We have moved on. We are now in Lake Macquarie, NSW (New South Wales) after a 6 hour drive, with interruptions. We stopped at Rosie’s for coffee and tea:
Our tour is on day 32, we have been traveling for 34 days. Every day is some new experience. Today seems rather mundane. We drove 180 miles or so and stopped along the way a few times to view the scenery, buy fuel, eat lunch. We finally got to our destination, Southwest Rocks. First we stopped at some key sites, the Trial Bay Gaol (old English spelling of jail). It has an interesting history that is worth googling, if you care.
In our preparation for this visit we were warned that there are many wild kangaroos in the area and they can be aggressive. Sure enough there are many and we have been careful to not approach them. Just a few minutes ago I needed to take out the trash, as happens often after dinner. Although I could see the trash bins through the windshield I elected to take a flashlight for a change. Good thing! As I walked I noted moving shapes and the flashlight illuminated half a dozen or more kangaroos in my path. I circled around, completed my chore unmolested and returned to the Campervan.
Like deer in parts of the US, kangaroos are considered pests here. I can understand why. We may need to adopt “roo bars” for our vehicles if deer become even more prevalent. Driving through kangaroo country with no more than kangaroo whistles as protection seems rather frightening now. Also need to be aware of the occasional koala and the possum on the roads.
It is Friday night and we turn in our campervans on Tuesday. Although we will not be sad to see them go so we can sleep in a comfortable hotel bed, it marks the end of a major portion of the trip which we began planning over a year ago.
Yes indeed we are in Miami Beach on the Gold Coast South of Brisbane. Time has indeed been flying. Between problems getting connected and lack of time to write I haven’t posted since New Zealand. Aukland is a big city and it has ports on two oceans. I could probably write a book about our time on North Island, but it has been done. We flew from Aukland to Cairns, Australia. This city, pronounced Cans, as in kick the can, is a major tourist spot with all kinds of access to the Great Barrier Reef. We had a day on a moderate sized catamaran. I hoped to dive once again on this most famous dive location, but the dive doc did not care for the beta blocker I take so I satisfied myself with a lengthy snorkel over some shallow portions of the reef around Michaelmas Quay. I also took a ride in the semi submersable boat they included in our trip. It is really a hull with large windows below the waterline to provide an excellent view of the reef and its shallow water residents. I was disappointed, but still got to see a pimple of the reef from in the water.
We ate at a restaurant called Ochre which washighly recomended for its indigenous ment. It was so good we ate there two nights in a row. The first night, Carol had a veggie platter that we could not finish after I had kangaroo tail steak.
Since the last post we have driven to Picton, taken the ferry to Wellington where we visited Kate, EJ and Elvira. We first met Kate and EJ in Shelbourne VT at our nephew’s wedding a year ago. Kate drove us around town, what a delight to do that in a car and not the Caravan. We toured the National Museum, Te Papa, had a glass of wine nearby,
Victor asked for a picture of the Caravan we are in for 20 days:
Today we drove 170 miles from Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier. This may not sound like much but the road compares well with some of the tougher stretches of CA 1 otherwise know as PCH. Other comparisons might include the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were constantly changing altitude and twisting through the coastal mountains. It was gorgeous but tiring driving, especially with 28 one lane bridges just a foot wider than the coach. The “right of way” is declared on signs on the approach to each bridge.
The twisting and turning was so severe that near the end of the day I noticed something protruding from a “locked” compartment. It was one of our chairs and I watched it fall to the road. I managed to retrieve that one, but another is some place back on the road.
We stopped at Blue Pools and walked on about 15 minutes to see the magnificent glacial melt water pools
We were looking forward to taking a helicopter flight over Fox Glacier. When we got there we were told the clouds were a problem and they weren’t flying. I said we were continuing on to Franz Josef and he said they might be flying out of there. He called and put our names on the list and we drove another 30 minutes and found that they had a flight going up in 30 minutes.
I guess that last was really less than brief 🙂
We have been driving South from Christchurch along the east coast of South Island until today. At Dunedin, or southernmost point we visited the only castle in New Zealand. It has a tragic history, it fell into disrepare and had been restored by a couple who have made it their life’s work. We saw the half that was once the busiest Harbor I in NZ and we had a treat seeing Blue Penguins coming home from the sea to their colony. There are actually two seating areas darkened with stern warnings about quiet to avoid scaring them off. They are very cute. No pictures permitted. We also stopped to see the Yelloweyed Penguins, but none are appearing. Either predation or disease has taken its toll on this particular group.
We also visited the Cadbury factory and came away with many samples. It felt rather like “trick or treat” neither of us cares much for the commercial stuff. The Jaffas are pretty good and the real chocolate bars are fine, not up to Lake Champlain Chocolate, but we will eat it. We have also shopped along the way to stock the RV kitchen so we can eat on board. The cheeses are wonderful, very creamy. The lamb I bought was also fine. We are also becoming fans of NZ wine, especially the Pinot Noir.
For excitement we have ridden luge in concrete tracks, I have taken a Zip line and a very exciting jet boat ride with Shotover Jet boat on the river of the same name in Queenstown, the home of crazy out door activities. We did not ride Hydro Attack
Haven’t posted in a while because we have been busy enjoying ourselves and have had some conectivity problems. This is brief as we are preparing to leave Queenstown heading for Wanaka with a stop to ride a jetboat on the Shotover River
More later if We can get connected.