New Zealand….So far…

We have had 3 days and New Zealand and it has been very impressive

The Fjords were magnificent especially as the date cleared and we were able to appreciate the beauty of the second and third Fjords..Port Chalmers and Dunedin as equally as impressive with Dunedin showing its Presbyterian and Scottish background and traditions.

Not only are the communities of Port Chalmers and Dunedin impressive but Port Chalmers is very active and attractive town. Dunedin is a very beautiful area downtown with the railroad station and the cathedral being the two focal point. But there is a lot of shopping and a lot of tourist attractions so well worth 3 or 4 hours

The day in Christchurch so far has been a major attraction in that you see first hand evidence of what an earthquake can do and how a city can recover.

But the other part of the Christchurcharea is the drive over and back where you get to see the real beauty of the South island


Milford Sound, New Zealand

After a day at sea we are approaching Milford sound at 7 a.m. in the morning it is raining first impression is that Rihanna back and has appears of Norway with rapidly rising huge mountains and narrow waterways which would mean the same characteristic as the Fjords in Norway with very deep channels for the shipdto go up. We were also told last night that be yours in South America as you go towards and article are also very majestic like pigs the difference at this point with these years in Milford sound and Norway is no snow on the top of these at least that I can see now


Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

We had a very interesting day in Hobart awaking in Port to see thousands of logs timber that are waiting to be unloaded onto shift bound for China Japan. We left the ship about 11 to go to the adjoining information building which was servicing both hardship and celebrity solstice that arrived earlier in the morning. From there we walked to the Information Center to get tickets for the hop on hop off bus which we didn’t road for about 2 hours as it was slow stop a lot and very hot up top. We went through the commercial area and along the marina and Bay and Harbor which is the second largest Harbor Bay in the southern hemisphere Rio de Janeiro being larger we saw the small businesses in the commercial areas of Hobart and it is a very beautiful quaint both old and new town with the foothills and mountains coming right down to the waters edge in locations mini very expensive homes both older and new on the hillside overlooking the bay and the Tasman see. We came back through the CBD known as the central business district and then got off and walked back to the ship for a late lunch. Then later in the afternoon all day and I walked to the Salamanca Salamanca which is a street full of restaurants and bars very very pretty very European looking and right past the park called Parliament Park very beautiful.  Hobart is a city of 200000 and very interesting and that for many years has used the lumber industry as their basic source of economy it has since run to include a university and a large medical facility and serves as the capital city or the state have passed mania.   I suggest and that visitors to a heart first go to the Information Center and look at the vendors and displays then take the 20 minute walk along the bay and along the marina to the Information Center and then if interested in more than just the immediate downtown area take the hop on hop off bus which is a reasonable fair of about $30 a day



Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur is a most historical town just to the north of Hobart, the

capital of Tasmania. As we approached the bay of Port Arthur it became very

obvious that this area was incredibly heavy wooded….which started to

verify that 90% of Tasmania is wooded…..

  1. The Bay is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and was

discovered in the early 1800’s for its timber…and in 1930 became a timber

outpost for Australia , 2. Needing workers, the Australian government in

cooperation with the local business people in the lumber business, decided

to bring convicts to the area as laborers…and in 1833 created a

Penitentiary for convicts that then became the labor force. It grew from

there for the next 40 years….thus the current ruins and remains of the

original town as well as the small current town, Carnarveron,Tasmania, Australia.

  1. The Ship docked in the bay and we got on the Ship Tenders to go ashore…and

this entire procedure was orderly and well done…with about a 12-15 minute

ride in to the dock. From the dock it is easy to go to the Visitors Center

and from there take a leisurely 2 or 3 hour walk around all of the buildings

which have been renovated and modernized as much as possible, still making

it a kind of museum…

  1. The detailed history of Port Arthur is well documented, and info on the

prison, the prisoners, and their work and activity is well presented. Very

well done.

  1. Included in the Ship package was the 25 minute boat tours around the

Bay…where you can see where the Boys prison was, as well as the Island of

the Dead, which was their cemetery.

  1. This is a great one day stop…..just enough time to see this beautiful


  1. In summary, so far Tasmania has been a must see spot if you enjoy natural

beauty  with mountains, beaches, wooded areas, and little towns right down

to the waters edge….one of those best kept secrets.

  1. Another factor about Tasmania is that it is one of the southern most

points before you get to Antarctica. I am told the part of Antarctica that is

easiest to reach is from South America….but if you look at the world map

you can see that Tasmania is almost as far south. One of the slogans in

Burney was “welcome to the edge of the World”…..and seems to be true. But,

also one of the most beautiful that we have seen in that you have the

feeling of the tropical areas along with the mountains and the trees…

We are in Hobart now….which is about a 2 hour ship journey south from Port

Arthur. Gorgeous wooded mountains coming right down to the city of Hobart,

which has 200,000 people….and as I write I am looking out on acres of

labeled logs ready to go on ships for export. Probably 500 containers here

either filled or empty but extremely well organized and all seem to be in

order. We will spend 2 days here…should be interesting.

All for now,

Cairns to Sydney….flight day…day #4

This morning we awoke to a bright sunny morning in gorgeous Cairns and headed to a mid morning flight to Sydney. The Cairens Airport is almost like new…clean and neat as can be…very orderly and well organized….and a very simple security system….and after a short coffee break we were on Virgin Australia bound for Sydney. We were met at the airport by the transfer service and got to the Marriiott at the Quay by 4 PM….waited for Carrie and kids to arrive at 6…and then set off for the evening. After a quick dinner we headed down to the pier area which is about 3 blocks…and board  the Manley Ferry…a 15 minute ferry ride to Manley Island…going right out past the Opera House while it was still light. We spent about an hour walking around the quaint island of Manley…down to the beach…then back on the Ferry…and back towards the sparkling lights of Sydney and the lit up Opera House. As it looks on my web page…really nothing like it in such a magnificent setting right on the water at Sydney Harbor. Breathtaking at night….and a beautiful building all the time. Literally a landmark for Sydney for decades.

Sydney is a beautiful city…the setting right on the water is beautiful….and  Quay and the nearby Rocks area are both old and new….with high rise buildings looking down on history …..   Just a wonderful city, and we are just beginning to have 3 days here before we board the ship.

The plan is to have a “quiet day” here…as Carrie has been going strong….as have we…so we will stay in the downtown area and just enjoy the Rocks and the Quay…should be fun.  More to come.