem.
Let the game begin...
Sadly the boys just couldn't get in front and we lost.

April 26th -April 28th

Picked up our hire car from Avis Rentals a nice little Ford Focus. 
We will be travelling up to Auckland over the next five days.
Lots of wonderful landscapes along the way.

Rolling fields of so many different greens and miles and miles of low clouds.

Some of the distant mountain peaks had a covering of snow.


Stopped at a place called Castlepoint where we will spend two nights. Castlepoint is a small fishing village on the east coast.

Stunning views from our cabin across the South Pacific Ocean to the light house.
Whilst walking through the village, I stumbled across a cemetery,on one of the gravestones was the name James Graham who was buried there
in 1889. I may need to do some research when I get home and see if he could be a long lost relative of mine.

Adventured to the top of the rock where the lighthouse sits and once again were amazed by the view. 


Over the next couple of days we walked the surf beach and all along the cliff front. We went into the village for a counter lunch at the one
and only pub/dinning place around for miles. The meal we had was so scrumptious a huge mouth watering lamb shank pie 

April 29th -April 30th

Lake Taupo would have to be one of the most stunning lakes in New Zealand, it is also one of the largest lakes.

http://www.greatlaketaupo.com/

Our accomadation is pretty adequate but wouldn't stay at that particular motel again.
The town has a great shopping area and a fantastic variety of restaurants.


Huka falls

http://www.newzealand.com/au/feature/huka-falls/

Wow is all I can say. 
The volume of water that flows through those gates when oppened is staggering. The river is a hive of activivity
with the jet boats zooming up and down.

Lunch down at the Prawn Farm was a prawn chowder...yummy.

http://www.hukaprawnpark.co.nz/restaurant

April 30th Happy Birthday Peter,

Peter's 70th birthday, I can hardly believe he is 70 ( neither can he ) today we were on the road driving through to Auckland, very fittingly passing through Thames on the Corramandle Peninsula which is the birth place of his grand father Errol Comyn Lindsay born 16/06/1883.


What an historic moment turning 70 and being in the ancestrol home area of his great grand father. Couln't help myself with the photo taken to mark the great occasion.

Booked into the Ibis hotel at the airport ready for our flight out in the morning for Fiji. Casual birthday dinner at the bar next door but still very enjoyable.

May 1st


Bula from Fiji. It feels like coming home having been lucky enough to been here many times in years gone by. Staying Nadi for two nights then moving further North up the Island.
We hired a car so we can do so sight seeing. Travelled down the Coral Coast to check out The Fijian Resort, we have some friends taking their grand children there in the September school holidays and I wanted to send them a photo from there.

No matter how many times I see the poverty some of the islanders live in, there smiles and welcoming gestures are unbelievable.

I get tired of hearing people whinge and carry on back in Australia, about the Government not helping enough, yet very few on the pensions in Australia would be living in tin shacks with no running water. No indoor bathroom and certainly no plasma TV or a car.

These Fijians. who readily accept you into their homes, are still drying out their mattresses that were soaked during the recent floods. Their children, as young as two year old, are selling fruit by the roadside,always with a warm smile and a wave for you when you drive by.

In the resorts where you are paying huge amounts of dollars for bed and food, the workers only get paid a pittance ($3:50 FD which is around $1:80 AUD ) yet they keep smiling as they are greateful to be working.

Some in Australia feel they should be given more on their pensions, without working for it, they need to come over here and see how people live without Government handouts.
(Rant over)

May 2nd
Happy Birthday to my gorgeous Dad xxx

May 3rd

Raki Raki Colonial Hotel....not quite what we expected on arrival. The bars on the room windows had me feeling very claustrophobic. The hotel was also booked out in the restaurant that night with a big wedding where had I been a guest I would have taken up drinking. The MC talked for nearly two hours before the bride and groom even arrived !!

May 4th - May 8th

We changed our plans and moved to Wanavanu Resort 
http://www.wananavu.com/
where we had stayed a few years ago. It is a small resort of only 34 Burras and has the most amazing views all around.

May 5th, Happy Birthday to my neice Sunny, hope you have a great day xx

May 6th.

Nothing to do here apart from swimming, walking, relaxing, eating and reading by the pool.......ahh life really is wonderful.

May 10th

Back down to Nadi for our last night in Fiji. Dined out at the Japanesse Restauarnt Daikoku suberb meal.

May 11th 


Happy Mothers Day Mum and all other mothers.


Flight back to Melbourne delayed, arrived in Melbourne at 11:30pm. 
Smooth run back to Mornington and another very succesful trip has come to an end.

 

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