Perth, Western Australia
and a visit with
Peter and Brownie Dickens
at White Gate Cottage
Air New Zealand preps a 777-300 for us, and 250 new friends
Auckland, New Zealand, Sky Tower, 10 km ahead
Auckland, from our hotel room
Looking toward the business district
The Sky Tower, as seen from our hotel room
Tiny apartments, as seen from our hotel room filled with students from Asia and India
Along the waterfront, an excellent martime museum
Sleeping Beauty, catching up on a few time zones
The next morning we took a cab to Mount Eden.
Hauraki Gulf, from Mount Eden
Frankfurt, Germany, is 18170 km in this direction.
Our tour started with a visit to the Sky Tower
Auckland, from the top of the Sky Tower
Glass panel in the Floor is strong enough to step on
The tower shadow makes a fine sundial
The shadow has grown shorter and moved noticeably to the left in 15 minutes
The Accidental Tourists in Auckland
The view from 220 meters (722 feet) up.
The kiwi is a unique and curious bird: it cannot fly, has loose, hair-like feathers, strong legs and no tail.
Air New Zealand retired this 737 after it flew to 70,000 hours and 40,000 cycles.
Departing Perth for Wine Tasting on Waiheke Island
Approaching Waiheke Island
The first of the three wineries we visited
The grapes are ready for harvesting
Departing Waiheke, returning to Auckland
Our hotel at the base of the tower was about 8 blocks from the ferry terminal and a good climb
This spiral staircase led down 50 meters into the Ruakuri Cave, home of many glow worms
Water drips onto the rock continuously
Glow worms are actually not worms at all, but the larvae of an insect called Fungus Gnat. They glow through bioluminescence.
Our Esteemed Guide, Malcolm Campbell
Bring your Rock Skis
Chateau Tongariro, our humble abode for one night
View from the Chateau
Elegant surroundings in the Chateau
Dinner with half of our traveling companions
First sign of Geo-thermal activity
Enjoying one of the 1400 miles we spent on busses.
Driver, Craig, and Guide, Malcolm
Rocks that Float
Water from Lake Taupo, forming the start of the Waikato River
The Noble Waikato River
Waiotapu Thermal Park
Boiling, bubbling Mud
Almost got it... now take two steps back...
The Devil's Bath
The Rotorua museum
Lake Tarawera, as seen by New Zealand Travel Bureau
Lake Tarawera, as seen by American Tourists
The Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia
An innocent representative prepares to accept our group's invitation into the Whakarewarewa Marae
If the visitor picks up the flower, it means he comes in peace
The peaceful intent is accepted... but mind your manners...
Air New Zealand arrives in Rotorua to take us
Arriving Christchurch, before heading immediately toward the mountains
Lunch means not riding on the bus for a while
Our new bus has 50 seats, so everybody has room to spread out
New Zealand has 30 million sheep and 4 million people
The number of sheep is declining and the number of cows is growing
This sad little exhibit is all we could photograph of a very interesting natural wonder.
Steampunk Headquarters, Oamaru, New Zealand
Round Rocks, the Moeraki Boulders
Maori influence on present day New Zealand is very strong
Did I mention New Zealand has 30 million sheep?
Trying to stay awake by counting sheep
Approaching Milford Sound
Boarding the "Milford Wanderer"
At the opening of the sound, looking out to the Tasman Sea
Thanks to Jack Chen, our traveling friend who took this dolphin photo
On the 4-hour drive back to Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu, approaching Queenstown
Dart River Jet-boat ride.
Start of Jet-boat ride
Whose dopey idea was this ???
The boat ride ended in the middle of nowhere
I'm pissed. When is lunch being served? It's already 1:00 PM !!
Back at the Rydges Hotel, Queenstown
The "Lady of the Lake", the steamship "Earnslaw" arrives to take us
Shoveling coal into one of the two burners
This wouldn't last a minute with the EPA on guard in America
Our feast awaits
Dinner with our new friends, Vimal and Vinod
A short walk after Dinner
Airport across the street from a lunch stop
Main Street, the town of Franz Josef Glacier
Climbing to the Franz-Josef Glacier view-point
The Franz-Josef Glacier
It's not my fault the glacier is melting
Last view of the Tasman Sea before we turn east toward Christchurch
The mountains are being left behind
Life is good in Christchurch
But it isn't cheap...
John, our second driver (for the second island) waits patiently
Overlooking Christchurch toward the mountains we crossed on the west coast
A reminder of the earthquake 5 years ago
Reconstruction is much in evidence downtown
Leaving Christchurch for Auckland at noon - a 4 hour flight
Leaving Auckland for Perth the same day - 8 more hours in the air
After 12 hours of flying and subtracting 5 hours of time change
At 7:30 AM the next morning, fhe bus to Busselton arrived on schedule,
Elsa exits the bus, while our host, Peter Dickens, comes to take us 45 minutes to Nannup
We pass through Nannup
It's true, Australia does have kangaroos wandering through the bush
The home of Peter Dickens and his wife, Brownie
Our gracious hosts, Peter and Brownie
Breakfast on the back porch
Elsa walks Jarrah in the back yard
Guinea Hens playing "Follow the Leader"
Our home away from home, the White Gate Cottage
Vineyards in our front yard
Our first adventure - feeding the kangaroos
Tiny kangaroo claws holding Elsa's arm left marks she proudly displayed
Brownie can't resist...
"I did say, 'Please'. Now may I have some more?"
Just don't come around looking for my grapes to eat...
A skittish emu joins the feeding frenzy
Off to visit the Alpaca family "next door"
Elsa feeds the Alpacas
Brownie feeds the Alpacas
Four Marron (crayfish of Western Australia) were trapped in a pond on the 100 acre property
A Marron gets a swimming lesson
Swimming lesson complete... well done
One of many delicious dinners
A new family member has arrived !!
A baby Guinea Hen destined to be an Only Child. None of the other eggs hatched
Moving to a new warm house for a while
The city of Busselton, population 15,000, offers "big city" conveniences
This little train will take you to the end of the pier
In the Margaret River wine region, south of Busselton
Enjoying the Good Life in Western Australia
Peter and Brownie
Peter prepares lamb from one of his flock
Elsa and Brownie get ready to take credit, while Peter works
Peter puts on the finishing touches
A formal Easter Dinner in the Formal Dining Room
Easter Sunday breakfast before we leave for the bus station at 6:00 AM
All our stuff is packed and ready to go
Our cottage was left just like we found it
An early departure for Busselton to catch the bus back to Perth
The long road back to Perth, a 3-hour trip
Perth, Western Australia
The Swan River, as seen from our hotel room
Food's not cheap, but there is plenty of it
Perth is modern, clean and attractive
Perth, from Kings Park, bigger than Central Park in New York City
Leaving Perth by boat for Fremantle
Large boat, small bridge
Fremantle didn't look touristy at first...
But it was.
Lunch at the "Little Creatures Brewery"
Heading back to our hotel
Elsa on the balcony of Room 706
It was a long day
Departing Perth at 6:30 AM
Seven hours from Perth to Auckland
We're getting too old for this